Belfast Telegraph

Westlife announce stadium tour date at Pairc Uí Chaoimh

Westlife’s Kian Egan, Shane Filan, Markus Feehily and Nicky Byrne (left-right) (Matt Crossick/PA)
Westlife’s Kian Egan, Shane Filan, Markus Feehily and Nicky Byrne (left-right) (Matt Crossick/PA)

By Ralph Riegel

Chart-toppers Westlife will bring their record-breaking reunion tour back to Ireland with a gig in Cork on August 28.

Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Nicky Byrne and Kian Egan admitted that being privileged to play sell-out concerts for their Irish fans is like "being able to relive your youth."

Shane insisted the concert at Pairc Ui Chaoimh next year will be Ireland's only "bespoke concert" in 2020 - though the band held out the prospect of playing further gigs in Cork if the Friday August 28 gig sells out.

They have ruled out further Irish gigs in 2020.

"It is absolutely fantastic to be playing for our Irish fans. It really is like getting to relive our youth," Shane said.

However, the band said the issue of any further concerts has not been decided.

"That is a matter for Denis Desmond (MCD) - but we would absolutely love to play more concerts for our Irish fans," Nicky Byrne said.

But the band said any further concerts will definitely be at Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

Mark Feehily, who is due his first child in just three weeks, said they loved their concerts at Croke Park this year but wanted to be able to bring their new bespoke show outside Dublin to other parts of Ireland.

Kian Egan said they were expecting one of the best concerts they have ever played.

"It is going to be a great night and we are really excited about it," he said.

However, the support line up remains a closely guarded secret.

"We will have a special guest for the concert next year - but that won't be announced until Wednesday," Mr Desmond said.

The band said they are delighted to return to Cork having previously played the Live At The Marquee series.

Promoters MCD and Cork GAA hosted a press conference at 8am today (Monday) to unveil details of the major Pairc Uí Chaoimh concert.

The Cork concert will form part of a world tour aimed at supporting the band's eleventh studio album 'Spectrum' which is being released on November 8.

Westlife admitted they were "absolutely blown away" by the astonishing reaction to their comeback concerts in Croke Park last July.

The two gigs proved a sell-out success at the Dublin GAA headquarters - and Westlife said they were now eager for more Irish concerts.

Westlife said the reaction to their Croke Park shows was "absolutely overwhelming" and "very emotional."

They will now be the third major act to play the €70m revamped Pairc Uí Chaoimh after Ed Sheeran played three sell-out concerts in 2018 and Rod Stewart played a single gig there last May.

The four Irish stars recently completed their comeback 'Twenty' tour which opened in Belfast on May 22.

Across a total of 51 concerts in Europe and Asia, they sold an estimated 700,000 tickets.

It included concerts in Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Denmark, China, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.

The tour concluded with a high-profile concert in Hyde Park in London on Sunday night.

It saw them celebrating 20 years of hits including a remarkable total of 14 chart-toppers in the UK.

Last June, Mark Feehily and his fiancé Cailean O'Neill revealed that they were set to welcome their first child.

The singer announced at the band's second Croke Park concert that he and his partner were set to become fathers to a baby girl.

All four singers reformed Westlife last October after deciding to take a break from recording and touring in 2012.

Shane said the break turned out to be "the best thing possible" for the band.

Westlife originally formed in 1998 and were managed by Louis Walsh.

They were initially signed by Simon Cowell in the UK and Clive Davis in the US.

On their comeback tour, the band took the UK by storm before going on to perform across South East Asia with a final concert in Indonesia on September 1.

Westlife have already confirmed a gig for Wembley Stadium on August 20 next which is expected to prove an 90,000 ticket sell-out.

Irish Independent

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