More than 1,000 fans swarmed three floors of a Hong Kong shopping centre on Friday to catch a glimpse of Canto-pop sensations Mirror and Error at an event kick-starting Olympic festivities in the city, with some arriving nearly 24 hours early to secure prime spots. The boy bands were at Tuen Mun Town Plaza to champion the dozens of Hong Kong athletes competing in the Tokyo Games , which launches on Friday night with an opening ceremony, and to promote local television coverage of the event. At around noon, Mirror’s 12-strong line-up and the four members of Error rode down an escalator to the stage at the mall’s atrium to deafening screams from fans, many of whom had camped outside overnight. Carmen Leung, a pharmaceuticals worker in her 40s, pitched up at the shopping centre in the New Territories at 1pm on Thursday, just shy of 24 hours before the Canto-pop stars were expected to arrive. She had to wait outside when the mall closed at 11pm until it reopened the next day. “It wasn’t a waste [to come so early] because we could scout the spots and know our positions, and tell other fans about our position,” Leung said, explaining that a system was in place so all 12 fan clubs of Mirror in the city could occupy their own zones. Chris Lau, 28, and Stella Tang, 20, met each other in the mall at 9pm on Thursday in the hope of securing a front-row position. When the mall closed for the night, the pair moved outside to join around 200 other hardcore fans as they waited for the arrival of the stars. “I am really feeling how united we fans are,” Lau said, recounting one of their number falling ill at 6am and others calling a taxi and chipping in to cover the fare. Chris and Stella, who packed their own food, did not sleep. “We don’t know when security will open the doors, so if we sleep we will miss our chance to come in,” said Lau, who later rushed into the mall when it opened at 7am. By 10am, fans had packed the balconies of all three levels overlooking the atrium. Where and how to watch the Tokyo Olympics in Hong Kong As they waited for the event to start, fans periodically chanted the names of their favourite artists, and sang along to the Mirror hits being blasted through the mall’s sound system. Shopping centre staff held up signs reminding people to follow Covid-19 social-distancing measures , which were largely ignored. No police officers were seen inside the mall. The last time both bands appeared in public was around two years ago, according to three fans. “I think the long wait was worth it because they make so few public appearances at malls, and it’s rare that all the members [of both bands] are here,” said Ada Leung, 21, who had been queuing outside the mall since 5.30am on Friday. “We really have to treasure these opportunities.” Time to put hardship behind you and perform, Hong Kong chief says In front of screaming fans, the boy band members each gave a brief talk on a Hong Kong athlete taking part in the 2020 Games, detailing their backgrounds and the sporting events they were competing in. They drew cheers when issuing a rallying cry to watch the Games and support the athletes . The singers then played quick-fire rounds of one-on-one volleyball. The Canto-pop stars were promoting Hong Kong channel ViuTV’s coverage of the Games. The opening ceremony in Tokyo for the Olympics starts at 7pm local time. Yuki, an administrative worker in her late 30s who did not want to give her surname for fear of colleagues knowing she took an extended lunch break to attend the event, said the bands’ involvement in the Olympics would increase her interest in the Games. “I usually watch the Olympics a bit anyway, but I’ll watch even more events if Error is going to provide commentary,” she said. Both boy bands were formed in 2018 after members took part in the talent competition Good Night Show – King Maker , produced by ViuTV. Fans have previously spent hundreds of thousands of dollars placing adverts on billboards, trams and even a cruise ship to mark the singers’ birthdays.