Boy band fan gets backstage pass
Temuka teenager Courtney Burnett has lived the dream that would make many young girls scream – a catchup backstage with the boys from One Direction.
Courtney, 16, met the band before their Wellington concert at the St James Theatre on Sunday night.
"It was amazing," she said.
"That was the best night of my life."
Courtney won the chance to meet the band after her dad Barrie agreed to get a shortened version of the band's name tattooed on his chest.
Under his shirt is the image of 1D inside a red heart, which he got as part of The Edge radio station's competition called `what would you do to see 1D?'.
Mr Burnett is not fussed on the band, but Courtney, like many teenage girls, has the One Direction infection, a term used to describe the group's biggest fans.
Her father's efforts secured her the chance to meet the band and double pass tickets to the concert.
"They were so nice. It was incredible," she said of the experience, which thousands of young girls entered in the leadup to the band's arrival.
"They weren't up-themselves at all."
Courtney spent five minutes with the boys – long enough to give them gifts and have her photo taken with the group. "They signed something for us and gave us hugs."
The boys also had long enough to put their Kiwi accents to the test, with a little help from Courtney.
"Niall kept trying to copy my accent, but it sounded really Australian."
The British pop group consists of Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Niall Horan.
The band has attracted massive attention during their brief visit to New Zealand, with reports of young girls hanging outside their hotel and crying at the thought of catching a glimpse of the band, which has raced up the charts since featuring on The X Factor.
Security was tight at the band's two-hour gig. Banners were among the items confiscated from concert-goers as they headed into the theatre, but some managed to sneak them in, Courtney said.
She said it was a tough call deciding what the highlight of the night was.
"Oh God, that's a hard question. Meeting them was pretty amazing, so probably that."
- The Timaru Herald