The excitement and enthusiasm is rising with every passing minute at the DY Patil Stadium here as ‘Beliebers’ — fans of Justin Bieber — from different parts of India have congregated here to witness his maiden gig in the country.
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There are fans dressed in black T-shirts with ‘BELIEBER’ written across them, and those flaunting tees with his photographs and even others with hoardings that read “We love you Bieber” and “Meri jaan” at the venue, where DJ Sartek and DJ Zaeden set the ball rolling in the run-up to the final act.
Norwegian DJ Alan Walker will also take the stage. Bieber will finally hit the stage with his team of dancers to regale the Indian crowd.
While fans started lining up for the concert from Wednesday morning, Bieber, who arrived in the country early in the day, went around the city.
A string of videos available on social media show how Bieber has been getting a taste of his fandom on the streets. He also seems to have met a group of underprivileged children and shook hands with them ahead of his much-hyped performance.
Dressed casually in a T-shirt and a pair of shorts, Bieber, who has been given top-notch security, seems relaxed and happy to greet his fans who have been tracking his moves since he landed in Mumbai for the Jio Justin Bieber Purpose World Tour.
At the venue, “Harry Potter” actress Elarica Johnson who is hosting the gig, arrived on stage and told the crowd: “I love your country and you wonderful people here! We are gonna give the warmest welcome to Justin Bieber.”
And the crowd is cheering on.
Delhi-based Vihaan Chandy, 16, quipped, “Half of my school is here.”
“The place is amazing, and there are a lot of people. The whole crowd is rooting for Justin Bieber. And it’s really hard to stand,” Chandy, who especially flew down for the concert from Delhi to Mumbai with 25 of his friends, told IANS.
There’s also Shreya, a 17-year-old, who is here with seven of her friends.
“It’s so hot, but it’s okay… Anything for Justin Bieber,” gushed Shreya, as she licked on an ice cream to beat the heat. What if she got a chance to meet her favourite star?
“Oh my God… I am going to hug him tight!”
Uttar Pradesh-based Diya is eager to see Bieber shirtless on stage. “He is hot.”
A lady aboard a 7:30 a.m. flight from Delhi to Mumbai on Wednesday saw several mothers and their daughters waiting at the airport — all with a common topic — Bieber.
“I overheard an exchange among moms — ‘Girls are up at 5 a.m. without a fuss! Only for Bieber. These were doting moms chaperoning their girls,” she told IANS, adding: “I had a friend message me, ‘Wish I had known you were headed to Mumbai for the concert, I could have sent my daughter, who hates me for not taking her to the concert.”
Tickets for the 23-year-old Prince of Pop’s performance were priced upwards of Rs 5,000, and access to the most expensive zone was priced at Rs 75,000. A red carpet was laid out for all the celebrities expected to attend the gala night, where at least a crowd of 45,000 is expected.
As many as 500 police personnel and 25 officers have been deployed for security, while Bieber has Bollywood star Salman Khan’s personal bodyguard Shera accompanying him.
The security is alert.
“We are good to go. The crowd is huge, but we are trained to handle them. We are not allowing any outside food, drinks, and no big bags are allowed inside,” said one of the security persons, who added: “Since we are in the security team, we cannot afford to get engrossed in his performance, but from inside, I am dying to see him.”