I went to see the Purpose Tour, Justin Bieber in October 2016 and forgetting some organisational oversights, it was one hell of a gig. There was a carefully thought out extravagant stage design, beautifully commercialised to fit very-high-paying fans into the stage in two pits built into a large triangular runway, with three separate walkways connecting the main stage to the miniature stage in the crowd. The staging helped Bieber to deliver a new level of intimacy during his performance, as it allowed him to give more people a close, personal experience as he repeatedly sat, sung and spoke to different groups of people around and within the massive stage. The set-up allowed interaction with the crowd to be of ease during the show, and, whilst he mostly preached about his life woes in between songs, he did pause for fifteen minutes to have an impromptu Q&A session with the audience, passing a microphone around the standing area. This added a light-hearted, humorous side to the overall performance that was missing. A change of tone was needed, as up until that point in the show everything was set in a very serious tone, as he spoke openly about his battle with anxiety and newfound journey with God, dishing out scripted life advice at every given opportunity to introduce the next song. Halfway through Bieber stripped the performance down, just himself, a carefully placed sofa and a guitar. A momentous silence ensued around me, the whole arena completely mesmerised, taken out of their own headspace, just listening.

However, taking out the actual performance given by Bieber himself, the entire lead up to the event was badly planned out. There were teenage girls queuing for days outside the arena in the cold winter air, the ticket gates opened about 2 hours before the start of the gig and the winding queue of nearly the entire general standing ticket holders. This caused everyone to run towards the locked shut arena doors and there was huge pile-up down the two tunnels into the arena. We were jammed in like a tin of sardines for about 40 minutes and there were repeated faintings during this time. Then the doors opened and everyone became a stampede, employees were being pushed out the way, abandoning lines of cups and merchandise and running. The employees present were clearly not trained in dealing with crowd control, putting a lot of people in danger. The injured did get taken straight to a setup paramedic station, however, the risks could have been minimised by staggered entry into the arena.

Minus the lack of security personnel and pre-thinking, the performance was the best I have ever been to due to the precision detail to everything presented on stage. Everything ran through perfectly, set and costume changes were filled with an array of different video transitions, support acts and dance. This precision paired with the intense display of talent and pyrotechnics created an incredible show.

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