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Monday, June 24, 2024

Police relieved after first concert

Hordes of young Justin Bieber fans, many with his initials scrawled on their faces, behaved well before, during and after his first of three concerts in Oslo this week that have sold more than 66,000 tickets. Police could report little if any of the hysteria that’s surrounded the pop star in Norway earlier, while the concert itself got generally good reviews after a tame start.

Fans at the first of three Justin Bieber concerts in Oslo this week conducted themselves well and even included some boys and young men, along with parents. PHOTO:
Fans at the first of three Justin Bieber concerts in Oslo this week conducted themselves well, carried roses and even included some boys and young men, along with parents. PHOTO:

Fans were lining up yet again on Wednesday for the second of Bieber’s long-awaited appearances in Oslo, but at least the sun was shining. Fans on Tuesday had to endure hours of standing in cold fog and rain outside both the concert arena at Fornebu, just west of Oslo, and outside various hotels downtown where fans thought Bieber might be staying.

Police were mostly relieved that the event they’d spent months preparing for went off as smoothly as it did. There were only a handful of incidents that required medical treatment, compared to the 88 persons injured when Bieber performed a free, outdoor concert in Oslo last year, and many of his teenage fans carried roses “to show how much we love him, and show our respect for him,” Sara Miloud told newspaper Dagsavisen.

The lack of utter pandemonium likely cheered fans like Sunniva Østbø, age 17 from Oslo, who has seen Bieber perform in both Denmark and the US, and even was singled out to come on stage with the star during a performance in Arkansas in 2010. Østbø had told newspaper Aftenposten over the weekend that all the screaming Norwegian fans were giving others a bad image.

“His Norwegian fans are being branded as crazy,” Østbø told Aftenposten, “but it’s actually possible to like Justin Bieber and be perfectly normal at the same time.” She claimed that “Justin is very misunderstood,” worrying that too many are preoccupied with “the phenomenon of Justin Bieber” instead of the musical talents he has. She had a ticket for Wednesday evening’s concert, and claimed she was most attracted by his voice and his songs.

For photos of Bieber’s enthusiastic Norwegian fans, click here.

Bieber himself finally landed in a private jet at Oslo’s main airport at Gardermoen late Tuesday afternoon and headed straight for the Telenor Arena at Fornebu, where the concert finally began after delays blamed on the time it took to get the more than 20,000 concert-goers through the gates into the arena. Some of their tickets were so wet after hours in the rain that scanners had trouble reading them.

After his opening numbers that one reviewer described as “a mediocre day on the job,” Bieber livened things up during the latter half of his performance and ended up winning good reviews for the rest of the show. Fans, which included several boys as well as Bieber’s huge following of teenage girls, seemed generally ecstatic, with one calling it “the best experience of my life.”

And then they all left the arena in orderly fashion, with “no running, no jostling, no major problems,” remarked one police officer. He and his colleagues were hoping for similar behaviour on Wednesday and Thursday, when it was expected to be pouring rain again.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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