One Direction mania sweeps Belfast as devoted fans brave the bitter cold for hottest tickets in town
It's all for the love of Harry, Niall, Zayn, Liam and Louis. Yes, those One Direction boys are coming to Belfast again next year and they are the hottest ticket in town.
It will be the second performance for the former X Factor contestants who went on to conquer the pop world.
One Direction played in the Odyssey last year, and with the band's hit Steal My Girl from their latest album Four doing so well, their popularity could not be higher. Parents all over the province have already started to bow to pester power and are doing all they can to get tickets for two concerts on October 20 and 21, 2015.
The tickets are expected to move in record time once they go on sale tomorrow at 9am, inevitably leaving as many teenage fans dejected as will be delighted.
Yesterday, queues were already forming as devoted mums and dads and some teenagers set up camp at the Ticketmaster outlet at DV8 in Castle Place, the Odyssey box office and Creightons Garage on the Lisburn Road in Belfast.
While the queuing had already started in the city, concert promoter Aiken's was "actively discouraging" people queuing outside the 17 ticket outlets throughout Northern Ireland, warning there was "adverse weather expected".
Last night a spokeswoman added: "No queuing permitted until 7am on Saturday, December 6 will minimise the disruption to residents and retailers in the run-up to Christmas."
She warned people to be cautious in trying to buy tickets on Saturday from sources other than Ticketmaster online and its outlets, and the Odyssey Arena box office.
She said: "Worryingly, unofficial websites are already offering tickets for sale and we urge people not to purchase their tickets from any unofficial outlets, as the tickets will not be valid."
A spokesman for Ticketmaster yesterday outlined the procedure for ticket allocation. He said: "There are no specific numbers allocated to outlets. All tickets are drawn at the same time from a central pool on a first come, first served basis by the outlets, Ticketmaster website and call centre."
For many of the parents who were queuing, the tickets - which are priced at £70, £52.50 and £43.50 - will be part of their children's Christmas presents for this year. There were six women and three children in the queue outside DV8 yesterday lunchtime, and they were soon to be joined by a man in his work clothes, who said he had several people outside other ticket outlets in Belfast and Londonderry in order to maximise his chances of getting tickets for his five daughters. There are ticket restrictions in place - there's a maximum of six per purchase, under 14s should be accompanied by an over 18 parent/guardian, and the standing area is over 14s only.