Taylor Swift’s Melbourne Cup performance could help increase dwindling attendance numbers – but animal rights groups are furious

Taylor Swift it set to perform at this year’s Melbourne Cup. Photo: Mark Metcalfe /Getty Images.
  • Taylor Swift will be performing at the Melbourne Cup on November 5, but animal rights activists aren’t happy.
  • The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses is calling for Swift to cancel her performance and say #NupToTheCup.
  • Swift as the headliner could be designed to boost attendance numbers at the Melbourne Cup, which have been on the decline since 2015.

Singing superstar Taylor Swift has agreed to perform at the 2019 Melbourne Cup — in a move that could help boost attendance numbers — but animal rights activists aren’t happy.

The singer-songwriter will be performing two songs from her latest album, Lover, during what’s dubbed “the race the stops the nation” at Flemington Racecourse on November 5, according to the Victoria Racing Club. It will be her only public appearance in Australia.

According to the Herald Sun, Swift told promoter Michael Gudinski, “I can’t wait to come to Melbourne and I can’t wait to come to the Melbourne Cup. I’ve heard so much about the race.”

The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses slammed Swift’s decision amid horse cruelty in the industry. The organisation even called for her to say #NupToTheCup on social media.

“Taylor Swift has put money before compassion by agreeing to perform at the 2019 Melbourne Cup,” the organisation said on its Facebook page.

“An event where at least 6 horses have been floated out of Flemington DEAD over the past 6 years. With such huge success already, she could easily afford to not only say NO, but use the opportunity to help the horses by speaking up against horse cruelty in the racing industry.

“If Taylor Swift cares at all about other animals the way she appears to care about cats, she will cancel her show and make a strong statement that animal abuse is unacceptable.”

In 2018, the RSPCA released a statement that said The Cliffsofmoher was the sixth horse to die as a result of the Melbourne Cup since 2013.

Victoria Racing Club CEO Neil Wilson said the club was excited to have Swift perform at the race, the Guardian reported.

“To think you can come to Flemington and watch not only the race that stops a nation but see one of the world’s biggest – if not the biggest – entertainer perform for the cost of a general admission ticket is phenomenal,” Wilson said.

Having such a big-name act for the Melbourne Cup could be designed to attract more people to the race, as it has experienced dwindling attendance numbers over the years.

In 2015, the Cup attracted 101,015 attendees, which dropped significantly to 83,471 in 2018.

Perhaps this is one performance Swift might not be able to shake off.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.