NZ prepares for Bieber fever

By Vaimoana Tapaleao

Auckland Airport will put on extra security when teen pop sensation Justin Bieber arrives this week, after scenes of mass hysteria in Sydney yesterday.

Thousands of mostly young girls turned out at Circular Quay on Sydney Harbour to see the 16-year-old Canadian pop star perform in the morning.

Many had camped outside the area overnight, hoping to get a front-row view of the singer.

But police were forced to cancel the free performance - Bieber's only public show in Australia - after rumours spread that he had arrived early, causing a crowd surge at around 2am.

Several fans were crushed and trampled.

About 10 girls fainted and had to be treated for minor injuries by paramedics at the site.

Justin Bieber fever has shot around the world after he was discovered on YouTube, playing on his guitar.

His hits include Eenie Meenie, with Sean Kingston, and Baby, featuring Ludacris - both of which feature on the Official New Zealand Music Chart's Top 40 songs this week, the latter having been there for several weeks.

Bieber will arrive in New Zealand tomorrow, staying for just a day, to perform at Academic Colleges Group's Strathallan School, in Papakura.

But given the young singer's huge popularity - particularly among teenage girls - and yesterday's incident, Auckland Airport has increased its security.

And his record label, Universal Music New Zealand, is keeping his arrival time secret.

An airport spokesman said: "We are meeting with police and other airport security tomorrow morning to discuss the issue."

Meanwhile, another Auckland high school has had to go for damage control, after rumours spread that Bieber had been expected to perform there but that the principal had refused to allow the show.

Several students at Diocesan School for Girls in Epsom became upset when texts circulated that the college had won a radio competition to have the singer perform at their school, but that senior management had decided otherwise.

Principal Heather McRae said the rumours were in no way true.

- NZ Herald

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