herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Hard Life for Westlife

WESTLIFE star Kian Egan claims the chart-toppers will make "feck all" from their two farewell Croke Park gigs.

The singer says there's no truth to claims that he, Shane Filan, Mark Feehily and Nicky Byrne are in for a €10m payout from their final tour.

"That's absolute, first-class rubbish," he told the Herald. "We are genuinely making feck all from these gigs.

"When you take everything into account - like the rent of Croke Park for two days, all the crew, the trucks, the amount of equipment you need - there's nowhere near that figure left over for us."

He added: "We're not Madonna -- we don't charge some €1m performance fee and massive ticket prices. We've tried to keep our ticket prices down to a reasonable cost so that our fans can come and see us.

"Doing these gigs wasn't about the money, that's not why we did them. It was about giving something back to the fans before we split up for good."

This weekend will see the group perform all their best-known hits to an audience of 160,000 screaming fans and he admitted it will be "emotional" for all of them.

And he also revealed that the band have not yet heard from former member Brian McFadden ahead of their Dublin gigs.

It was speculated that he could make a sensational return to the stage during one of their songs -- a claim which Kian has laughed off.

"Well if he is, that's news to all of us," he continued. "None of us have heard from Brian, to be honest."

Kian has a massive entourage coming down from his home town of Sligo as his closest family and friends will see him perform at one of the 85,000-strong gigs. Among them will be his proud wife Jodi Albert and their six-month-old baby Koa.

"I must have about 250 people on the list at this stage, it feels like half of Sligo!

"Everyone's really looking forward to it," he added.

Fans attending tonight and tomorrow night's shows will see four massive effigies of the band set on fire before the gig.

The gesture -- marking the end of the band's 14 years at the top -- will set off the spectacular two-hour show planned by the lads.

Fans can expect all their favourite hits as the boys perform their final two concerts as a group and are determined to put on a blinding show.

There will be a second stage added to their already enormous set to make sure they can mingle with crowd. Hundreds of staff have been working all hours this week to make sure the hotly anticipated shows hit the spot.

While it's due to be a wet and windy affair, nothing will deter the 160,000 revellers set to descend upon the stadium for the quartet's finale.



WELLIES

After ruling out the admittance of umbrellas into Croker's grounds, staff are recommending anoraks and wellies for the festivities.

The lads are planning to kick off the emotional shows with What About Now, followed by classic tunes Uptown Girl, My Love and Ain't That A Kick In The Head, with Home, Flying Without Wings and their debut single Swear It Again in the second half.

Concert goers will be allowed to queue outside Croke Park from 4pm, with gates opening at 4.30pm for the hordes to secure their spot on the transformed pitch.

Celebrity Diary, Page 20

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