On the road again: One Direction concert diary

By now everyone knows that the One Direction fandom basically runs Twitter. So with One Direction hitting the road again for the next leg of their OTRA (On the Road Again) tour, I thought it’d be a good idea to share my experience at the Dubai show to enlighten those who haven’t been to a One Direction concert yet, or are attending one for the first time. From long lines to being squished several times and screaming your lungs out, this is your guide to a One Direction gig.

Tickets went on sale almost a year in advance – 326 days to be precise. My mum and I were planning a holiday to Dubai, which was the only reason I got to attend the show. Basically, I was going to attend a show in a different country, all by myself. I had considered those factors but the excitement of watching One Direction perform live in front of my eyes made me buy a ticket anyway.

However, to my relief I wouldn’t have to attend the show alone since I was added to a Twitter group with girls who were going alone as well. We planned to reach the venue (which was very inconveniently an hour away from the city) at around 1pm. I might add here that the gates did not open until 4pm and the actual show did not begin until 8pm. From what I was told, people had been lining up since 7am and they would’ve camped out if they were allowed. I would’ve been a part of that group, but since I don’t live there I wasn’t allowed to go any earlier.

So there I was in scorching Dubai heat, awaiting the arrival of my online friends. I couldn’t even call them since I’d lost my voice. Yes, I lost my voice BEFORE the concert. When my voice decided to return and I still couldn’t find any of them, I tagged along with some other girls who were in line with me. I even encountered one of my Twitter mates, but we didn’t exactly recognise each other.

Finally it was 4pm and we were let inside. We managed to find a pretty decent spot, although we couldn’t keep it for the rest of the night. During these four hours of waiting, I witnessed a fight among people who scored spots in the first row, about fifteen girls falling unconscious due to dehydration, and constant advertisements on the screens, with a couple of music videos shoved inbetween. All this coupled with a virtually empty stomach was not a very desirable combination.

Worth the wait

Come 8pm I was already exhausted. Any moment now, I thought. I was wrong. The boys did not come out until 9pm. Since the crowd was getting restless, they got out a DJ to keep people busy, but that didn’t help.

FINALLY, at around 9pm, the show began. There was almost a stampede. Every single person in the stadium seemed so obnoxious, to the point I almost wanted to leave. It was a tedious task to even stand straight since people were pushing from every direction that I felt sick. Once they began singing I realised the time and money I had invested in being there, and also my love for the boys. I was a part of this crazy crowd with rapturous joy. The entire concert was a debate between enjoying the show and recording it, while attempting to balance and simply be able to stand up straight.

After an hour or so they halted the show because a barrier broke. That was when I felt the pain in my legs and had to sit down. Luckily, the security kept passing out (well, throwing, to be honest) tiny watter bottles into the crowd, else I wouldn’t have survived the entire show. 45 minutes later, the show began again and we danced all night to the Best Song Ever.

A few highlights – Harry tied his hair into the signature man-bun later in the show. Someone threw a hamburger at Liam, he took a bite and threw it back and I might have touched it (gross, but worth it). My hearing was weak for a couple of days following the show.

If you’re planning to attend a One Direction concert, here’s what you ought to know:

  1. Save up in advance because getting decent tickets are anything but affordable. Take travelling costs into consideration too.
  2. Waterproof Makeup. You might (aka certainly will) shed some tears.
  3. Water is your lifesaver. Dehydration will be your worst enemy while waiting in line and throughout the show. Pack at least two large bottles. Pack some snacks too, since you might lose your spot if you try to buy something at the venue, which also tends to be more expensive.
  4. Be patient. The lines will be long, the show might start late. But once it does, you’re going to have one of the best nights of your life. Just stay safe, and try not to push.
  5. PCD. Post Concert Depression. You won’t even realise what you just experienced. It will all seem surreal. When it does strike you, you’re going to get sad. Keep some ice-cream in handy.

Here’s some of the footage that I managed to record. Headphone users, you have been warned.

Are you a fan of One Direction? Have you been to one of their concerts? Let us know in the comments below!