A tidal wave of teenage screams flooded Wollongong's Crown Street Mall last night as boy band The Collective took to the amphitheatre stage.
The ruckus startled Thursday night shoppers hunting for Christmas presents, as building anticipation of the band's appearance boiled over into elation.
By lunchtime, a small queue of excited teens had already formed in the mall ahead of the performance by band members Trent Bell, Julian De Vizio, Zach Russell, Jayden Sierra and Will Singe.
A trio of mega-fans from Campbelltown were the first to arrive at 7am - even before the barricades had been set up. Sarah Starnovsky and Megan Dengate, both 18, and Sarah Kotsou, 17, were up until 2am painting posters to catch the eyes of their idols, who shot to fame on the latest season of TV talent show The X Factor.
"They are not the typical boy band," Megan said.
"I think it's the way that they've all come together and bonded so much, and they are genuine."
According to Sarah Kotsou: "They are the nicest guys ever."
By the time the group came on stage, the Campbelltown girls had been waiting more than 11 hours.
"But it's worth it," Megan said.
The boys proved a hit with the largely female crowd and stuck around to sign copies of their new single Surrender.