Following the news that Little Mix have scrapped their 2020 Summer Tour, Irish boy band-types Westlife have also made the decision to cancel their 2020 Stadium Tour due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The band, made up of Shane Filan, Kian Egan, Nicky Byrne and Markus Feehily, announced the news today that their Stadiums in the Summer Tour has been cancelled.
Excuse us while we blast Flying Without Wings and sob into our pack of Hobnobs.
Sharing an emotional statement to their social media pages, Westlife said, "To all our UK fans - it is with great sadness that despite best efforts, our shows scheduled for the UK in June and July must be cancelled.
“We have been monitoring the UK government’s advice surrounding mass gatherings and it is very clear that this is the course we need to take to ensure the protection of our fans, our crew and everyone around us but also to ease pressure on those working tirelessly to fight this virus.
“Those who have been on the Westlife journey with us know how important performing is it to us but also know that safety must come first and foremost in delivering a successful tour.
“Our promoters are currently working with their ticketing partners and they will be in touch very soon to process your refund. Please look out for an email from your ticketing agent shortly. Please only contact them if you have not been contacted by May 5th."
They continued, “With regards to our show at Wembley Stadium in London. This is a fluid situation which is being reviewed on a daily basis. We will only deliver this show in August if it is completely safe to do so and will update you all, as soon as the position is clear.
“To all our Irish fans – Following the Irish government’s announcement last night (extending the Irish band on mass gatherings until 31st August) the shows at Cork Páirc Uí Chaoimh have been postponed to 27th and 28th August 2021 with all tickets valid for new dates and no ticket exchange required.
Scroll through to see Westlife's biggest career moments:
RADIO Westlife career timeline stacked
Kian Egan, Mark Feehily and Shane Filan knew each other from school, forming a pop group with fellow students Derrick Lacey, Graham Keighron, and Michael Garrett called Six As One in 1997, soon changing their name to IOYOU. When Mark's mum Mae Filan got in touch with Louis Walsh, who managed Boyzone, and he took them on - but when they got shot down by Simon Cowell, Louis fired Derrick, Graham and Michael, and held auditions to replace them. They recruited Nicky Byrne and Brian McFadden, and officially became Westside in July 1998 - quickly changing to Westlife when they discovered a band already called Westside.They signed a £4 million deal with RCA Records, and they were the opening act for both Boyzone and Backstreet Boys, with Ronan Keating of Boyzone co-managing the group with Louis. They recorded their first EP, 'Swear It Again', in 1999, which went to Number 1 in the UK
The band's self-titled debut album 'Westlife' was released in November 1999, containing singles 'Flying Without Wings', 'Seasons in the Sun' and 'More Than Words', topping the charts in Ireland and going to Number 2 in the UK. The band released their second album 'Coast to Coast' a year later, spawning singles 'Against All Odds', 'What Makes a Man' and 'When You're Looking Like That'. It went to Number 1 in the UK and Ireland, beating Spice Girls' 'Forever', and the boys embarked on their 'Where Dreams Come True Tour' in 2001.
Westlife's third album 'World of Our Own' was released just one year later, containing singles 'Uptown Girl', 'Evergreen' and the album's titular song. It went to Number 1 in the UK and Ireland, and they sold over 12 million records in just three years. Westlife won Best Pop Act at the BRIT Awards in both 2001 and 2002.Their 'Unbreakable - The Greatest Hits Vol. 1' was released in 2002, also going to Number 1 in both the UK and Ireland and Westlife then went on 'The Greatest Hits Tour' in 2003. They released their fourth album 'Turnaround' later that year, spawning singles 'Hey Whatever', 'Mandy' and 'Obvious' - it went to Number 1 in the UK and Ireland.
Bryan announced that he was leaving the group in March 2004 to spend more time with his family, as he had two young daughters with then-wife Kerry Katona (pictured). He also reverted back to using the spelling Brian. His departure came three weeks before the band went on their 'Turnaround Tour', with Brian watching in the audience.The remaining members carried on without him, releasing fifth album '...Allow Us To Be Frank' in 2004 which was a Rat Pack tribute album and contained many covers by Frank Sinatra, going to Number 3 in the UK. They released sixth album 'Face to Face' in 2005, containing 'You Raise Me Up', seventh album 'The Love Album' in 2006, which contained covers of famous love songs and eighth album 'Back Home' in 2007.
To celebrate their 10-year anniversary, Westlife put on a show called '10 Years of Westlife' at Croke Park in Dublin in June 2008. In July, Louis announced that the group would be taking a hiatus for one year until July 2009.They released 10th album 'Where We Are' in November 2009, and they won a Guinness World Record as the top selling album group of the 21st century. Westlife took part in the 2010 charity single 'Everybody Hurts' to raise money for victims of the Haiti earthquake, along with Rod Stewart, Mariah Carey, Take That and Kylie Minogue among many others. Their eleventh album 'Gravity' was released in November 2010, going to Number 1 in Ireland and Number 3 in the UK.
In March 2011, Westlife split from Simon Cowell's label Syco, and released their album 'Greatest Hits' in November 2011, and despite rumours that Brian could reunite with the band for an interview, this never happened. Westlife announced their 'The Greatest Hits Tour' or 'The Farewell Tour' on 18th October 2011, and announced their split a day later. The statement read, 'The decision is entirely amicable and after spending all of our adult life together so far, we want to have a well-earned break and look at new ventures. We would like to thank our fans who have been with us on this amazing journey and are part of our family too. We never imagined when we started out in 1998 that 14 years later we would still be recording, touring and having hits together. It has been a dream come true for all of us. Kian, Mark, Nicky and Shane.'
After the group's split, all four went onto solo endeavours. Shane released three solo albums: 'You and Me' (2013), 'Right Here' (2015) and 'Love Always' (2017). Mark released his debut solo album 'Fire' in October 2015, performing as an opening act for Mariah Carey and Wet Wet Wet. He released his second solo album 'Christmas' in December 2017. Kian released debut solo album 'Home' (2014), became a coach on The Voice of Ireland and won I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! in 2013. Nicky released his solo album 'Sunlight' in 2016 and represented Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest in the same year, sadly failing to advance to the final. He also took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2012.Throughout the years between 2011 and 2017, there were many rumours about Westlife reuniting, and whilst they initially said they would never get back together, each member started to hint that they'd like to reunite as the years went on.
Westlife announced that they were getting back together in October 2018, revealing that they were going on tour and bringing out new music. Brian confirmed in an interview with Closer magazine that he would not be taking part.The band released their first single as 'Westlife 2.0' in January 2019 - 'Hello My Love', which was co-written by Ed Sheeran. They performed it at the National Television Awards in 2019, and released the album 'Spectrum' in November 2019, which went to Number 1 in the UK and Ireland. Ed also co-wrote four other tracks on the album including 'Better Man'. They went on 'The Twenty Tour' in 2019.
Westlife were set to embark on their 'Stadiums in the Summer Tour' in June 2020, visiting 21 venues around Europe including Scarborough Open Air Theatre, Cardiff City Stadium and Wembley Stadium among others. Sadly, it was cancelled due to Government advice around the Coronavirus pandemic.
Westlife broke the news on St Patrick's Day that they have signed a deal with Warner Music UK label East West Records, having left EMI Records earlier in the year. They also added a second Wembley show date - now performing Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd August 2021.
The band released their latest Wild Dreams album on 26th November 2021, and are currently preparing to hit the road on a sell-out UK and Ireland tour. Getting closer to their fans than ever before, the lads are set to belt out all of their greatest hits 'Swear It Again', 'Flying Without Wings' and 'World of our Own' as well as, fresh pop anthems from their new album 'Wild Dreams'. They've announced gigs in Dublin's Aviva Stadium and two shows in Belfast's SSE Arena.
“Tickets purchased for the 28th August 2020 are valid for Friday 27th August 2021. Tickets purchased for 29th August 2020 are valid for Saturday 28th August 2021.
“In the meantime, we ask everyone to stay home, stay safe and keep playing your part in fighting the spread of the virus.”
Westlife were due to perform between June and August at the following locations:
Norwich, UK, Carrow Road – 19 June 2020
Peterborough, UK, The Weston Homes Stadium – 21 June 2020
Cardiff, UK, Cardiff City Stadium – 26 June 2020
Falkirk, UK, The Falkirk Stadium – 27 June 2020
Inverness, UK, Inverness Caledonian Stadium – 28 June 2020
Southampton, UK, The Ageas Bowl – 3 July 2020
Plymouth, UK, Home Park – 4 July 2020
Colwyn Bay, UK, Stadium Zipworld – 5 July 2020
Hull, UK, Hull College Craven Park Stadium – 10 July 2020
Colchester, UK, Castle Park – 11 July 2020
Gloucester, UK, Kingsholm Stadium – 12 July 2020
Leicester, UK, Fischer County Ground – 16 July 2020
Canterbury, UK, The Spitfire Ground – 17 July 2020
Durham, UK, Emirates Riverside – 18 July 2020
London, UK, Wembley Stadium – Saturday 22 August 2020
Cork, Ireland, Páirc Uí Chaoimh – Friday 28 August 2020
Cork, Ireland, Páirc Uí Chaoimh – Saturday 29 August 2020
As mentioned in their statement, fans should wait to hear from their ticket operator for a refund.