Hysteria at One Direction store opening

By By Justin McCabe of APNZ

One Direction fans at the pop-up merchandise store in Wellington. Photo / Justin McCabe
One Direction fans at the pop-up merchandise store in Wellington. Photo / Justin McCabe

The opening of a temporary One Direction merchandise store in Wellington this morning prompted hysteria as hundreds of teenage girls waited to get their hands on exclusive band merchandise ahead of this weekend's concert in the capital.

Girls sang, screamed and waited in desperate anticipation at the Courtney Place store to spend their pocket money on T-shirts, hoodies and handbags featuring the band's photos.

Shoppers at the Reading Centre on Courtney Place looked on in confusion as the hordes of teens, some of who had been queuing since the early hours, mobbed the shopping complex.

Store promoter Cassidy Meredith said the opening was an overwhelming success: "We were expecting a lot of people, but nothing like the numbers which showed up this morning."

The boy band launches its New Zealand tour with two shows in Auckland tomorrow before heading to Wellington for their final show on Sunday.

Lily McDougall, 14, said, "We've been here for hours, hopefully we can be the 100th customer and win double tickets to Saturday's show.

"We've been here since 5.45am; I can't wait to get in there. A hoodie is a must-have for the concert," said Hannah Digney.

Emma Burke, 14, was the lucky winner of the tickets and the envy of hundreds of girls.

She stood shaking as she answered questions from the media after collecting her tickets to Sunday's concert.

"I'm totally speechless; it's like the best thing that's ever happened to me. I've never won anything before. I tried to get tickets when they went on sale, but they sold out so quickly," said Burke.

Burke will be taking her twin sister with her to the concert, much to the envy of her ticketless friends.

Mark Jurgeleit, father of 12-year-old Laura said his daughter's obsession has reached a record high.

"It's most she's ever been obsessed about anything. She's managed to clean me and our house out of any coins so she can pick up some merchandise."

Mr Jurgeleit says he hopes this is just a phase and her daughter would "get over it soon".

But it doesn't look like parents of One Direction fans will get much respite. The band confirmed last week they would be returning to New Zealand for a full tour in 2013.

- APNZ

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