Forget dark restaurants and hotel ballrooms. The hippest spot for a congressional fundraiser these days is at Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour or a concert stop on Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour. Some lawmakers are crazy in love with the idea, one they know all too well.
In a twist on the meet-and-greet schmooze fests that routinely dot the fundraiser party circuit, some members of Congress are shaking hands — or exchanging friendship bracelets — with donors and others at concert venues, in VIP boxes or suites. Just as the Federal Reserve credits Swift’s tour for boosting the tourism industry, and the overall economy, the Eras and Renaissance World Tours have been a means for lawmakers to boost their own campaign coffers.
These fundraisers are not necessarily illicit affairs. Candidates are generally allowed to spend their campaign funds as they wish, including renting out corporate space for fundraisers at market rate. In these cases, the event spaces just happen to be at venues for entertainers headlining the highest grossing concert tours in history. And those spaces can cost thousands