Singing floods the ears as fans, filled with excited anticipation start up a frantic chant, urging their favourite stars to make their long awaited way to the stage. Anticipation is running like a rapid flowing stream through their veins, flooding their brains with expectation. Moving very slightly along, outside the queue is making steady progress, further prompting screams of elation and then almost immediately a sense of disappointment as the movement proves barely significant. Clicking of fingers on phones digits can be heard by those in close proximity as fans try to capture their feeling on camera or text.
Nearby, car fumes fill the nostrils as more and more people arrive; it seems impossible the venue could hold so many people. Friends and now ‘queue neighbours’ chatter incoherently to each other, relating tales of the past concerts, the amazement, the fun and the unique nature of each event. Unusually, fans make friends with those closest around them, even though they find it hard to hear each other over the singing and screaming of the fans lucky enough to be already inside. The familiar jingling of charity buckets jolts the ears, along with the pleading voices of those supporting their various causes.
Finally reaching the front of the queue, a young girl finds her heart beating faster, her palms become sweaty and butterflies flutter within her stomach as she anticipates seeing her idols on stage. She smiles warmly at the ticket man, whose face looks worn out and disinterested; he seen it all before, the excited fans, the eager faces, the mess they leave at the end! Trying to muster up the strength to deal with the over excited girls flooding the stadium, he takes a deep breath and nods as he holds out his hand. From her sweaty palm a slightly crumpled ticket appears, slipping it from one hand to another, checking it’s the right one, she reluctantly releases her grip. When the beep of the scanner has filled her ears, she hastily scurries through the barrier to find her seat, knowing that her at least the wait is over and she can enjoy the atmosphere.
Walking through the doors, female fans of all ages try to calm their racing hearts, they’ve waited to see the band for so long that it seems unreal now they are actually here; once just a small town band from Australia, the group are now so popular that being able to buy a ticket at all is an achievement in itself. Looking around at the red carpet inviting everyone in, each of the fans feels special; each is hoping to be the one to receive the all important nod or wave of acknowledgement from their heroes.
Despite the glamour of the surroundings, the stage set and the newly painted decor, fans are reminded of the size and scale of the event by a less savoury odour. Over used toilets to their right, emit a stale smell each time the door is left ajar for the next visitor, keen to avoid having to make a break during the concert itself. Groups of fans to their left begin to form yet another long queue, it will become a familiar picture throughout the night.
In front of the seated fans is a door leading to the stage, the stage where their idols will soon be performing. Through the door, the contrast between the two sides is extreme; one side is bright and light, illuminating the corridor around it, the other is filled with smoke; the other is dark and lit simply by strobe lights to create a mysterious and exhilarating atmosphere. Stairs to the balconies are visible on the left and right, where once again queues are pushing forward, eager to be seated before the concert begins; between them both is a small seating area beside the bar where mothers of the excited girls are gathered to discuss the trauma they’ve had getting their teenagers ready in time. Already filled with drunken elders, the bar seems a popular venue away from the screaming fans inside the hall.
In front of the stage are the remnants of an old dance floor with springs fitted underneath, presumably positioned so that when all the fans jump together they bounce with the floor, causing minimal damage. Groups of teenagers make their way to the merchandise stand at the back of the room, snatching over used purses from their handbags ready to secure the purchase of tacky, overpriced souvenirs. The smells of excessive perfume, the sight of heavily made up teens and the voices of excited desperation provide everyone with a feeling of freedom and familiarity within the chaos. After buying their merchandise the satisfied group of girls make their way to the floor in front of the stage, getting as close as they can before the opening song begins.
Time seems to tick by in slow motion as the now irritable fans push each other from the sides and the back as latecomers try to force their way closer to the stage To see the band up close, to feel them within a breath away and to get them to notice an individual is everyone’s dream; they push back the latecomers, determined not to lose their own advantage. A disco ball swings slowly in the middle of the room in a hypnotic manner, like a grandfather clock marking the passing of time. People try to reach the cold barrier before them, eager to check they are still within hands reach. The stage seems gigantic from where they are situated, looming over them. The drums are positioned in the centre of the stage with three microphones before it. Finally, the lights go down, screams fill the venue in deafening proportions as. The sound of approaching feet can be heard padding on the floor of the stage. The lights start up again, strobes lighting up the stage. Finally the moment has come.