Police in Oslo and Bærum claimed they were prepared to handle crowds and chaos when teen idol singer Justin Bieber held concerts once again in the area on Friday and Saturday. Bieber’s earlier appearances in Oslo set off pandemonium and controversy.
Bieber’s avid fans, mostly teenage girls, were already forming long lines by 3pm in pouring rain on Friday outside the Telenor Arena at Fornebu in Bærum, west of Oslo. Doors weren’t due to open until 6pm, with Bieber himself not taking the stage until at least 8:30pm.
Shuttle buses were operating from Oslo out to Forbebu from 1:30pm, raising concerns that many of his fans would cut school to secure the best places in the queue. It wasn’t allowed to start lining up outside the arena until 2pm. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that the lines were long shortly after that, despite the bad weather.
“We are very well-prepared,” leader of the police units at the scene, Tomm Berger, told NRK at around 4pm. “Right now there are already a lot of fans here but we have good control over them. Security both in and outside the arena is also well-prepared.”
Bieber’s appearance on the roof of Oslo’s Opera House in 2012 sparked chaos that was described as “frightening”, while he also stirred a fuss in both 2013 and not least last year, when he halted a concert in an alleged rage after some eager fans close to the stage spilled some water. He left the stage and didn’t come back. That lead to an apology later and promises of free tickets to those gypped because of his bad behaviour.