Lady Gaga's Belfast trip
She sings about the paparazzi and the pitfalls of being famous. But pop superstar Lady Gaga managed to outsmart most of the Press during her four-day visit to Belfast, with a blanket of secrecy surrounding her whereabouts and a series of decoys and false leads.
While her entourage, including production staff, musicians and dancers, were staying at the Hilton Hotel, there were rumours and counter-rumours that the singer herself was holed up elsewhere.
One source, who did not wish to be named, said: “On Sunday afternoon I saw Lady Gaga’s guitarist, whom I recognised from being on stage with her, outside St George’s Market, with a woman wearing large sunglasses and a red, curly wig.
“I got a really good look at her and I am pretty sure it was Lady Gaga and they came from the direction of the Hilton.”
However a number of Gaga lookalikes in a variety of disguises were spotted out and about over the weekend, including tribute artist Donna Marie Trego, as revealed by the Belfast Telegraph yesterday.
Lady Gaga’s guitarist, New York-born Kareem ‘Jesus’ Devlin, confirmed her entourage was staying at the Hilton Hotel but was tight-lipped about Lady Gaga’s own whereabouts.
Speaking near the Hilton yesterday, Kareem admitted that he had visited St George’s Market on Sunday, where he bought “a lot of food”, but said the singer had not been with him.
He did say that the pop star and her crew were enjoying Belfast though.
One place Lady Gaga definitely did visit was the Box nightclub on Saturday, after her first of three Odyssey Arena shows.
Dressed as Cruella De Vil for Halloween, in a two-tone wig, full-length fur coat, splattered in fake blood and brandishing a replica gun, the singer arrived at the club around midnight.
A VIP room and part of the public bar was sealed off for her entourage, which numbered around 90 people.
A spokesman for the Box said: “She came in with a very big crowd and sat in a private booth in the VIP room.
“She then carried out some type of mock awards ceremony and there was a lot of laughing and partying going on. Although Lady Gaga only ordered sparkling water herself.”
The singer left around 2am and was spotted getting into a car with a Dublin registration, prompting speculation that she may have actually kept her luxury suite in the Four Seasons hotel in the city and travelled up to Belfast for the shows.
As a Halloween treat for her crew, the popstar requested boxes of American sweets from Belfast shop Sawers.
Kieran Sloan of Sawers said: “A guy from her entourage came round to the shop and asked for a selection of candy, including Twizzlers, Butterfingers, Tootsie Rolls, Reese’s Whipps, Baby Ruths and Marshmallow Fluffs.
“I was told that Lady Gaga wanted the sweets as treats for her entourage.”
Local milliner Grainne Maher made the singer her own special Halloween memento — a silver headpiece with loops of wire and large Swarovski crystal beads.
“I designed it specifically for her,” she said.
“I’ve no idea if she’s got it yet but I really hope she likes it. It’s a memento of her time in Belfast.”