A two-day rain storm has been battering a line of tents surrounding the Kia Forum in Inglewood, but their residents remain upbeat and united by a singular mission – secure the best spot possible at Billie Eilish’s concert on Tuesday.
The hardest-core of campers have been in line for almost two weeks, while those arriving on Monday have to settle for a place behind amid the two-hundreds. They all hold general admissions tickets and are praying that their dedication will pay off in a front row position for Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever, The Hometown Encore” show.
Despite the long days and cold nights, no one has gone home, campers report, even as temperatures plummeted on Sunday night and high winds sent tents flying.
“Last night, oh my gosh it was brutal, we woke up with water in our tent and our blankets were completely soaked,” said Sarah Vazquez, who has been camping for five days. “In the morning I woke up and I forgot what I was even here for, but then I’m like ‘I’m here for Billie, I will do anything for her.’”
The first group in line arrived on Nov. 30; they occupy three tents. Some people in their group do go home for a few hours or overnight to rest and recover, but they quickly return to their spot.
“It’s more than just the concert, we are friends experiencing this together and we create new friendships with others in line as well,” said superfan and first-in-line camper Kia Clarke.
While the group seems well organized with plenty of supplies on hand, they weren’t necessarily prepared for the rain and wind that came in on Sunday and Monday.
“We thought we might blow away or die, some tents broke, some flooded, but nobody left,” said Clarke.
Those in the middle of the line have been camping for around five days.
Ryan Manning arrived on Thursday, Dec. 8, all the way from Hamilton Township in New Jersey and proudly holds position 101 in line. Manning has already seen Eilish perform four times this year and has general admission tickets to all three nights of Eilish’s shows at the Forum.
To Manning, traveling far distances and braving the elements is well worth it for a chance to see her idol up close.
“The first couple of days were rough because I was jet lagged and then the rain and all that didn’t help,” said Manning. “The wind was the thing that was absolutely insane. My tarp was whipping around all night and I was holding it in my hand to stop it from making all that noise.”
Although Manning traveled alone, she has formed strong bonds with her fellow campers.
“We’re all just as insane as each other doing this,” she said.
While it is common for die-hard fans to camp out a day or two in advance of a concert, Eilish’s hometown performance has wooed an especially dedicated gathering of fans.
“The most I’d ever camped for a concert before was 24 hours, but for this show I’ve been here since Thursday,” said superfan Eliot Klein. “Usually the lines aren’t as long as this one, but people were getting there early so I just decided to come over.”
The last in line as of 10:30 a.m. Monday morning were Veronica Krasouska and friend Vanessa Terrode. Krasouska is a Ukrainian refugee currently living in Germany. She traveled to Los Angeles just to see Eilish perform.
“This is our second time seeing her in concert, but first time up close, the wait is totally worth it,” Krasouska said.
“It’s worth it, she inspires me in my life,” Terrode added.
Many campers shared similar sentiments, saying that Eilish is a huge inspiration and has helped them navigate hard times in their own lives.
“I had a really rough time growing up and having someone as an artist that literally went through the same experiences that I went through helped a lot,” said Manning. “She’s just such a genuine person and she cares so much about every single one of us.”