It’s my first camping trip, Maggie Eguerra from McAllen, Texas, tells NPR’s Ben Bergman excitedly. Is she in California’s famed Yosemite National Park? Or admiring the Giant Sequoias in King’s Canyon National Park?
No, she’s one of 550 people camped out in a mall in downtown Los Angeles, waiting for the Thursday night premiere of “Eclipse,” the latest installment of The Twilight Saga. That’s right: there’s a campground in the middle of the giant new LA Live entertainment and shopping complex. And it’s not just for tweens and teens. Twihards, as they are affectionately known, include plenty of moms, as well as tourists from distant lands. “I brought my niece,” Eric Irizarry from New Zealand told ABC7 News. “I told her I owed her a trip so we brought her out here and between her and my wife they convinced me to camp out.”
Why are these fans, many of whom have been here since Sunday, sleeping on a concrete plaza, surrounded by blankets, tents, umbrellas, and cardboard cut-outs of “Eclipse” stars? The first 550 are doing it all for a guaranteed spot on the red carpet at the film’s premiere, and a glimpse of Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner. (These three play Bella, Edward and Jacob in “Eclipse,” which features Bella preparing for high school graduation and choosing a prom date. But will it be vampire Edward or werewolf Jacob?)
It’s all very orderly: around 9,000 wristbands are being handed out and must be worn until the premiere is over. There is also a list of rules for campers: overnight camping in designated areas only, only 4′ x 4′ tents allowed, no amplified music, no drugs, no alcohol, and no cooking.
Camping out has taken on a whole new meaning this week – and Bear Grylls might not make it here.
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