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Young Justin Bieber fans get boosts from their parents during the singer's stop in Manila last year. Ted Aljibe / AFP
Young Justin Bieber fans get boosts from their parents during the singer's stop in Manila last year. Ted Aljibe / AFP

Survival manual for taking your kids to Justin Bieber's Dubai concert

We've spoken to parents who have already had the pleasure of experiencing 'Biebs' on his world tour. Here is their step-by-step guide to coping with so many Beliebers in one place ... and maybe even becoming one yourself.

Will no one think of the parents? Amid the feverish excitement surrounding the arrival of Justin Bieber in Dubai this week, there is one put-upon group of people who perhaps won't be quite as ecstatic that the world's most talked-about pop star is coming to Dubai. That's right: the mums and dads who have not only had to put up with wall-to-wall Bieber at home for the past few years, but now have to escort their little darlings to his concert.

If this is you, then you have our eternal sympathies. To prepare you for the sonic boom of thousands of teenagers screaming at the exact same time, we've spoken to parents who have already had the pleasure of experiencing "Biebs" on his world tour. Here are their tips for coping with so many Beliebers in one place - and maybe even becoming one yourself.

Brace yourself

"I have to say, it was one of the strangest nights of my life," says Helen Bingham, who went to the Manchester show with her daughter Lucy, 9, in February.

"It's a preteen female frenzy - all he has to do is move and they go absolutely bonkers. The best way to prepare is to remember how you felt when you were 12 and who you liked. So for me, that was Adam and the Ants. But you absolutely must listen to a Bieber album, so you have some idea of what you're getting yourself into."

"From the parents' perspective, it's good to watch his DVD Never Say Never beforehand," adds Heather Purcell, who took her daughters Megan, 13, and Meredith, 11, and their friend Kate to the concert in Toronto last year. "He came from nothing and, though he might be your typical teen heartthrob, you can see his talent and tenacity in that movie, too. It makes the concert a lot more interesting."

Take earplugs

"It's the loudest concert I've ever been to," says Bingham. "It was absolutely deafening - 15,000 preteens screaming really is something else. I mean, I went to see The Stone Roses once, and my whole insides vibrated because of the bass, but that was nothing compared to this."

"I totally agree," laughs Purcell. "There was one girl behind us who literally screamed, 'I love you Justin Bieber!' throughout the entire concert. I totally embarrassed my kids at one point, when it all got too much and I dared to put my hands over my ears."

So earplugs are clearly the order of the day - and it might help really little ones to be less overwhelmed by the noise, too. But, parents, make them discreet. You don't want to humiliate your offspring. Or maybe you do?

Fill your purse with cash

Purcell made the fatal error of promising Meredith a Justin Bieber hat from the merchandise stand after the concert. When they went back, they'd sold out. Cue one incredibly disappointed girl.

"Everybody - and I mean everybody - was wearing something Bieber-related their parents had bought them," says Purcell. "You definitely need to go with cash in hand, and plenty of it."

"The merchandising push is phenomenal," agrees Bingham. "Both in how much it costs and how many girls want it."

Bingham was relieved that Lucy wasn't too bothered about a Justin Bieber souvenir. But how did Purcell handle Meredith's hatless heartbreak?

"I just told her she was lucky she'd got a ticket."

Tough love. We like it.

Prepare to change your opinion

"When he came out on a zip wire for the first time, it was genuinely remarkable," says Purcell. "An incredible spectacle, and it confirmed for me that he has the potential to stand the test of time. It was lovely to see how much the kids were enjoying themselves, too. I'd have to say I'd do it again."

She's a convert, then. But even the avowed Stone Roses fan Bingham, in the end, found it a memorable experience.

"I did go thinking his songs are quite dull," she says. "But one thing you do realise is that he's actually quite musical. He wasn't just someone standing at the front singing the hits. And as a mother I did feel a bit sorry for him, actually. In no way could he not be mentally affected by the incredible focus on him - it's sad and not entirely surprising that he's gone off the rails a bit.

"But the very best thing? I'm five-foot-one, and it was the first time I've been to a concert where I could see over the top of everyone's heads."

Now if that isn't a ringing endorsement, what is?

 

artslife@thenational.ae

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