I woke up early to get to the O2 by 10:30 A.M. Arriving perfectly on time, I passed the queue and walked up to the door of the IndigO2. Telling the doorman that I work for PopShack, he let me in, no questions asked. I searched around for my coworkers and even ventured to Starbucks to find my supervisor. After not finding her, I decided to hang out with the doorman. She would have to come in by those doors eventually.
Then the first band arrived.
Hollywood Ending was making their way toward the glass door as fans swarmed them asking for selfies and autographs. I could see them slowly inching their way to the door as they obliged to every fan girls’ request. After several minutes of watching the band pose with fans and get dozens of kisses on their cheeks, the doorman and I realized they might need saving. I went outside and introduced myself to the members. I let each know that I worked for PopShack and asked if they would like to accompany me inside the venue. Brad Kavanagh was walking toward the venue at that moment and greeted me with a hug.
Taking everyone inside, I had a quick catch-up with Brad and his bandmate, Steven. Since I was PopShack’s social media point-person for the day, we took some silly pictures for PopShack’s Instagram account and thus began the steady stream of social media posts throughout the day.
I got Brad to take a picture with Hollywood Ending. The ¾ American band soon realized I had an American accent. They asked where I was from and told me how refreshing it was to talk to an American since they’ve been living here with the one British member for the past three months. I made fast friends with the guys! They even told me multiple times how much they loved the McFly shirt I was wearing since they frequently hang out with McFly. After leading them through the winding corridors of the venue to find the dressing room (and essentially getting us lost) we finally found it.
I joined my other coworkers in setting up the merchandise stand and unloading “Pop Packs” (a PopShack tote bag filled with other merchandise and goodies) in the VIP lounge for the meet and greets.
Getting back to my social media duties, I took a picture of PopShack’s presenter, Munya, decked out in PopShack merchandise. He is absolutely hilarious and unbelievably charismatic, as you can see from this video of him interacting with the fans in the queue:
On my way to go record sound bites from the fans, I ran into Ollie Sloan and took a quick picture for Instagram. My thumbs moved fast as lightning across my phone screen as I monitored PopShack’s Twitter. I asked the fans lining up if any of them wanted to send a short video message to their favorite act. The response was overwhelming. I collected footage of fans asking their favorites to come out and meet them, telling their favorites how much they love them, and giggling away at the thought that their idols would see their videos! Sure enough, Luke Friend retweeted and liked the messages to him from his biggest fans!
As I wrapped up the sound bites, Tyler from Hollywood Ending came around the corner, again causing fans to swarm. He started feeding them his gummy candies, which prompted all the girls to open their mouths in the hopes that he would give a gummy to them. I escorted him back into the IndigO2 and laughed with him at the fact that he just fed a bunch of fan girls all his candy by hand.
After being told that Luke Friend was in PopShack’s interview caravan, I went outside to get some social media content with him. We made a vine of him telling his “Friendies” that he loves them and can’t wait to see them, which became PopShack’s most revined vine. Luke was an incredibly nice guy!
I saw Kirstly Lowless and made a quick Instagram video of her sharing her excitement about the concert as I made my way upstairs to the VIP lounge to set up the meet and greet. I got some pictures of Kingsland Road and Matt DeFreitas as they waited for the meet and greet to start and then went back downstairs to grab my phone charger. The concert wasn’t even going to start for several hours and my battery was already getting low from the social media monitoring!
While grabbing my charger from the green room, I spotted Loveable Rogues hanging out in the dressing room. I was so glad to see them again; they are incredibly funny and overall very loveable (hence the name). I took my pictures for Instagram and quickly made my way back upstairs for the Luke Friend meet and greet.
Running downstairs again to search for food (to no avail), I saw Fifth Street hanging out in the dressing room. They insisted I get in the picture with them first before I took one for Instagram, so we snapped some pictures. I then bolted upstairs for the Union J meet and greet. I escorted Union J back down to the dressing room after getting a picture of them for Instagram and ran into Ebony Day warming up. I got the footage and then it was back upstairs for the general meet and greet.
Here’s a message for those planning large meet and greets: good luck getting the girls in and out. I eventually had to get a tough-looking security guard to tell the girls to go get their Pop Packs on the way out so the next group could come in. With the meet and greet complete, I went back downstairs.
I made a quick vine of Ollie Sloan sound checking, and then bumped into Connie Talbot. She is the sweetest girl with the biggest voice! With another photo taken, I made a quick visit to the hosts’ dressing room. I caught a picture of Dan and Phil with their speaker notes and got ready for the show to begin!
Brad Kavanagh opened the show and got the energy going! I took some footage backstage then headed up to the balcony seats to get some more. Chris and James from Hollywood Ending came upstairs to watch the show for a bit so of course, I took some pictures of them. Fifth Street, Dominik Klein, Musical Bethan, a Dan and Phil blind drawing competition, Matt Defreitas, and Bethan Horton continued the show.
As Kingsland Road came on, I went backstage to get more footage. The guys from Hollywood Ending were hanging out backstage to be ready for their set. I talked to Cameron from Hollywood Ending for a while as I caught up with social media and then got more footage when Connie Talbot went on stage. She was incredible as she sang “Ghost” by Ella Henderson and “Let It Go” from “Frozen.”
As Alice Olivia went on stage, Elyar Fox came backstage. I got some pictures of Elyar and talked with him a bit about the ring he wore on a necklace (spoiler alert: the ring randomly appeared in his room). During Alice Olivia’s performance of Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire,” Elyar randomly took me into a ballroom dance position and twirled me around for a bit, which was a nice break from my phone! Hollywood Ending wanted me to watch them perform from the audience to get the full effect of their show, so I wished them luck and went up to the balcony.
Hollywood Ending was absolutely electric on stage! The energy was tangible as they rocked out, jumped around with their guitars, and got the crowd pumped up! After recording some of their performance, I headed back down to let them know how awesome they were on stage!
My phone had 1% battery at this point, so I got it plugged in and took a short, necessary break from social media. I went outside where it was a bit cooler and saw Te from Loveable Rogues talking to Luke Friend. I walked over to say hello to Te and recalled that I still needed to send him a list of country songs to listen to since he’s a big country music fan. That’s when Te taught Luke the nickname he had for me, “Texas”. As they started arguing about which of them I loved more, Sonny from Loveable Rogues found me with an idea for a request I made of him to vine from PopShack’s account.
Loveable Rogues are all jokesters, but I felt that out of all three of them I could trust Sonny to make an appropriate vine. I was wrong, and he went “rogue” like the rest of them. Having to chase him after he posted the vine and ran, I finally caught him and deleted it.
I took a picture of Ollie Marland, listened to a discussion between Luke and Sonny about how much I apparently love Luke and how much more Sonny loves Luke, and bumped into Brad again. I asked him if he knew where any food was since I hadn’t eaten yet, and he invited me to split a burger with him up in the VIP lounge. Thank you, Brad Kavanagh!
Between bites of my half a burger, I ran in and out of the balcony seating section – the bouncer opened the door so many times for me we basically had a silent inside joke together—taking videos of Luke Friend (whose voice is amazing), Loveable Rogues (performing the catchiest song ever, “Love Sick”), Ebony Day, Laura Zocca, Ollie Marland, and Elyar Fox. I sat with Brad and Hollywood Ending as I edited and Instagrammed after every video I took to the point where I thought my thumbs were going to fall off.
The headlining act, Union J, made their way onto the stage as hundreds of screaming girls ran to get as close to the stage as possible. I ran all around the venue getting as much footage from different angles as I could and ended up backstage. Their harmonizing and vocal ranges were extremely impressive.
Completely exhausted, I relaxed against a wall and chatted with Matt DeFreitas who is one of the sweetest guys I’ve ever met! Grabbing my backpack and loading up some leftover merchandise, I said my goodbyes to the acts and headed home along with my coworker, Mitra.
It was the most amazing night I’ve ever had! I met crazy talented musicians who became my friends in one day, managed all of PopShack’s social media platforms, and listened to great music all night! All of our hard work was worth it!
Thanks and gig’em!