Sunday, 9 March 2014

I went to Beyonce, Part 1: Trials and Tribulations

5 hours or so later

Let's go back to the beginning.

15:00 Check Twitter for queuing update. Distress. Doors open at 6, panic as hope of seeing Queen Bey up close diminishes with every ticking second.

15:15 Sprinting through Stratford station to save time. Breathless sister says 'WELL YOU DIDN'T TELL ME YOU WERE GOING TO RUN. I was not prepared for this.'

15:30 We reach the O2. Execute plan to divide and conquer. Me and flatmate take the merch stand, sister and her friend dash off to line up.

15:31 £50 for the SURFBOARD sweater?! I think not. We settle on some T shirts.

15:38 Relief that the line is not too bad. Slight sadness at being just beyond the barrier line.

15:40 Sister and friend executing a planned sushi run. Urgent message dispatched to sister's friend: CHAI LATTE AND HOT CHOC IF YOU CAN PLEASE. Message received.

16:00 Hot chocolate! Water! Sushi! Life is good. The book I've brought along stays in my handbag.

16:01 Wow, that girl is really dressed up for standing. Huge heels and shorts on a day like this, like rly. I marvel at the bronzer strategy of her friend also. Such brown. Much definition.

16:30 The floor is cold. So is my ass.

16:45 Strategic toilet break to Nando's. And chips.

16:48 Bladder relief.

17:00 Receive text from sister. 'LINE IS MOVING' More panic. WHERE ARE MY CHIPS???

17:03 More running ensues, back to the queue.

17:05 British concertgoers really are very good. Flatmate updates Facebook with 'flawless queuing'. Appropriate.

17:15 Side-eyeing another queue that has broken off from the main queue. Ask security guard why this is happening. Receive inconsequential answer.

17:17 Team up with a girl in a red jumper to ask another guard about side invasion situation.

17:19 Side invasion situation resolved. Emotional relief.

17:40 Line is crawling along. I am a mix of excitement and WHY IS MY BLADDER SO SMALL WHY DID I DRINK ALL THAT WATER.

17:43 Running to a bar to use their toilet. Beg and plead with the staff to let me use said toilet. Request received with grimace but I persist.

17:44 Toilet access gained. More relief.

17:53 Back in line via running around to a side opening far away from main queue. Decide to shed layers. Slight doubt at whether Sister's jacket, 2 recently purchased Beyonce t shirts, 1 book, 1 kindle, 2 wallets, and a duffel coat will fit in my tiny rucksack.

17:54 They do. Packing level: ASIAN.

18:10 They are letting people in. Pre-teens are crushing each other to try and move forward in the queue. This is what Roman Gladiatorial battles must have been like, if the Gladiators were 15 and not actually that violent.

18:20 The line is moving faster. Security lady ain't taking none of this bullshit tho. People are only allowed through if they're together and ready.

18:21 I am admonished by another security lady who says 'stay still I'm trying to put your wristband on'. Not felt this rebellious since secondary school when I told a teacher she was being hypocritical about punctuality, as she was always late.

18:30 Bag check. Shit just got real. The water has to go. We marvel at the debris that the frenzy for Queen Bey has left behind. Empty nando's bags. Cheap duvets. Assorted camping chairs. Dignity.

18:32 Damn it, we could've put the water into those plastic cups. Too late for self-flagellation, there is a concert to attend and teenagers to barge past.

18:35 And we're through! Decide to abandon donating to the Prince's Trust and a chance for a free upgrade to the VIP area.

18:36 Desperately need a wee. Rest of my entourage despair as we are losing crucial space-grabbing time.

18:38 Huddle near the extra mid-stage bit. Overhear that her Holiness of Hip Hop will only be there for 20 minutes of the whole show. Abandon plan.

18:40 We've established a position down near stage left.

18:43 Excitement. We are only 4 rows from the very front!

18:47 Oh, next to us is red jumper girl! We hear her anecdotes, and are impressed at her getting upgraded to the VIP area last time. I take notes on her concert strategy, which is to 'find the gaps now and be prepared to move to the front'. All morals about orderly queuing and space-taking are meaningless when you are a short girl. One must strike when opportunity arises.

19:15 Feet are hurting omg where is she

19:30 Warm up act is here! It's DJ Monsieur Adil from France. Excitement. He is a cute man who waves his arms in the air like he don't care. Lots of enthusiasm and head-bopping to the club tracks on play. All the beats start to blend into one cornucopia of club hits and hedonistic existence. This is what life is about...I think.

20:00 Excitement over. We mindlessly absorb the Beyonce Pepsi ads and 'Life is but a dream' documentary plugs like humans with no other reason for existence. Do electric sheep dream of Beyonce???

20:05 Ripple of excitement as Beyonce's stylist, and Solange, weave their way towards the stage right VIP area. I'm casting envious looks down at the VIP folks.

20:07 Red jumper girl and I team up to get a young man with a poster and Prince's Trust sticker picked for the VIP area. Our efforts are in vain but he is grateful.

20:10 Realise that one of the videographers lurking near the stage is a childhood friend of my flatmate's. Existential crisis as I wonder what I've achieved in my life.

20:15 All in audience are enthralled by stage crew men climbing vertiginous ladder to work the spotlights at top of the stage. It is at least 5 stories up. Terrifying.

20:18 Feet starting to really hurt. Level of enthusiasm: -500

20:25 Five minutes to go. In denial that this is actually happening. Think to self that this is a coping mechanism for the crazy that is about to go down.


20:31 She's not here yet. WHY

20:32 We will never see her

20:32:30 Whyyyyyyy is she not here the suspense is killing us


20:33:30 omg omg omg


Henceforth I lose track of time completely and am catapulted into an alternate universe, where Beyonce rules us all.

Stay tuned for next week's post on what happens.

1 comment:

  1. O ma gerddddd. Reliving all the emotions from seeing her last year. YES on the enthusiasm levels waxing and waning. It's a rollercoaster of emotions. x