“I’ve been here since Saturday”: Fans have camped out all bank holiday weekend for Louis Tomlinson


Fans of Louis Tomlinson have been camped out in Ardwick all weekend to be at the front of his show tonight in Manchester. The show, at the O2 Apollo this evening, has been rescheduled four times due to the pandemic.

Eager fans have spent thousands of pounds and now their bank holiday weekends in the car park in tents, preparing to be the first in and at the barriers for when the star, from Doncaster, takes to the stage.

Katie Little, 24 from Carlisle has been camped out since yesterday morning (Monday 18). She told the Manchester Evening News about why she has chosen to camp in a car park in Ardwick, saying: “It’s the pressure, you hear about everyone coming so you have to get here and you make friends.”

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Despite booking a hotel near Piccadilly for both last night and tonight, Katie and her friends decided to camp yesterday to make sure they would be at the front of the show today.

“We had a hotel near Piccadilly and haven’t used it, Argos was selling tents for £20 and it was actually quite warm up until two or three in the morning.”



Katie Little, 24, has camped over night in a £20 Argos tent to see the star

Katie explained that the campers had been assigned a wristband to wear, organized by other fans so that they keep their space in the queue if they need to leave to use facilities or grab food. She was number 72 in the queue.

Meanwhile, Angie Dolezal, 24 from Cologne in Germany was 45th in the queue and has followed Louis Tomlinson’s tour around Europe, having already seen seven shows.

She explained why: “We’ve come from Germany, so far seeing seven shows on this tour, this will be the eighth.

“We’ve camped in Berlin, Paris and Zurich.

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“Sometimes being in front is more enjoyable, sometimes it isn’t. In Antwerp I was at the back and it was great, but seeing Louis upfront hits differently.

“We have an AirBnB for tonight and next we have London and Doncaster. I might camp in London but if there’s already 100 people, I won’t.

“Most of the tickets I get through resale on Twitter, but you have to be careful on Twitter because of scammers. See Tickets is good too because they refund you if it’s fake.



The camp in a car park outside the o2 Apollo in Manchester where fans have been camping since Saturday to see Louis Tomlinson
The camp in a car park outside the o2 Apollo in Manchester where fans have been camping since Saturday to see Louis Tomlinson

When asked how much money she has spent on this tour she said: “I try not to think about it, literally just tickets, flights, hotels is 2k. Tickets alone will be £1,000.”

By the end of the summer, Angie will have been to 15 Louis Tomlinson shows having seen him on tour 11 times and gone to four summer shows in Europe.

However, it isn’t just Louis Tomlinson who the fans are there to see. Angie explained that she also has tickets to nine concerts of his support act from him: Only the Poets.

Angie’s friend, Fiona Bennett, 22 from Hanover in Germany, is missing university to continue to follow the tour and to see Harry Styles on his Love On Tour tour which begins in June.

She said: “I’m doing four shows for Harry and that cost as much as I paid for all of my Louis tickets.”

She went on to explain how camping in Manchester was much better than in mainland Europe as they were allowed to have a tent and there was a car park to use. In other countries, they had slept on the street in sleeping bags in the rain.

“This is nice compared to mainland Europe because they don’t allow tents on the street so you’re just on the street.”

Despite having traveled all over Europe, neither Angie or Fiona had seen much of the cities they had visited.

Angie summed up the experience by saying: “I saw a lot of Paris because I didn’t queue, but we’ve traveled all over Europe through parking lots.

“Sometimes I question my sanity, why am I doing this for a man!”

Sarah Jimenez, 23 from Paris, has been camping since Saturday afternoon and is fifth in the queue. She has tickets for both tonight’s show and tomorrows, but says she will not camp tomorrow and instead enjoy the show from the back.



Sarah Jimenez, 23 from Paris is fifth in the queue having camped out since Saturday
Sarah Jimenez, 23 from Paris is fifth in the queue having camped out since Saturday

“We waited two years for this tour. It’s Louis’ first solo tour, it’s special. We’re not queuing tomorrow, we’ll be at the back of the pit and having fun.

“I’m doing nine shows in total, so I went to Amsterdam, Oslo, Cologne, the two Paris shows, and then I will do the two Manchester shows, London and Doncaster.”

Despite a chilly night in the car park, Sarah maintains that it’s been a good weekend. She said: “It’s been cold and wet, but the security has been so nice, just so nice to us. We camped in Oslo and they didn’t f***ing care.

“It was illegal to have a tent in Oslo, it was so very, very cold.”

Similar to Angie, Sarah thinks she has spent around £2,000 (euros) on following the tour but said: “We have saved for years for this. The pandemic meant I could save more. If I had more money, I would do more.”

Saf Cengiz, 19 from Cheshire, is fan number one. She has been camping since 6am on Saturday 16 and spent hours alone in the car park before any other fans arrived.



Saf Cengiz's sign for Louis Tomlinson.  She is first in the queue having been there since 6am on Saturday
Saf Cengiz’s sign for Louis Tomlinson. She is first in the queue having been there since 6am on Saturday

She is the fan who set up the wristband system and will be seeing Louis tomorrow night in Manchester as well before traveling to London and Doncaster for his hometown show.

She explained: “I was here for 10 hours before anyone else showed up. There were some creeps on the field and I’ve had about three hours sleep in four days.

“It’s not the first time I’ve done it. My first One Direction concert was in 2011 and I don’t know, I’ve camped for Harry Styles, I’ve camped for Louis. The obvious reason is to get to the barrier.

“I’ve been to Berlin, Cologne, Prague, Vienna, Amsterdam, Milan, and will do Manchester, London and Doncaster.”

Her efforts have been recognized and yesterday she was given a gift by a famous face. She said: “Yesterday, Jonny Vegas was paying here and he gave me £140 so I bought all my friends here breakfast.”

Molly Day, 24 traveled from Kent for this show and has been in the car park since 12 o’clock yesterday, Monday 18. She explained how being at a Louis Tomlinson show gives her a sense of community.



Molly Day with friends Abbie Pasrkes, Laura Matthews, Gina Loft and Vickie Viggers who have all met thanks to One Direction
Molly Day with friends Abbie Pasrkes, Laura Matthews, Gina Loft and Vickie Viggers who have all met thanks to One Direction

She said: “I’m very cold, I weirdly quite enjoy it. I’ve never camped overnight before but I’ve spent the day.

“Whenever I get here, I feel like it’s where I belong. Everyone is wearing the merch, it’s a community. You can leave your bag and it’s fine because there’s security.

“I’m going to London, I’m going to Doncaster, I’m going to the show of the support Only the Poets on April 24.

“For me, following tours like this, isn’t sustainable. I work and I can’t take all the time off. But, it’s like I grew up with [Louis]but not literally together.”

Kiylie Delail, 20, is from Toulouse in France and traveled over to Manchester, to camp, for her first ever concert.

She said: “I wasn’t supposed to eat. I just randomly found a ticket, someone on Twitter sent me it.

“I’ve always been a fan, since the X-Factor. I’m glad it’s Louis. He’s a very important person in my life, even though we’ve never met.”

Read more about music and nightlife:Bad weather, 30p tents and four-hour sets… the lost festival that “invaded” a Greater Manchester village

Read more about What’s On:Liam Gallagher to play one-off charity gig at Blackburn’s King George’s Hall




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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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