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Renee Rapp fans hail venue's 'amazing' solution to stop overnight queueing

Fans of the US singer praised a gig venue for preventing ticket holders camping for hours before her recent London show.

Renée Rapp performs onstage at the L'Olympia in Paris, France last month. (Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images)
Renée Rapp performs onstage at the L'Olympia in Paris, France last month. (Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images)

Fans of US singer-songwriter Reneé Rapp have hailed 'amazing' concert organisers who came up with a unique way of stopping die-hard gig-goers from camping overnight before shows.

The American star, currently on a European and US tour which includes five shows in the UK and Ireland, has a dedicated army of fans who've been known to camp for hours outside venues. When the 24-year-old took her tour to Kingston, southwest London last weekend, there were more lengthy lines expected - but promoters kept crowds happy with a clever wristband 'lucky dip' system.

Concert venues have tried and failed to stop fans from camping overnight - sometimes days ahead of shows - to guarantee a front row standing spot where they can get as close as possible to their musical idols. Fans who queue for hours or overnight often have unreserved standing tickets, meaning the best spots are given out on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The huge lines of dedicated fans lining up outside venues, however, cause disruption to passers-by and also affect fans' health, with many dehydrated or exhausted by the time shows begin. Venues regularly plead with fans not to queue overnight, but end up having to cater for gig-goers nonetheless when they ignore the advice.

Two days before her show at Pryzm in Kingston, Renee Rapp's promoters Banquet Records announced they'd be giving out coloured wristbands from 10am, for a 10-minute period, each with a different Renee Rapp song written on it. They then gave out different coloured wristbands over the course of the day. When it was time for fans to go in, staff read out the title of a song at random, and those with the corresponding wristband were allowed to enter early - which the promoter said 'completely removed the incentive for fans to camp for hours or overnight'.

Banquet Records said they'd previously used the system for a Louis Tomlinson show at the same venue - and that it wasn't taken seriously until they sent some of his die-hard fans who'd camped out to the back of the queue. A spokesperson told Yahoo News UK: "The wristbands for Renee was about showing to everyone there's zero benefit to arriving early. So don't do it."

Organisers said feedback for the system has been positive, and that even if it wasn't they would still go ahead with the wristband procedure. The spokesperson added: "If you believe you have a duty of care to look after young people on the streets, you have to act on it. The question shouldn't be why did we do it but should be more why aren't others doing something too."

After explaining the system in a TikTok video, fans praised Banquet Records for the 'fair' system which allowed fans to 'have the best experience'. One poster commented: "This is amazing, I know it takes some extra planning from the venues part, but it makes it so much fairer, especially with how the queuing culture has changed to these days." Another added: "Possibly best queueing experience thank you for keeping us safe and calm."

Although Renee Rapp fans were sent home happy from the show on March 3, there was bad news for followers of the US songstress as she's since had to postpone two UK dates on her Snow Hard Feelings tour due to illness. After postponing two shows in Southampton, the Mean Girls Broadway star said on social media: "Guys I’m sure you could tell but my voice was gone after last nights show. I’ve been sick for the majority of the European leg of this tour, and without any recovery time I can’t seem to shake it. I’m being told that I need to rest my voice and not sing through for risk of long term injury."

The phenomenon of fans lining the streets outside gig venues more than 24 hours in advance is not a new one. In February, fans of The 1975 began camping up to three days before one of the group's shows at London's O2 Arena. One of the first in the line, a female fan called Zoe, posted on social media about her position in the queue, only to face a backlash on X (formerly Twitter), with others telling her it was 'completely unnecessary'. One added: "How has this become ‘the normal’ thing to do for concerts now? it’s so sad. I hope venues/artists put a stop to this in the future. It doesn’t make you any more special than anyone else."

Are Brits really a nation of queue lovers?

We're often portrayed as a nation of queue-obsessives, but a recent survey has revealed how much Brits actually hate waiting in line.

Research from mobile phone carrier O2 claims that 29% of people "dread" queuing, while 46% "hate" it. Their survey also revealed that Brits are only prepared to wait, on average, for 36 minutes to get into their favourite live experience. However, fans still regularly queue overnight for events like Wimbledon every year - and the British obsession with queueing doesn't end with live events - as recent enormous queues for a newly-opened dentist in Bristol stretched to six hours and started at 5am.