Westlife add new dates as shows sell out in half an hour03/12/2011 05:05
By Patrice Dougan
Disappointed Westlife fans will get a second chance to see their heroes as the band announced two extra dates for their farewell tour.
Tickets to see the Irish boy band sold out in less than 30 minutes yesterday morning, leaving dozens of fans who had queued for hours disappointed.
But within minutes there was speculation that extra dates would be set, and less than two hours later it was officially announced the chart-toppers would perform an extra two nights at the Odyssey Arena next year.
They will go on sale next Friday, December 9, at 9am.
It brings the Belfast leg of their farewell tour to four nights.
Diehard fans, who had queued for days to secure front row tickets to Westlife’s May gig, vowed to come back to get tickets for a second night when the extra dates go on sale.
Over 100 fans stood outside the Odyssey box office yesterday morning as the tickets went on sale — some had been there for five days.
Fiona Patton (25), Nicole Hendry (25), Gemma McNerney (20), and Roisin McGuinness (24) from Belfast arrived at 11.30am on Monday and developed a shift rota to keep their spot at the front of the queue.
The friends — who first met while queuing for tickets to see the band — screamed with excitement as they all secured front row tickets, with one admitting she was “shaking like a leaf”.
Fans Claire McKee and Nicola Reid, from Cregagh, queued for tickets from 4.30pm on Thursday to get their hands on the coveted tickets.
“I’m so excited,” said Nicola, clutching her third-row tickets tightly in her hands.
“I can’t believe it, I’m going to actually cry.”
The pair, who have been fans since they were teenagers, said while they rarely camp overnight for tickets anymore, they wanted to get good seats to see the band one last time.
They said camping in such cold conditions was “worth it”.
“It’s bittersweet,” said Nicola.
Claire added: “It’s good to get tickets, but I’m also upset because it will be their last concert.”
Laura Stewart (26) and Emma McKeown (21), from Carrickfergus, queued from 11pm on Thursday to get their tickets. “I have been a fan since I was 16,” said Laura, “and as it’s their last tour I didn’t want to settle for anything less than a front row ticket. There’s going to be tears.”
Emma agreed: “It will be very emotional, we have grown up with them. Westlife have been our childhood. It’s the end of an era.”
The band announced earlier this year that they would split following the release of their Greatest Hits album and farewell tour after 14 years together.
It will be the 12th tour by the four-piece, who will be supported by Jedward and The Wanted, and will finish with a finale in Croke Park in June.
And the band showed their appreciation of their Northern Ireland fans’ dedication by Tweeting them on Thursday night — band members Nicky and Shane told the girls to keep safe and warm.
A spokeswoman for the Odyssey said they were “delighted” by how quickly the tickets had sold.
“It sold phenomenally well,” she said.
“It’s a testament to the fans here in Northern Ireland, and Westlife have responded by putting on two extra dates. They are as popular as ever.”