LONDON (Reuters) - Move over Beatlemania. “Biebermania” hit the home town of the famous Fab Four when a noisy crowd of fans descended on central Liverpool to catch a glimpse of teenaged singing sensation Justin Bieber.
In scenes reminiscent of the hysteria that met the Beatles wherever they went in the early 1960s, police were called in on Thursday to control a large crowd of girls who had gathered outside the Hard Days Night hotel where Bieber was staying.
The 17-year-old Canadian pop star was in Liverpool ahead of a concert on Friday evening.
Merseyside Police, responsible for Liverpool in northern England, said they were called by hotel security staff early on Thursday afternoon.
They were forced to close a central city street to traffic, and were at the scene for around six hours before the fans eventually left.
Bieber took to his Twitter account to communicate with his followers.
“This is crazy,” he wrote on the social networking site. “There are like thousands of people out there. Love everybody but gonna try and get some sleep. Please dont scream. lol.”
A police spokeswoman denied media reports that Bieber had been threatened with arrest if he stepped out on to his hotel balcony to greet the crowd.
“We can confirm that Merseyside Police have at no time threatened to arrest Justin Bieber or members of his management team,” she said.
Bieber is due to play at the Liverpool Echo Arena on Friday before heading to Newcastle on Saturday and to London for a series of gigs at the O2 Arena next week.
Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato