Taylor Swift opens tour rehearsal to aid tornado victims
Taylor Swift is offering a sneak peek of her upcoming tour, for charity.
The country-pop star announced Friday she is opening the final dress rehearsal of her Speak Now World Tour to fans as a benefit for victims devastated by last month's string of deadly tornadoes that hit several Southern states and caused hundreds of deaths.
Dubbed “Speak Now … Help Now!,” the May 21 benefit show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena will offer 13,000 fans a glimpse of Swift’s tour nearly a week early.
“I was watching the coverage of the tornadoes backstage at rehearsals, and I wanted to do something for the families affected by the damage,” Swift said in a statement. “I’ve never opened a rehearsal to the public before, but I felt that inviting my fans to the last rehearsal for the Speak Now Tour would be a great way to raise money."
Swift and her crew have been working songs out in the arena for the last five weeks, she said. More details are expected to be announced on her official site Monday, but 100% of ticket sales for the show will go directly to aid victims.
The North American leg of her Speak Now World Tour 2011 kicks off May 27 in Omaha, Neb., and she is scheduled to play four dates at the Staples Center in August.
“We’ll probably still be doing some fine-tuning to the show that night, since this will be a true rehearsal,” she said, “but I feel like it is so important for me and my fans to help if we can.”
-- Gerrick D. Kennedy
Photo: Country music star Taylor Swift performs at the Staples Center. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times