Taylor Swift Forces Legendary Theme Park into Permanent Closure Amid Legal War

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A split image featuring a garden entrance with statues on the left, and a woman with bangs and a sequin top posed dramatically on the right, surrounded by a blurred pink border.

Credit: Edited by Inside the Magic

Taylor Swift has quickly become one of the greatest pop icons to have ever lived, and while The Tortured Poet’s Department star may have a reputation for her music, she also has faced some major legal battles that resulted in an entire theme park shutting down.

Taylor Swift in promotional shot for The Eras Tour
Credit: Taylor Swift Productions

Typically, we have seen theme parks love Taylor Swift! Fans even created their very own version of a Taylor Swift theme park (see it here). 

When The Eras Tour was playing at Lee’s Stadium, a deal between Levi’s Stadium and California’s Great America allowed the Taylor Swift concert to use the theme park’s parking lot exclusively. Anyone could park at the Great America parking lot as long as they had a ticket to the theme park. California’s Great America surely increased ticket sales, even if the actual attendance that weekend didn’t.

Then, King’s Island invited Swift and boyfriend Travis Kelce, an American football tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League, to their theme park over social media. While many see the benefit of Taylor coming to their park, one Utah park took her to court instead of embracing her presence.

A legal battle brewed between singer Taylor Swift and Evermore Park, a fantasy-themed park in Utah, in 2021. It all started with the park suing Swift, claiming her Evermore album infringed on their trademark for the same name. They argued her merchandise was “counterfeit” and that her use of the word “escapism” copied their marketing. The park even said people were confused and thought the album was connected to them!

Taylor Swift in "Me!" music video
Credit: UMG

Swift fired back with her own lawsuit. It turned out Evermore Park had a different kind of infringement going on – they’d been performing her songs (and many others!) for years without permission. Apparently, warnings from licensing companies like BMI went ignored. Swift’s team accused them of trying to cover their tracks by seeking retroactive licensing only when legal action loomed.

Things got spicy with Evermore Park demanding a whopping $2 million per “counterfeit mark” from Swift, on top of other damages. They also took aim at some “explicit lyrics” on her album merchandise, which seems like a whole other can of worms. Both lawsuits sought damages, but only Evermore Park specified a sky-high amount. In the end, the whole situation turned into a messy trademark and copyright fight, with each side pointing fingers at the other.

Then, according to Swift’s representatives, Taylor Swift and Evermore Park, have mutually agreed to dismiss the lawsuits they filed against each other. Both parties reached an agreement to set aside their claims without any financial compensation involved.

A couple holding hands walks towards a cozy, illuminated cottage surrounded by lush gardens and tall trees at night. stone pathway, vibrant flowers, and warmly lit street lamps enhance the romantic setting.
Credit: Evermore

“As a resolution of both lawsuits, the parties will drop and dismiss their respective suits without monetary settlement,” said a statement from Swift’s spokesperson, per Variety.

Swift has a track record of staunchly defending her music rights and ensuring fair compensation for her creative endeavors. For instance, the singer previously withheld her music catalog from Spotify, citing concerns about inadequate artist compensation. Additionally, Swift’s critique prompted Apple Music to revise a policy that initially deprived artists of payment for music streamed during free-trial periods. Currently, Swift is actively re-recording her back catalog of songs to reclaim ownership and control over her music, following the unauthorized acquisition and sale of her rights by mogul Scooter Braun.

Now, it seems that Evermore could have used the good publicity that would have come with the Taylor Swift album name, as they have shut down, forever.

Two performers in vintage, whimsical costumes stand under an ornate metal arched gate labeled "evermore," surrounded by pumpkins and dusky sky.
Credit: Evermore

According to KSL, “Officials confirmed Tuesday the fantasy theme park is shutting down, citing challenges with its operating model and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as reasons for its closure. Evermore Park was a year-round fantasy adventure experience where guests accomplished adventures or quests in a medieval and Victorian-inspired village.”

Evermore Park, a fantasy-themed attraction spread across 12.75 acres, has permanently shut down. The closure was announced by Brandon Fugal, the owner of the land and the park’s structures through his company Evermore Park Investments LLC.

“That said, the real estate where Evermore Park was located is being repositioned to unveil a new attraction and project that is going to be announced,” Fugal said.

Fugal said the park has struggled over the years with its operating model and with the aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic, plus the battle against Swift was financially draining.

“They have defaulted and have been evicted from the property,” Fugal said of the park’s operators. “In the wake of these challenges, I am confidentially working with a new enterprise that will be unveiling exciting new plans.”

Fugal said the “dramatic improvements” from the new group will be unveiled in the weeks to come. He said there is “absolutely” a bright future ahead for the property’s “exciting new program.”

The Tortured Poet’s Department Update

Taylor Swift has released an impressive collection of studio albums throughout her career. Her debut album, simply titled Taylor Swift (2006), launched her country music stardom with hits like Tim McGraw and Teardrops on My Guitar. Albums like Fearless (2008) and Speak Now (2010) solidified her place in country music. Red (2012) marked a shift towards pop music, with hits like We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. She fully embraced pop with 1989 (2014), which became her biggest commercial success with songs like Shake It Off and Blank Space.

Taylor Swift onstage at The Eras Tour
Credit: Taylor Swift, Youtube

Experimentation continued with Reputation (2017), a darker pop album with hits like Look What You Made Me Do. In 2020, she surprised fans with Folklore and its companion album Evermore, both featuring an indie-folk sound with hits like Cardigan and Willow. A return to pop came with Midnights (2022), featuring hits like Anti-Hero.

As of April 19th, Taylor will have debuted her latest release, The Tortured Poets Department.

Clocking in at 16 songs, the album boasts collaborations with Post Malone on Fortnight and Florence + The Machine on Florida!!!. It comes in a standard edition with 16 tracks, while three vinyl variants offer exclusive bonus tracks: The Bolter, The Albatross, and The Black Dog.

During an Eras Tour concert in Melbourne in February, Swift emphasized the significance of this album to her, expressing that Tortured Poets is a project that she felt compelled to create more than any other album she has ever made.

“It was really a lifeline for me. Just the things I was going through, the things I was writing about it was like, it kind of reminded me why songwriting is something that actually gets me through my life,” video footage posted to social media from the concert showed. “I’ve never had an album where I needed songwriting more than I needed it on Tortured Poets.”

You can watch the footage below.

@hollercountry

Taylor Swift has teased a brand new song ‘The Bolter’ on the first night of the Eras Tour in Melbourne!! The megastar went live on Instagram for the announcement, but in true Taylor style, the video ended before she started to sing. 🥲

♬ original sound – Holler

The Eras Tour (Taylor’s Version) is now available to stream on Disney+.

Do you think Taylor Swift was in the wrong? Or the now-shuttered Evermore theme park? 

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