Everything we know about the mysterious Taylor Swift QR code mural in Chicago

Everything we know about the mysterious Taylor Swift QR code mural in Chicago

A large mural containing a giant QR code has popped on the side of a building in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.

For Taylor Swift fans, it’s a giant puzzle.

“I think it’s going to be Easter eggs for a music video that’s coming out,” said Whitney Hansen, who came to watch the mural being painted Tuesday afternoon. “I think she’s going to release a music video at like 3 a.m. Friday.”

 

 

Hansen and other Swift fans say the mural, which began to come together Monday, contains clues about her upcoming album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” which comes out Friday. It’s filled with the letters “TTPD,” and the number 13 — clues TODAY.com describes as “telltale signs” that the mural and QR code are meant for Swifties.

 

 

Everything we know about the mysterious Taylor Swift QR code mural in Chicago

“We’ve got the three ‘TTPDs,’ followed by four ’13’s,’ said Dani Filip Bermudez, another Swift fan who came to see and hopefully decode the message. “If you do Taylor math, you add up the threes and ones, and you get 16, which is today’s date. But I’m still waiting for more.”

 

 

Later Tuesday night, the singer released a cryptic video on her Instagram page, titled “TTPD Timetable.” The video shows clocks pointed at 2 p.m., typewriters inside an office labeled “The Tortured Poets Department,” and a corkboard pointing to Friday as the album’s release day. The corkboard also shows the number 14 through tally marks.

 

 

While crews worked to finish the mural Tuesday, about a dozen people were lined up to try and scan the QR code — but a large construction lift had blocked the view. According to TODAY.com, the QR code leads to a YouTube short on Taylor Swift’s page with the message “Error 321.”

Everything we know about the mysterious Taylor Swift QR code mural in Chicago

A similar note appeared on Swift’s website in February, hours before she had announced “The Tortured Poet’s Department” at the 2024 Grammy Awards. It read:

 

 

“Error 321 Backend fetch failed

Backend fetch failed

hneriergrd

DPT: 321

Varnish cache server”

The jumbled “hneriergrd” turned out to be an anagram for “red herring.” And “DPT: 321,” read backward, hinted at the new album’s title, “The Tortured Poets Department.”

 

 

Dressed in a white and grey Taylor Swift sweatshirt, Kristen Blevins on Tuesday stood on the sidewalk in front of the mural at 25 W. Grand Avenue, working to decode what the new message could mean, and its connection to the prior puzzle.

Everything we know about the mysterious Taylor Swift QR code mural in Chicago

“It’s a really good secret that she’s kept,” Blevins said. “The red herring is something that like, confuses you or distracts you. I think this could be the conclusion of that.”

For now, Swifties will have to wait.

“It’s not finished yet,” said Vanessa Filip Bermudez who had been waiting for upwards of an hour for the mural to be completed. “There could be more once it’s completely finished. I think we’re just kind of waiting to see.”

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