They’re Just Wild About Harry

A sizable group of Harry Styles fans, most of them young women, are camping out outside Saturday Night Live headquarters in New York, hopeful about getting into the show when Styles hosts, and is musical guest, Nov. 16.

People starting turned up Tuesday night, Nov. 12. The week has turned quite cold in New York, temps dipping below freezing Nov. 13. With their blankets and makeshift bedding, the fans are camped on 6th Avenue and 48th Street. There were maybe 60-70 of them out Thursday morning, with the temperature at 35 degrees.

Jessica Paredes of Manhattan’s Financial District arrived around noon Nov. 13. She was by herself, but quickly got friendly with other solo campers, including Samiha Mazumder of Queens. How confident is Paredes about getting in? “Fairly,” she said.

Mazumder said she’s been a fan of Styles since she was 10 or 11, seeing him on Britain’s X Factor and following him during his time in One Direction.

“We’re stans, in Twitter language,” Mazumder said. “He’s a really big part of my life.” (Stans are super-fans, the term a nod to the Eminem track from 2000.)

Mazumder came out with several blankets and camping chairs, which her new friends, including Maribel Khouwes and Sonya Rios, were putting to good use. “The second he announced this, I made a list,” she said. “I had a plan.”

The women said NBC staffers will give out tickets early Saturday morning, and they’ll find out if they’re in. NBC pages brought the campers pizza and hot chocolate Wednesday night. (NBC did not comment on the campers.)

The Styles fans spend much of their day addressing questions from curious passers-by.

“You’re going to wait here until Saturday?” asked an Englishman of the women.

There is the bathroom matter to consider. The women said they used the public one in Rockefeller Center during that day, but that closes at 10:30 p.m., they said. Then it’s Starbucks or McDonald’s.

Maribel Khouwes of Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood said she almost gave up in the middle of the night, after Wednesday turned into Thursday. A quick warm-up sit in McDonald’s got her back on the street with renewed devotion.

Paredes did not sleep at all. “It wasn’t the cold, really,” she said. “I couldn’t sleep because of the noise.”

Mazumder said she hears buses coming and going all night long from her apartment, so the traffic on 6th Avenue did not bother her.

Paredes said the campout brings together the two largest passions in her life--Harry Styles, of course, and New York City. “If we get in it will be worth it,” she said. “Since I was 12, he’s been the most important figure in my life. Having this opportunity is so unreal.”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.