Midway through Harry Styles’ first date at London’s O2 arena, the audience transformed itself into a giant pride flag, providing a moving moment that any artist would be proud to have organised.
However, it wasn’t the former One Direction star, or even a member of his creative team, who was behind the move, which was carefully choreographed on Wednesday (11 April) night. This was down to the fans themselves.
Since he first hit the road last year, Harry’s gigs have repeatedly being praised for serving as safe spaces for young women and LGBT+ people, with the singer and his fans often arriving at venues with flags representing different groups within the LGBT+ community.
For the London dates, the second of which is tonight (Thursday 12 April), two fans decided to take things one step further and transform the whole of the audience into one giant rainbow flag.
Ksenia, 17, and Luna, 20, thought of the plan last year and the former tells HuffPost UK that the idea was to “create a beautiful safe space for fans”.
After dreaming up the idea, the two friends set about promoting it on social media and within 24 hours of setting up a dedicated Twitter account, their first post received over 1000 retweets and fans began to offer help.
In order for the plan to work, as many concert attendees as possible needed to hold small coloured pieces of paper over the light on their phone, at a certain point during the concert.
The colour of the paper was dictated by the section of seating and the friends set about letting fans know what colour paper to bring - and cutting up 10,000 to distribute themselves.
Over the next three months, they spread the word and other fans soon offered to help and get involved with the project.
The fans decided to schedule the flag stunt for midway through Harry’s track ‘Sweet Creatures’. Explaining why, Ksenia said: “Harry sings, ‘you bring me home’ and it’s all about the connection between him and the fans.”
When the big night rolled around, they had thousands of pieces of coloured paper to distribute and other fans, who learnt of the plan via social media, helped to hand them out.
“I felt proud of myself and our big fandom,” Ksenia said. “I was standing right in the front row last night and people shouted to me ‘You did it’.
“I was happy that we could do something for Harry and create a beautiful safe space for everyone.”
This isn’t the first time pop fans have used social media to mobilise themselves and create a huge statement.
In November 2017, Little Mix fans coordinated a tribute to the Manchester bombing victims, remembering the 22 victims exactly six months after the attack took place.