NEW YORK -- It's 5 p.m., and there are 13 more hours until Justin Bieber even begins to soundcheck at the stage that's set up in Rockefeller Center for his Thursday performance on the "Today" show. A group of 30 fans sit on the concrete on the side of the road, still wet from the rain storm that passed by an hour ago. Their extra clothes, makeup, snacks, pillows and blankets are in garbage bags to keep dry.
But despite being there for nine hours already, the thought of seeing Bieber keeps them smiling and chipper, choosing to chat with each other rather than waste their phone batteries. They'll need their phones for when they're face to face with Justin tomorrow.
Naturally, I had to join them -- but they're on their own when it comes to the overnight camping. The Beliebers spread out their beach towels and offered me a spot as we talked about mighty JB and the essentials for waiting in line for your favorite singer.
Who: Jeymarie Santiago, Jarimar Santiago, Thalia Zavala, Suleyka Torres, Sherley Torres, Ramon Javier Vegas, Nanelly Ojeda and Jocelyn Roman
Where they're from: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Their essentials: Ponchos (they took turns buying them at Duane Reade)
Why they're his best fans: They had a birthday party for him and sang to a cardboard cut-out of Biebs.
Who: Briana Goodrich, 26; Claudia Semilia, 19; Nikki Ciura, 19
Where they're from: New Jersey and West Seneca, New York
Their essentials: Garbage bags to keep things dry, blankets, pillows, clothes
Been here since: 8 a.m.
Here are said garbage bags. These ladies weren't messing around.
Who: Victoria Lally, 19
Where she's from: New Jersey but goes to LIM College
Her essentials: Chair, box of tissues (because she's sick), books, iPad
Why she's his best fan: She had an 8-page paper due at 9:45 a.m. the next day, and she was writing it in line.
Who: Haley Lima, 19; Renee, 18
Where they're from: Rhode Island and Queens, NY
Their essentials: Ponchos, umbrella, neck pillow, book (because you can't drain your phone battery), sweater (because it gets cold at night), Justin Bieber sweatshirt
Why they're his best fans: They called off work for this.
Who: Feighbe, 18; Rebecca Sayegh, 22; Denise Lau, 19; Taylor DePonte, 22
Where they're from: Toms River, New Jersey, and California (she's living at NYU though)
Their essentials: Industrial strength ponchos, blanket, sweatpants, sheet, extra clothes
Who: Mabel Ventura, 19; Connie Dorosh, 18; Gavin Lowrie, 19; Kristin Houghton, 23; Jazmin Pizarro, 19; Eliana Reyes, 21
Where they're from: Connecticut, The Bronx, Manhattan
Their essentials: Umbrellas, water, change of clothes, make-up, chips, hair gel, dry shampoo, breath mints (she put one in her mouth for the photo), McDonald's
Been here since: 7 a.m.
Who: Susana Delossantos, 16; Grace Garcia, 17; Lazara Mercedes, 18; Gabriel Colon, 18
Where they're from: Brooklyn, Manhattan
Their essentials: Snacks, clothes for tomorrow, deodorant
Been here since: 4 a.m.
Why they're his best fans: "We're his, and he's ours."
Who: Andrea Ortigoza, 18; Maria Romera, 14
Where they're from: Minnesota (visting the city)
Their essentials: Chairs, 8 bottles of water, sandwiches
Been here since: 15 minutes ago