As New York and the world prepares for Justin Bieber to take the stage at Today Friday morning, the most dedicated of Beliebers are already camping out in hopes of earning a great spot in the crowd. Popdust recruits Katie Brown and Jessica Alexander are your official Bieber soldiers on the scene, sleeping on 48th Street and documenting all of the crazy that comes with waiting for The Bieb amidst fellow fans, and the less than supportive office drones who are just trying to get a cup of coffee.
Friday, June 15, 2012
12:34 a.m. Woke up out of a dead sleep to find a mom and four cops kicking some girls out of our barricade that tried to sneak in.
3:39 a.m. A police presence has arrived. Fans in our barricade are standing in a line already. We aren't supposed to move until at least 5 a.m. There are lots of cranky Beliebers as people still are trying to figure out a way to cut the line.
5:22 a.m. There is a sound check for the band going on, no sign of Justin Bieber, and yes, I'm still in line.
5:53 a.m. My view from my standing position. I can still see, but they gave out so many VIPs, it's crazy.
5:58 a.m. Two and a half hours to go until he hits the stage. These lights are BLINDING! Kids are jumping the barricades already to get closer.
6:23 a.m. Two-hour countdown! I'm having to stand on my back pack to be able to see!
6:16 a.m. DJ Tay James warming up the crowd.
6:24 a.m. DJ plays "Baby." Pandemonium!!!
7:02 a.m. This is ridiculous, to be honest. I could not be more annoyed with the organization of the crowd. This is the craziest things I have ever seen. Wow.
7:03 a.m. Today said Justin Bieber has two special guests coming this morning.
7:12 a.m. We have a fainter!
7:16 a.m. People in line are now being greeted by Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun.
7:21 a.m. Scooter told one fan, "If you grabbed Justin like that he would be pissed."
7:32 a.m. First sight of tears.
7:34 a.m. Al Roker greeting fans!
8:03 a.m. Another crier spotted.
8:40 a.m. ["Boyfriend" just ended and] I got nothing. Too many kids get on shoulders, so I can barely see him myself. The little girl with the spinning Buzz Lightyear sign won two tickets to the Believe tour and gets to meet Justin. [Ed. note: On the air, Justin upped to ticket total to three so that the little girl, her dad and her mom could all go as a family. What a guy!]
8:51 a.m. Justin just brought out Big Sean for "As Long As You Love Me" and rapped along with him! Justin Bieber is adorable, I just can't get footage.
9:07 a.m. Justin's playing "Die In Your Arms" acoustically after the cameras stopped rolling. Special moment, but I still couldn't see.
9:19 a.m. The show's over. I camped for three days to feel like steerage from Titanic. Wish I had more coverage from the show for you guys, but I didn't even see the show. We drove over 700 miles, camped for two nights, and I couldn't even see the stage. Thanks, Today—you put all the hardcore fans in the back and let VIPs in the front!
Popdust pals Katie and Jessica are currently on their way home to North Carolina, but they didn't leave New York without sharing a few thoughts about everything they've been through over the last three days. The highlights? "Definitely meeting Scooter," the two said instantaneously, having snapped multiple pictures of The Bieb's amicable manager over the course of their stay. As for the biggest impediment to experiencing a Justin Bieber show live: "Kids on shoulders," Jessica told us. "We were screaming, 'One song. Put the kids down for one song so we can see him! We drove 700 miles and camped out for three days. One song.'" We caught up with the ladies for a post-show breakfast and quick debriefing. Looking back on the experience, here's their list of tips for those even considering a Today Summer Concert campout in the near future. (Kenny Chesney's next week! Interested? Let us know.)
STRETCH THOSE ACTING MUSCLES IF YOU WANT A FRONT-ROW SPOT
"People were pretending to be like, ill, and they'd get moved to the front," Katie said of those conspiring audience members standing around her. "And then we'd see them a minute later like all happy. It was infuriating."
BRUSH OFF THOSE SURVIVAL INSTINCTS
"I saw a girl drop a piece of food on the ground and just eat it," explained Jessica. "The girl said it was like the floor at home. And I was like, 'Yeah, if the floor at home had herpes.'"
MAKE DUE WITH LESS THAN LUXURIOUS ACCOMMODATIONS
"I woke up and my face was half on my 25-cent poncho, half on the sidewalk," Jessica said of her sleeping arrangements. "It's kind of like when you're left out in the wild, your standards go down," Katie explained. "[On] Day One, I'd wanna, like, wipe my hands, so I'd walk down to a deli and get some napkins, [but by] Day Two, we were picking up napkins off the street."
ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE ARTIST AND THE MUSIC
"You know what, I just came for the music, I was rocking out," Jessica said. "The music was awesome. We could hear everything. Big Sean? The sound was amazing," Katie added. "Check it off the bucket list. It's a good story for the grandkids."
Despite the pushing, numb feet and potty-mouth 12-year-olds, the two best friends still agree that seeing Justin Bieber perform was as good as it gets. "Once in a lifetime," Katie said. We're guessing that means being within 50 feet of Bieber and choosing to go three days without showering.