August 22, 2013


Meet One Direction's No. 1 Fan

Ariel LeBeau for Fuse
Ariel LeBeau for Fuse

One Direction fans are a special breed. Thanks to the Internet, specifically Twitter, fans from all over the world can log on and find out where Harry, Zayn, Louis, Liam and Niall are at any given moment. The phenomenon is so huge that not only do the boys have their own documentary, This Is Us, about to hit theatres, but British television station Channel 4 recently released another documentary specifically about the fans, Crazy About One Direction, which highlights the extremely obsessed and the lengths they'll go to for a chance to get close to 1D.

One of their crazier stunts? Sleeping on the street.

One Direction are scheduled to perform on the Today show Friday morning on the plaza at Rockefeller Center in New York City. To nab a prime spot in the audience, fans will have to arrive early. Days early. 

The line of fans outside 30 Rock started to form late Tuesday night, and by the next afternoon, about 150 were hanging out on sleeping bags and camping chairs inside bullpen-like barricades in the middle of 48th street. Most were chatting, eating or tweeting, and all were ecstatic to be there. 

We trekked down to the line to see the mania in person and met Crystal Pineda (above), a 14-year-old from Queens who was the very first fan in line. Crystal was there with her friend, Daisy Monegro, also 14, and their mothers (so Crystal and Daisy better grow up and buy them really nice Mother's Day gifts for the rest of their lives).

Ariel LeBeau for Fuse
Ariel LeBeau for Fuse

Crystal told us all about scoring the first spot in line, passing time waiting for 1D and whether or not being homeless for a few days is worth the chance to see her favorite 1D member (Harry!) up close and personal in real life.

What time did you get here?
Tuesday at 4 P.M.

So you slept here, on the street? 
Yeah. First we slept across the street in front of the hotel [on the sidewalk] because we weren't allowed to be here [on the street], but now they moved us [into the barricades on 48th street].

Are there security guards keeping an eye on you guys overnight?
Yesterday [Tuesday night] there weren't any, but I think there will be tonight because there are more people.

When did other fans start showing up? 
The middle of the night on Tuesday. By the morning, the line was already around the block. 

How do the bathroom breaks work?
There's a public bathroom here [in the building on 48th Street] and we take turns. Our moms watch our stuff and we go do whatever we need to do. And vice versa.

Are you showering?
Right now, not really. But we do get cleaned up in the bathroom.

When do you eat?
Whenever we need to. There are stores all around here and we can just buy stuff. We also brought snacks. Chips, drinks, water...

So what are you doing during the day while you wait? 
We mostly go on Twitter to see what [One Direction] are doing, where they are and when they're coming.

And when are they coming?
Right now we're not so sure but we think Thursday.

So on Twitter, are there specific users you follow or hashtags you use that provide details on their whereabouts?
We use update accounts. Update accounts are run by people who know where they are. Like when fans who see them leave the This Is Us premiere in London, they'll tweet about it.

So you guys will know when they land, what hotel they're staying at and when they're coming here?

Do you ever feel like you know too much? Knowing every single thing about where they are?Sometimes it's an invasion of their privacy. But sometimes we do need to know in order to be ready and get to them. 

What's an invasion of privacy?
Knowing where they are at all times. Maybe they're not comfortable with it.

So you don't think it's right but you do it anyway?
[Laughing] Yeah!

Does this first spot in line guarantee that you'll be right at the front for their performance?
Hopefully. They're going to give out the bracelets [with designated numbers] tomorrow, so once we have those we'll be able to walk around a little bit more.

What are you going to do with your chairs and sleeping bags when you're watching the concert?
My uncle is going to pick it up.

Did you make signs?No. I really just want to meet them. I've seen them before, but not up close like this. And it's all gonna pay off!

So sleeping on the street for One Direction is worth it?