A One Direction fan from Carrickfergus has told of her disappointment over the cancellation of last night’s concert at the Odyssey SSE arena.
Laura Haighton, 22, travelled to the Belfast venue with her sister Denise, 30, for the first of three shows by the popular four-piece.
She told the Times: “We’ve both been fans of One Direction since they were on the X-Factor; we only got the tickets on Monday and we were really excited to be going.
“We got up to the Odyssey for the doors opening at about 6 o’clock. The atmosphere was amazing, there were loads of young kids there and it was obviously their first concert - they were so excited.”
The show began with a performance from support act Jamie Lawson. “He was brilliant; he did a meet and greet afterwards,” Laura added.
However, crowds first began to suspect something was amiss when One Direction did not appear on stage at 8:45pm as expected.
“At 9 o’clock a man came out onto the stage and said he had three announcements to make; the first thing he said was that the show had been cancelled as Liam [Payne] had taken ill, and that it wasn’t serious but he was unable to perform,” said Laura, from the Woodburn area of the town.
Fans were also told to keep their tickets and to leave the arena. “The man said that there would be a media statement first thing in morning,” Laura added.
“At first I think people thought it was a joke or part of the show, but when they realised he was serious people started booing. There were kids starting to cry all over the place; it was heartbreaking.”
Laura and Denise had no choice but to return home, much earlier than expected.
“Me and my sister were absolutely gutted; there had been such a build up to the show and then such a let down,” she said.
“I was just disgusted by the whole thing really; even though Liam was ill, there was nothing wrong with the other three. They could have come out and explained to the audience themselves what had happened; at least that way the young kids would’ve got to see them and they wouldn’t have been so disappointed.
“The tickets [for the concert] were £75 each, so that’s £150, plus we had to pay for petrol and parking, and maybe £30-£40 for food and drink at the Odyssey.
“We’re still waiting on the statement that’ll let us know if we can get our money back.
“It’s just ridiculous.”