one direction group photo

I spoke with a few fans to find out what it means to be a One Direction fan in 2020 and why they are still obsessed years later.

We all talk about how amazing One Direction was and yes they’re all incredibly talented but we forget about the fans that made this all possible for them. After speaking with a few young people, I’ve realised the impact their music has had on these young people’s lives. They were iconic.

So years later, The lads have moved on and started their own solo careers with Niall Horan and Harry Styles solo albums really rocketing the charts.

But I wondered with it being 10 years since they formed What does it mean to be a die-hard fan in 2020? Why do fans still feel connected to a band who haven’t performed together in years?

I decided to chat with a few fans about their experience and why they still have an obsession with One Direction this many years later.

How did you first discover One Direction?

I’ve been a One Direction fan since late 2011. The first time I found out about the band was from a youtube link that my friend Kathy sent to me. It was the ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ music video that really got my hooked and the rest was history. I’ve watched these five boys grow as a group and as individuals. It’s really cool to see each one prosper as solo acts. – Kim, 25 @kkimhirsch

I discovered one direction in 2010 when they appeared on the X factor. I voted for them every week to win. I saw one direction for the first time and have a vivid memory from the X factor tour when the intro from the boys came on and my mum sat beside me and said “just you wait, Chloe, this band is gonna make it big and you can say you were in the process of supporting them along the way” and I’m still here 10 years later supporting them and all their solo careers. – Chloe, 19 @nhtuned

I discovered One Direction whilst they were on X factor in 2010.  I watched them audition separately then when they got put together as a band I supported them and voted for them every single week, multiple times – Maggie, 23 @smalltaiknh

Who is your favourite member and why?

My favourite member has always been Niall Horan. Niall is so connected with his fans and you can tell he truly loves what he does and enjoys every minute of it. I love his passion for his music and his down to earth personality. In the years the band has been on hiatus, I’ve felt more connected to Niall but on days like their 10th Anniversary of One Direction being formed. I felt a deep connection to every member of the band. They were a very important part of my coming of age years and they always will have a special place in my heart. If they wanted to return as a group again I would be very excited and happy to relive that incredible time but if they decide to stay as solo acts, I would be perfectly ok with that too – Kim, 25 @kkimhirsch

Niall Horan is my favourite member of one direction and also my favourite solo artist too. Niall is very kind and genuine and down to earth regardless of his level of fame. He has such a bubbly personality and his sense of humour is unmatchable he’s hilarious. – Chloe, 19 @nhtuned

Niall is my favourite member from his first audition because he just came across as a lovely person with a bubbly personality and also in their video diaries on X factor every week, He used to make me laugh because he spent the whole time laughing at everything and anything and that is just me all over. – Maggie, 23 @smalltaiknh

What are some of your favourite albums and/or tracks that you feel connected to?

My favourite album has to be Four. I think it was a huge shift musically for the band. With tracks like Night Changes, Where Do Broken Hearts Go and Fools Gold, you start to notice their maturity in the lyrics and musically – Kim, 25 @kkimhirsch

It has to be between the album four and made in the am. Four has so many bangers on it, especially Where Do Broken Hearts Go, Change Your Ticket and Stockholm Syndrome and it felt like Made In The Am was like a farewell to the fans. – Chloe, 19 @nhtuned

I love their albums Four and Made in the AM. The boys have all done amazingly on their solo album’s as well. There’s a song on Niall’s album ‘Flicker’ called ‘Fire Away’ that I really connect with and it means so much to me. – Maggie, 23 @smalltaiknh

What is your favourite lyric from any track they released? What does it mean to you?

My favourite lyrics have to be “We will find a way through the dark”. These single lyrics have helped me in a difficult time of my life. It gives me that hope that no matter what, it will be ok and I will figure it out. – Kim, 25 @kkimhirsch

“We had some good times, didn’t we, we wore our hearts out on our sleeve, goodbyes are bittersweet but it’s not the end I’ll see your face again” from Walking In The Wind on Made In The Am album. It resonates both life, and the career of One Direction for me. – Chloe, 19 @nhtuned

“unforgettable together, held the whole world in our hands. unexplainable, a love that only we could understand”. This song means a lot to me as I related to it due to a past relationship. it also ties in well with One Direction because they were unstoppable as a band, so popular all over the world. Maggie, 23 @smalltaiknh

How many One Direction concerts did you attend? Have you attended any of their solo gigs? 

Too many to count – Kim, 25 @kkimhirsch

I’ve seen One Direction as a band 5 times. First of all once at the X factor tour in 2011 in Belfast, once at the Take Me Home tour in 2013 in Belfast, once at Croke Park in Dublin for the Where We Are Tour 2014 and then two times for the On The Road Again tour in 2015 in Belfast. I’ve seen both Niall Horan and Harry Styles as solo acts. I saw Harry live twice and was supposed to see him this year again. I’ve seen Niall live 4 times since his solo career started. I went to Niall’s first-ever Flicker Sessions gig that happened in Dublin, it was so special and I also went to three Flicker World tour dates. 2x Dublin and 1x Belfast.  I was also supposed to see Niall 6 more times this year for his Nice To Meet Ya tour in several cities before it got cancelled. I’m still waiting for Louis and Liam to bring their tours to Ireland. – Chloe, 19  @nhtuned

I attended 10 One Direction concerts. Every time they did multiple shows in my hometown I made sure I was there all of the nights. it never got boring. I haven’t gotten to see any of the boys solo concerts yet but I was supposed to be seeing Niall 6 times on his Nice To Meet Ya tour. 2 Dublin, 2 Belfast, 1 London and 1 Glasgow but COVID19 interfered. – Maggie, 23 @smalltaiknh

Have you ever travelled to support One Direction? whether it was for a concert, award show or event.

During the One Direction days, the furthest I travelled was from Los Angeles to San Diego for the One The Road Again tour. I did, however, travel seven different places of Niall’s Flicker World Tour. It included four California shows, one Las Vegas, Colorado and Florida. – Kim, 25 @kkimhirsch

The only time I travelled to see One Direction was in 2014 when I travelled to Dublin to see them at the Where We Are tour. But I have also travelled to see Harry Styles in London in 2017 that was my first ever time travelling on a plane for any of the boys and it was amazing. I met up with plenty of my friends I made through supporting the boys on Twitter. I’ve also travelled on the train to see and support Niall in the golf event he sponsors with his golf management Modest Golf in Ballymena. I’ve gone every year since 2016 and I love it it’s very fun and interesting. – Chloe, 19 @nhtuned

I travelled to Dublin for their Croke Park Stadium show in 2014. I also travelled to Dublin (again) to be in the audience of the late late show for Niall. I also went to Ballymena for Niall’s golf event. – Maggie, 23 @smalltaiknh

Have you made any life long friends from supporting One Direction?

I’ve made so many life long friends from supporting One Direction. I had travelled from California to Florida to visit and meet an online friend who is now my best friend. My past roommates have also been girls I had met through liking One Direction. I still talk very regularly to my friends I made whilst supporting the band. – Kim, 25 @kkimhirsch

Yes. So many friends, if it wasn’t for One Direction I wouldn’t know where I’d be. I’ve made so many friends within the past 10 years I wouldn’t change any of them for the world. Especially, Maggie and Phoebe, they’re amazing. I could trust them forever and they would never judge me no matter how much I annoy them or cry over one direction because they understand and they get it. – Chloe,19 @nhtuned

I have. my current friends Chloe and Phoebe I got close with due to our love for the boys. Chloe and I were in the same class in college but didn’t speak really until we realised we both liked One Direction. I have also made many more friends that I’ll always appreciate. Maggie, 23 @smalltaiknh

If your favourite member was standing in front of you. What would you say to him?

If Niall Horan was standing in front of me, I would thank him for giving me the best years of my life supporting his music. – Kim, 25 @kkimhirsch

I would cry inside honestly. Though I’ve met Niall Horan on several occasions at the golf event in Ballymena, and once in a meet and greet on the Flicker World tour. Each time he’s been so kind and friendly towards me. He’s so down to earth and very humble. I’ve always been so nervous when meeting Niall but he is very comforting. I don’t know what I would plan on saying to him other than “I’m so proud of you, you’re amazing, thank you for everything you’ve done for me, your music has helped me through everything and has shaped me into who I am these past 10 years”. Chloe, 19 @nhtuned

I already had the chance to meet Niall at his golf event but I was too nervous that I didn’t know what to say but if I got the chance to meet him again I would say that I love him and I’m so proud of him for everything he’s achieved in the group and solo.  I would thank him for being an amazing person with a kind heart and always appreciating his fans. Maggie, 23 @smalltaiknh

What have you taken away from being a One Direction fan? How have they impacted your life?

I think a major thing I have taken away from being a One Direction fan is that liking bands can change your life. I have discovered myself and have had the courage to express myself in ways I’ve always dreamed of. Kim, 25 @kkimhirsch

One Direction impacted my life in so many ways and still are a major positive impact on my life. They genuinely mean so much to me. I literally grew up with One Direction and had the best time during the years they were together. They filled my youth with the most amazing memories and let me meet so many lovely people. I will forever be grateful for their impact on my life. Chloe, 19 @nhtuned

Through One Direction I’ve learned to be patient, very patient. They have helped me through hard times and I have also met so many amazing people through being a fan. I have also learned that I can be myself, even when people hate what I am doing or don’t agree with my opinion. Maggie, 23 @smalltaiknh

It seems One Direction will always be apart of these young people’s lives. Sometimes fans go really unnoticed by the media but the lads themselves will always be appreciative.