Harry Styles’ Residency Brings Campers to Campus
By Cecilia Rodriguez
Reporting Texas TV
AUSTIN, Texas – Amid a plethora of tents, blankets, chairs and air mattresses was a line of campers waiting for the most talked about show in town.
The much anticipated six night and sold out Austin residency of British singer Harry Styles kicked off Sept. 25 at the new Moody Center on the University of Texas campus.
The Forty Acres saw many new faces from around the country roam its campus as Austin was one of only six cities chosen to host Styles’ Love on Tour. It was the only venue located on a bustling college campus.
The spotlight shined on the committed fans lined up and camping outside of the Moody Center at least 24 hours before each show. Despite a university policy that bans camping on all campus property, hundreds of people camped out each night to get the best and closest spots in the pit section.
For University of Texas students Sofia Cadena and Carolina Robinson, camping out was not originally in their concert plans.
Cadena, a freshman public relations major, stumbled upon the campers while purchasing merchandise the day before her concert.
“There was a long line of people and we were like no way, this is not happening,” Cadena said. “We had pit tickets so we were like we have to do this.”
Robinson, a freshman education major, found herself in a similar situation. She also went to Moody Center to get merchandise early, and quickly found herself waiting in the fan-made line.
“My friend was like, let’s go to the back to see if his tour bus is there,” Robinson said. “As we start going up the stairs, we start seeing people lining up, and we were like, this is crazy.”
The fan-made line was an impressive system that organized spots in line and abided by Moody Center rules by camping just off the arena’s property.
Cadena said the system included different colored wristbands for every 50 people in line, with a number stating the fan’s spot. There was also a sign-in sheet to record the exact time of arrival.
Although organized by fans, Moody Center employees later honored the line as a legitimate line for the pit section. Fans waited from the early hours of the morning until 9 a.m. to get official wristbands.
University of Texas Police Department spokesperson Stephanie Jacksis said camping is not permitted on any campus grounds, and these rules apply to all who step on university property. She said the department is investigating their authority in the area for future events that could involve camping.
Jacksis said the jurisdiction of the area was unclear for the Harry Styles concerts. No one filed any disturbance complaints and police did not make any arrests.
The residency brought recognition to the newly opened Moody Center, with more than 100,000 total tickets sold for the six shows. 100,000 fans attended the concerts throughout all six nights.
Styles performed a stellar setlist with hits from his most recent album, “Harry’s House,” as well as former albums “Fine Line” and “Harry Styles.”
Cadena said the moment Styles sang the acclaimed ballad “Little Freak” made the whole camping experience worth it.
“During ‘Little Freak,’ he literally is singing and I made eye contact with him and I swear he looked me in the eyes,” she said.
“I have the video. He was singing like right there to me and I think it was so worth it getting [to the] barricade.”