The Formula One Grand Prix has just announced Taylor Swift as its 2016 post-race concert headliner, following 2015’s Elton John performance at the event at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
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Curiously, Swift’s headlining appearance will take place 11 months after she conclusively finished her touring cycle for her 2014 smash success, the Grammy-winning 1989. Even more curiously, October 2016 will mark two years since 1989‘s release, and four years since the pop star dropped Red, leading some to speculate that Swift will perhaps continue along with an “album every two years” schedule. That’s not to say that her Grand Prix appearance is definitive proof of new music, but the timing certainly lines up with the pattern she’s established for herself.
Last month, Swift visited the iHeart Media Summit in California to thank radio programmers for supporting 1989. As SPIN noted at the time, artists usually only show face at the conference if they have new music in the pipeline — as Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea did in their recent respective appearances — whether in the immediate future or soon enough down the road that it makes sense to shake hands and show gratitude.
Per Circuit of the Americas president Bobby Epstein to The Guardian, “We had to make it financially irresistible to [Swift], but it is our fifth-year celebration and we have reason to celebrate and sometimes you spend a little bit on special occasions.”
Swift’s Grand Prix concert will take place on October 22.