News that the 17-year-old singer had arrived in the city the day before a planned concert appearance caused pandemonium.
Fifty police officers closed the road and formed a human cordon to keep the outbreak of Bieber Fever under control while the North West Ambulance Service dispatched its Hazardous Area Response Team. Two girls required treatment at Alder Hey children’s hospital after fainting with excitement.
The city had seen nothing like it since the height of Beatlemania, a fact not lost on the singer’s shrewd publicity team who chose the Beatles-themed Hard Days Night Hotel for Bieber’s stay and booked him into the £650-per-night McCartney Suite.
They also circulated a rumour that Bieber had been threatened with arrest for endangering public safety if he stepped out onto his balcony in sight of fans.
Bieber issued a plea to his fans via Twitter, asking them to keep the noise down. It read: “this is crazy. there are like thousands of people out there. love everybody but gonna try and get some sleep. please dont scream. lol”
Will Smith, the Hollywood superstar, was believed to be staying in the hotel but his presence caused barely a stir. However, Twitter rumours that One Direction, the X Factor boyband, had also checked in only added to the schoolgirl hysteria.
Bieber is playing Liverpool’s Echo Arena tomorrow but checked in a day early. He arrived at the hotel at 9am and news of his whereabouts travelled fast. Fans began gathering within minutes but the crowds swelled after 3pm when the school day finished.
A hotel insider said: “Justin did intend to go on a Beatles tour of Liverpool but the situation with fans means he can’t get out. We counted 50 police officers at one point. The screaming is so loud it could make your ears bleed. At one point he twitched the curtain of his room and that caused a near-riot.
“The other guests are being very good about it and there have been no complaints. A lot of them have children so they know about Justin Bieber, and there is quite an air of excitement around the hotel. We have a lot of big names here but nobody has ever seen anything like this.”
Mike Dewey, the hotel’s general manager, said: “We are taking every precaution to ensure the security of the hotel and the safety of our guests.”
Bieber’s popularity is a phenomenon. Discovered via YouTube, he has the most Googled name in the world and eight million followers on Twitter. His fans refer to themselves as ‘Beliebers’.
The city is braced for another day of hysteria tomorrow.
A Merseyside Police spokesman said: “Officers are working with the management of the hotel and with Justin Bieber’s security team to ensure his safety, the safety of other guests and of the crowd.”
The spokesman added: “Merseyside Police has at no time threatened to arrest Justin Bieber or members of his management team.”