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Bieber Fever

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sun, 04/24/2011 7:00 AM

Hundreds of Justin Bieber fans braved Saturday’s scorching heat and afternoon downpour to gain access to the Sentul International Convention Center (SICC) in Sentul, south of Jakarta, where the teen pop sensation held a one-night performance under heavy security.

As hundreds of Beliebers, as fans of Justin Bieber are referred to, tried to make their way toward the venue, a massive snarl formed from the exit gate of the Sentul toll road to the parking lot of the SICC.

At 3 p.m., concert promoter Berlian Entertainment decided to close the SICC parking lot as it was overwhelmed with cars, prompting concertgoers to park on a nearby vacant lot.

After being ferried by shuttle service provided by the concert promoters, Beliebers, mostly teens clad in purple and accompanied by their parents or guardians, soon lined up under the scorching heat to enter the venue, where the concert was due to start hours later.

Veny Lia, 16, and Vera Ayu Ningrum, 17, were two of hundreds of Beliebers standing under the sun. They wore matching purple T-shirts and purple shoes.

“We are wearing purple because that’s Justin Bieber’s favorite color,” said Veny and Vera in unison. The high school students said they left home in Grogol, West Jakarta, at 10:30 a.m. and were driven to the concert venue.

They could not hide their love for the Canadian heartthrob. “We have loved Justin since his first appearance three years ago. We love Justin because he is so unique and talented,” Veny said enthusiastically.

One of the fans put up a sign that read “JB kiss me, I won’t tell Selena”, in big bold letters, referring to Bieber’s rumored girlfriend, Selena Gomez of Wizards of Waverly Place fame.

Some Beliebers, however, went home disappointed without seeing their idol perform.

Fifteen-year-old Jessica and Bernadeth Putri came all the way from Serpong, Tangerang, hoping that someone would give them free tickets to the show.

“We don’t have any tickets. It’s too expensive,” said Putri with teary eyes.

Riska Nadira, 18, and Diva Rahman, 16, left their home in Bandung, West Java, Saturday morning without tickets to the show.

“We just want to experience the atmosphere. We hope we are allowed to watch Justin Bieber without a ticket, or maybe we can get tickets at affordable prices,” Riska said, adding that her only hope would be getting tickets from a scalper.

Some scalpers offered tickets to Beliebers for Rp 1.7 million (US$197) for the cheapest seats in the house while the concert tickets were officially sold at between Rp 500,000 and Rp 1 million.

Over 1,000 police officers were deployed at the concert while the promoter readied 10 ambulances and 100 paramedics to anticipate injuries. (JP/aaa)

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