There was a real ‘Sign of the Times’ as Harry Styles fans arrived early and set up camp outside his Manchester Arena gig - FOUR days before he is due on stage.

Hard core devotees descended on the venue in plenty of time to make sure they were at the front of the queue for the former One Direction singer’s concert tonight (Monday, April 9).

Harry Styles performs during his European tour in Paris

By yesterday (Sunday) there was a group of around 30 fans at Victoria Station, near the venue, with duvets and sleeping bags - many of whom had slept there.

All wanted to get as close to the stage as possible and to ensure there was no pushing in, an ad hoc wristband system had been introduced to allocate places in the queue when Arena doors opened.

Ella Barrett, 19, from Tarporley was number three, and said: “I want to get as close to the barrier at the front as possible but everyone is really respecting each other.

“We will have been here two days, I was a One Direction fan since the age of 12 and Harry was my favourite. He is everything I dream of.

“His music is my exact taste, he is gorgeous, creative and he likes art and poetry. He is sweet and promotes treating people with kindness, he is an angel from heaven.”

Grace Archer, Megan James and Ella Barrett camp out for the Harry Styles concert
Grace Archer, Megan James and Ella Barrett from Tarporley camp out for the Harry Styles concert

Many of the group met through going to previous Harry Styles concerts or via Twitter and are now firm friends.

Megan James, 19, from the Wirral, said: “There is a real community, Harry was my first celebrity crush and I feel all my friends and the band have grown up together.

“To watch him go from an insecure kid in a band to a confident musician is inspiring.”

Grace Archer, 15, from London, will watch Harry Styles four times on his tour this week. She and her family moved over from Australia to the capital in December.

Mum Lisa Archer (front right) keeps an eye on her daughter and friends who are very early for the Harry Style Manchester Arena concert

She said: “We’ve been trying to figure out where everyone is all day so I’m only 31 in the queue. There’s no rivalry, it’s nice to be with fellow fans.

“He’s an incredible artist, I couldn’t ever get sick of him. It’s part of the reason I was pleased to come over here.”

Mum Lisa Archer, 47, is one of the group’s oldest members and has got to the concert so early to keep an eye on her daughter.

The two were still negotiating where they would sleep on Sunday night, in a booked hotel room or outside the Arena.

Lisa said: “I have been living and breathing Harry since I came to London. I have become a bit of a fan and feel like a teenager being here all day.

Romy Hubert (left) and Chloe Zee have travelled from France to see the Harry Styles concert

“Grace meets people on twitter so I want to make sure they are OK. When I was her age I was a fan of Depeche Mode and tears for Fears, but there was no way I would have been allowed to stay out.”

Having slept in the station on Saturday the group were looking for somewhere else to stay on Sunday night as station staff said they had to move on. Most decamped to the street outside.

Among them was Romy Hubert, 19, who had travelled from Paris and arrived with her friend Chloe Zee outside the venue on Thursday.

She said: “We can’t count how many times we have seen him, it must be at least 40 - we met at a concert. I grew up at the same time as he did, he is part of my teenage years.”