Gaga by name at Twickenham stadium
Hardcore Lady Gaga fans have set up camp nearby Twickenham stadium to get the chance to meet the star backstage when she performs two sell-out shows this weekend.
Steph Cowie, 16, who travelled from Swansea with mum Sue last Thursday, hopes to meet Gaga and will be the first fan in the queue after camping in Twickenham for nine days.
The superfan, who has seen the songstress six times and met her twice, is going to all three UK shows on the Born This Way tour and said Gaga has helped her through difficult times.
She said: “Without her I wouldn’t be who I am now - she’s helped me make a lot of friends. I got bullied a lot in school and it really got me down but when she came along I got so much confidence.”
Mother Sue, who has taken two weeks off work to camp on a small green behind Talma Gardens with her daughter, said they spoke to police, who told them not to cause a disturbance or leave rubbish.
Gaga will play two 55,000-capacity shows this weekend and the first fan in line each day will get to meet her backstage and receive one of 110 souvenir pendant necklaces.
Little monsters, the nickname Gaga gives to her fans, will start queuing on Friday to receive a key to the monster pit – a sectioned area in front of the stage – and a backstage pass to meet the star.
According to Twickenham stadium’s website, any fan arriving at the venue before 8am on the day of each show will be turned away and automatically disqualified from the monster pit.
Thom Oakley, 24, bought a ticket for friend Stuart Gordon, 20, after winning £4,500 on bingo and the pair travelled down from Birmingham.
Mr Oakley gave away a ticket to see the singer in Germany because he was so desperate to meet her in Twickenham.
He said: “I have tried to meet her so many times. I love how she is so lovely to her fans and her dedication to LGBT rights.”
The group, currently numbering 14 campers, with more expected to arrive, occupy themselves by talking about their idol, going for walks and reading books.
They buy food from Tesco, use toilets and charge their phones in nearby coffee shops, washing with wet wipes in true superfan tradition.
They communicate through Facebook and arrange to meet when the singer is touring or appearing on television in the UK.
Richmond Council said the site the campers were occupying next to Chertsey Road belonged to TfL.
A council spokesman said: “Richmond Council is providing litter bags and will collect any rubbish which is left.”