First diehard fans of Guns N’ Roses already present at 7.30 in Stadspark: “I came all the way from Rio de Janeiro”

On Thursday morning, the first diehard fans gathered for the Guns N’ Roses concert in the Stadspark in Groningen. The concert starts at the end of the afternoon, but that didn’t bother these fans. “I’ve been here since 7:30 this morning,” said a Brazilian fan.

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Ana Sbano (57) even came to Groningen especially from Rio de Janeiro to attend the performance. On the 19th she flew from Brazil to the Netherlands and since her arrival she stayed with her Brazilian friend Carina Tabarin (36) in her hometown of Delft. In 2016, the two became friends through Facebook due to their shared passion for the hard rock band, in December 2021 they met for the first time in real life.

Since 7:30 this morning, the two have been waiting together at the gates of the City Park to admire their great heroes, when no one else was standing. “I’ve been a fan since I first heard Axl (Rose, the lead singer, ed.) on the radio in 1989. This is about the thirtieth concert I’ve been to,” says Sbano. “My friends think I’m crazy too, haha. They don’t get it, but only other Guns N’ Roses fans can understand this.”

Tabarin, who manages a Guns N’ Roses fanpage on Instagram, gets it of course. For her, the concert has an extra nice edge. “Yesterday I turned 36, so it’s a nice birthday present,” she says with a smile. In the meantime, their husbands are going to drink beer together in Delft today. “He still texted: stay safe, haha”, laughs Sbano.

It would have been close if the two friends had had to sleep on the street last night. “The reservation at the hostel had gone wrong, we had made a mistake in the month. But luckily they had a room available when a few guests didn’t show up,” says Sbano with relief. This morning they were up early to put their clothes in a safe at the station and walk to the City Park.

Sandra Janssen (40) from South Limburg and Jasmine Tieman (63) from Rotterdam got up at their B&B at a quarter to six to be able to be present at 8:00 this morning. So they’ve been waiting at the entrance for three hours? “Well, we also just sat down,” Tieman says soberly with her Rotterdam accent.

It will be the band’s second concert. “In 1993 I was there for the first time in De Kuip, I was with my boyfriend. Then I became a fan and I wanted to see them again before they stop.”

The fans are already queuing many hours earlier to get a good spot in the so-called Golden Circle. “And we have the early entrance, then you can enter earlier and you get a VIP package with all kinds of fun stuff,” says Tieman.

Arjan Harlaar (59) from Delft is there for the third time. When he Welcome to the Jungle first heard he was sold. “I think, what am I hearing now?” Harlaar remembers. He is also clearly a diehard fan, judging by his fully tattooed arm with the band’s hallmark on it. “I had it put after the previous concert in Nijmegen, I thought they were so cool.”

Harlaar also made use of the early entrance and a place in the golden circle. “I have autism, so I prefer not to be in a crowded crowd. It is less crowded and you can walk in and out quietly.”

Annemarie and Iris Bolhuis did not have to get up early to secure their place at the front of the performance: they come from Hoogezand. “It’s nice and close for us now, that’s nice sometimes,” says mother Annemarie. This will be her first performance. “It’s music from my youth, nice to experience live. I’m glad I took that chance.”