School's out as pupils desert desks to see pop idols One Direction
The One Direction fans who admitted pulling 'sickies' from school yesterday were certainly left sickened after queuing for hours to see the concert that never was.
Thousands of seats left empty when the world's biggest boyband should have been wowing the crowds at the Belfast venue were accompanied by hundreds of empty desks across Northern Ireland as students skipped their studies to brave the cold and bag a front-row vantage point.
Fans, who had waited for a year-and-a-half to see the eagerly-anticipated On The Road Again gig, were left devastated by the last-minute cancellation from Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan.
While some young pupils admitted to feigning illness at school, others got the thumbs up from teachers and parents to ditch classes for a day to get closer to the stage.
Fans - and their parents -had splashed out hundreds of pounds each to see the boys belt out their hits. One lucky teen had even planned to attend all three concerts this week - at a cost of £270.
'Directioners' were full of excitement and came armed with posters, banners and memorabilia - all in a bid to get the foursome's attention before they go their separate ways in March after the release of their fifth studio album.
Among the first in the long queue was Amy Magee (16) from Belfast, who had hoped to attend two of the three shows at a cost of £100.
The Belfast Metropolitan College student, who took a day off from her studies, camped out on Monday night with a group of friends.
Pal Eadaoin Rice (16) who attends St Louise's College in the city, was another to ditch the desk for the boyband.
"My teacher said she couldn't believe I was leaving for One Direction but I told her I had to," she joked.
Eve Hughes (16) whose dad splashed out a massive £270 on tickets for the three nights, including a VIP seat this evening, was among the hundreds of fans in line to see their idols.
Two diehard fans travelled from Amsterdam to see the four-piece band in action. Milou Hegeman and Athene Siliakuls (both 16) spent approximately £600 on travel, accommodation and tickets for the concert. The pair camped out on Monday night to secure their coveted spot near the front of the line.
Emma Simpson, a 15-year-old schoolgirl from Londonderry, took time out from her GCSEs and joined friends Amy Bond (15) and Megan Cooling, (16) in the long queue.
The three Foyle College students spent a total of £240 on tickets and likewise deserted their GCSE classes to get the best view of the band.
Mother and daughter, Certin Valeire and Anes Dupuy (16) travelled from their home in Paris for the concert yesterday morning. The pair spent a total of £500 on tickets, accommodation and travel.