Biggest band in world' brings tour to SA

ONE Direction will be the first act to headline two consecutive nights of performances at the 90000-plus FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, when the UK boy band bring their "On The Road Again" tour to South Africa in March.

There is also another show scheduled for Cape Town the following month.

And if that alone does not prove that the quintet (Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, Harry Styles and Zayn Malik) from X Factor fame, are more than just Simon Cowell's money-spinning manufactured popstars, little else will, except the fact that they were named the richest boy band in British music history by the London Sunday Times – with a combined wealth of R1.2-billion.

In support of their third album, Memory Remains (when it was released it helped them become the first-ever band to have their first three albums debut atop the US Billboard Chart), they will begin the tour with five Australian dates. They will then move to Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Indonesia, and the FNB Stadium on March 28 and 29, and the Cape Town Stadium on April 1.

Big Concerts spokesman Justin van Wyk said yesterday: "We are very excited that the biggest band in the world will be coming to the country next year, and we encourage 1D fans to get their tickets this Friday to avoid disappointment."

In September last year Van Wyk was in Sydney, Australia, where One Direction were playing three consecutive sold out gigs in Adelaide.

He said then: "We're not specifically looking at South Africa for a tour. We're launching 1D World, which is a merchandise pop-up store. That's mainly why we're [in Australia] – to look at merchandise, the kids, how they control crowds. It's just a fact-finding mission."

But it appears the recce to Sydney went well. Van Wyk warned that no one under 13 years of age and shorter than 1.2m would be permitted into the venues for next year's shows.

Tickets for the Johannesburg shows will range between R405 and R915, while the Cape Town tickets will cost between R395 and R850, and go on sale on Friday at and Computicket.

Those with bigger pockets can get a hot ticket for R2100 , which comes with a seat in a block with views of both the main stage and B stage, and also a 1D wristband with a pouch, a laminate card and lanyard. - Andile Ndlovu