Scores of excited fans queued for hours to be in with a chance of seeing the global pop icon Prince play Yorkshire’s biggest stage later this month.
People of all ages joined the line at the Box Office in Trinity Leeds to get their hands on tickets for the American singer-songwriter’s gig, which is taking place on May 23, at Leeds Arena.
One of the youngest was four-year-old Matilda Montgomery (pictured), who had been queuing with her mum and granddad for three hours.
Some dedicated fans got there as early as 6am, when the box office opened, with queues building quickly over the next few hours.
“There were quite a few bleary-eyed parents with babies, making the most of the fact they were up early anyway,” explained an Arena spokesperson.
So what is it about the international pint-sized superstar, famous for penning hit tunes such as Purple Rain and Nothing Compares 2 U, that is getting the people of Leeds so excited?
“This is a massive deal, so we jumped at the opportunity,” said mates Joe Stock and Simon Guest, from Chapeltown, who had been queuing for nearly four hours by the time they got their hands on their golden tickets.
“It’s a really rare occasion that’s probably not going to come round again and the fact he’s playing in our home town is amazing,” they added.
Jordan Small, who was buying tickets for his mum’s birthday, wasn’t going to take any chances by trying to get them online: “I lost out on tickets for Beyoncé in Manchester – they sold out in four minutes – so I wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice.”
Dad and daughter Rob and Hannah Tierney, from Burmantofts, are hoping Prince will be as brilliant as Bruce Springsteen, who blew them away at the venue in July last year.
“Prince doesn’t play very often and the last time he was in Yorkshire was the 1990s, so this is a once on a lifetime chance to see him,” they said. “It’s a brilliant venue, so we’re expecting Prince’s show to be spectatular.”
Since the First Direct Arena opened last year, it has welcomed more than a third of a million people through its doors.