Fans seize one and only R7?800 chance to see 1D

2015-04-05 15:00

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Indulgent mothers shelled out at least R7?800 for a room at Cape Town’s five-star One&Only hotel this past week in the hope that their daughters might bump into British boy band One Direction.

“Somehow fans got wind that the band was staying at the One&Only. Especially loads of mothers actually booked in with their daughters,” a witness at the hotel, who did not want to be named, told City Press.

“There’s been crowds of kids and parents at the breakfast buffet and at high tea, and girls sitting waiting in the lobby,” the source added.

The band arrived at the hotel on Monday following two sold-out shows in Joburg. They are believed to have reserved the hotel’s Table Mountain suite (at R54?100 a night) and Marina Grand suite (at R19?400 a night) on the fifth floor. The price includes daily fruit baskets, a 24-hour butler and a luggage unpacking service.

On Wednesday, hours before Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson hit the nearby Cape Town Stadium, the hotel’s plush lobby and high tea areas were packed with teenage girls. At least 10 sturdy plain clothes bodyguards looked on warily.

Fans were left disappointed, however, as the stars kept to their suites. They ate breakfast in their rooms, from where they took an elevator to the basement parking lot.

Hotel spokesperson Ian Manley refused to confirm that the band was staying there, saying it was strict policy not to divulge details of guests.

But the source said the frenzy that erupted among “Directioners” this week was worse than when heart-throb Justin Bieber had stayed there in 2013. “This is like Bieber fever times four,” the source told City Press.

But while the Bieb requested that local concert organisers have both a Rolls-Royce and a Porsche at his disposal between concerts, One Direction was ferried around in a white Mercedes van with tinted windows.

The band is now only four members strong after Zayne Malik announced he was quitting days before their Joburg concerts last weekend.

Big Concerts CEO Attie van Wyk said One Direction’s concerts had sold out faster than anything he had seen before.

According to the band’s tour rider – which includes their backstage whims, production specs, a 40-page security plan and a 23-page risk assessment report – the singers wanted a Ping-Pong table backstage and also desserts, including fruit tarts, cobblers and ice cream.

Meanwhile, Mayor of Cape Town Patricia de Lille was the envy of girls the world over when she got to meet the band. “One Direction is a real phenomenon. I admire how they have been able to grow and attract such a massive fan base, so I asked for an opportunity to greet and welcome them to our city,” De Lille told City Press.

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