HEIDI Michelle Witherington is spending almost £1,000 going to one Westlife concert a week for five weeks.
It is her way of saying goodbye to the boyband that she has loved for the past 14 years.
And the single-mum from Hemel Hempstead is not alone as she will join tens of thousands of fans saying goodbye as Westlife announced their split last year and that this year would be their Farewell Tour.
When Heidi heard the news she bought tickets for the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff for May 10, 18 and June 12 and the O2 Arena in London for May 24 and June 7.
She said: “Everyone was crying at the end of the concert in Cardiff last week. I looked around me and all I could see were tears. I managed to take about 200 photos and some of them are really good and close up because I splashed out on a row two ticket.”
Some people may think queuing for 12 hours or spending a day constantly redialling a ticket hotline number to get a good seat or position close to the stage is too much effort.
And other people may think that by your 30s, getting all teary-eyed over a boyband, waiting in the rain to catch a glimpse of the band members, and screaming their names at concerts is for teenagers. But Heidi, who is 34 years old, doesn’t care what people think.
She is a superfan and dotes on Shane, Mark, Nicky and Kian, who make up Westlife, so much so that she was even considering camping in her car overnight outside their luxury hotel in Cardiff because it’s her ultimate dream to meet them.
In her mind the cold and uncomfortable experience would be nothing compared to being face to face with the famous four.
She said: “ One time we waited for an hour in the freezing cold to see them get out of their car before a concert.
“We waved at them and they waved back. I got a bubble of excitement to think that I was going to see them on stage in a few moments.
“My longest wait for Westlife was 11 and a half hours to get into an open air concert in Dorset.
“We arrived at 9.30am to get in the car park queue where there were so many cars the police had to control the chaos.
“At 2pm the gates opened so we could park up, run across a field and queue for another three and a half hours behind the barriers.”
The chase keeps Heidi going and she admits that if she actually got to meet the boyband she wouldn’t know what she would say or do.
Instead she loves them from afar – her collection of Westlife merchandise is worth thousands of pounds – and she talks about them with fans on some of the thousands, if not millions, of social networking pages and blogs dedicated to their every move.
There is nothing that makes Heidi more happy than putting Westlife on the CD player, getting her collection out and singing at the top of her voice while having a good dance around her flat.
She said: “It has only been recently that I have been listening to music other than Westlife.
“If you had asked me what was in the charts last year I wouldn’t have had a clue. The only music I have listened to for years has been Westlife. Some people get sick of it but I love it.
“Westlife has been a passionate 16-year love affair.”