ONE Direction-mania has hit South Yorkshire with theatre bosses gearing up for crowds of screaming girls queuing for tickets to see the X Factor band’s debut tour at Sheffield City Hall.
Tickets don’t go on sale until tomorrow at 10am – but despite warnings not to queue or camp overnight the venue is expecting hysteria not seen since the Beatles.
The 2,271-seat venue is set to sell out in just minutes with fans wanting to see the first live tour featuring Doncaster’s Louis Tomlinson and his bandmates Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik and Liam Payne.
City Hall management have issued a statement asking fans not to camp out because they cannot guarantee their safety overnight in the busy city centre, or provide toilet facilities.
They also stress that under-14s must be accompanied by an adult to buy tickets and to see the show, which arrives on Friday, January 20.
Johannah Tomlinson, mum of Doncaster band member Louis, today joined calls for fans to queue safely and take adults with them.
“It’s all part of the experience, but young fans should take a parent or adult with them and be safe,’’ she told The Star.
“The demand for tickets is incredible. All 9,500 Priority tickets for the O2 Dublin sold out this week in two minutes. And fans flew in from Portugal to their book signing in London. The fan support is amazing.
“They plan to do an arena tour. They are playing smaller venues first as they learn their craft.”
A Sheffield City Hall spokeswoman said: “It’s going crazy here with enquiries about One Direction. I think it will sell out in no time and we are expecting a queue and loads of people have been asking about camping.
“We’re not banning it as such – nobody will be forcibly removed – but we’re certainly not encouraging it. So if people decide to camp they do so at their own risk.
“We can’t really advertise a suitable time for people to queue from as whatever we say people will turn up earlier than this anyway, however the tickets go on sale from 10am and our box office will be open as normal from 9.30am.
“Following previous incidents that have occurred whilst customers have queued overnight, we owe a duty of care to anyone who decides to queue on our land and unfortunately we are not in a position to fulfil this obligation.
“ We are unable to provide security and staff to monitor the queue in order to ensure safety. Further to this, the area isn’t suitable for people camping due to the location and the close proximity to clubs, pubs and bars. We also have no services available such as toilet and wash facilities for the customers overnight.
“We are fully aware that for some fans queuing to buy tickets is part of the fan experience. We are not trying to prevent this, but simply place manageable parameters to enable customers to be able to purchase tickets safely.”
Louis and his bandmates attracted the attention of thousands of screaming teenagers when the band played on the X Factor Live tour at Sheffield Arena earlier this year.
Their debut single, What Makes You Beautiful, shot to number one on iTunes within 15 minutes of being released and achieved the biggest week one sales of 2011, selling 153,965 copies.
Their second book, Dare to Dream, also instantly rocketed to number one this week.
The band performing songs from their debut album, to be released this November, plus covers.
n Tickets, priced £27.50 & £19.50 – under 14s must be accompanied by an adult – will be available from Saturday at 10am.
For the Sheffield concert buy in person from the Sheffield City Hall Box Office, call 01142 789789, visit sheffieldcityhall.co.uk or arenaticketshop.co.uk, Full details onedirectionmusic.com