After months of speculation, Girls Aloud have delighted fans with the news they’re officially back together.
On Wednesday evening, Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts, Cheryl Tweedy and Kimberley Walsh confirmed long-standing rumours that they’ll be hitting the road in 2024 for an arena tour on which they’ll be performing all of their hits.
The chart-topping pop group have announced an initial 15-date tour of arenas around the UK and Ireland, beginning in Dublin on 18 May and ending in Liverpool on 29 June.
In their initial announcement, the singers assured fans they’d also be using the tour as an opportunity to pay tribute to and “celebrate” their late bandmate Sarah Harding, who died of breast cancer in September 2021, at the age of 39.
Here’s what the Girls Aloud reunion will (and, indeed, won’t) consist of…
First off, yes Girls Aloud are finally going back on tour
More than a decade after their Ten greatest hits tour (which was followed by a somewhat abrupt group statement confirming their split, which Nadine wasted no time in distancing herself from), Girls Aloud will be back performing live in 2024.
The 15 dates for The Girls Aloud Show are as follows:
Saturday 18 May – 3Arena, Dublin
Monday 20 May – SSE Arena, Belfast
Thursday 23 May – Manchester, AO Arena
Friday 24 May – Manchester, AO Arena
Monday 27 May – Cardiff, Utilita Arena
Friday 31 May – Newcastle, Utilita Arena
Saturday 1 June – Newcastle, Utilita Arena
Tuesday 4 June – Aberdeen, P&J Live
Saturday 8 June – Glasgow, OVO Hydro
Wednesday 12 June – Nottingham, Motorpoint Arena
Saturday 15 June – Leeds, First Direct Arena
Tuesday 18 June – Birmingham, Resorts World Arena
Saturday 22 June – London, The O2
Sunday 23 June – London, The O2
Saturday 29 June – Liverpool, M&S Bank Arena
You might notice there are some quite big gaps between a couple of those dates, suggesting that more could be added if it proves to be popular.
In the initial announcement, Cheryl told fans that the tour has been years in the making, but the plans were put on ice when Sarah first fell ill.
“We all started talking about the possibility of doing something to celebrate Girls Aloud’s 20-year anniversary a few years ago,” she said. “The anniversary seemed like an obvious thing that we would celebrate. But when Sarah fell ill all priorities changed.
“She passed away a year before the anniversary and it just didn’t feel right, it felt too soon. But now, I think there is an energy that does makes it feel right.”
Sadly, Girls Aloud won’t be releasing new music any time soon
While an initial report in The Sun claimed that Girls Aloud had already recorded a new song as a tribute to Sarah, and filmed a superhero-themed music video, this has been denied by Girls Aloud’s team.
A spokesperson said: “Girls Aloud will not be releasing any new music around the tour. The band haven’t recorded any new songs or filmed any music videos.
“The tour will be a celebration of Girls Aloud’s rich back catalogue and all the ground-breaking success they have achieved as a band.”
Cheryl told British Vogue: “We couldn’t [record new songs], because Sarah wouldn’t be included in that newness. This is about celebrating the 20 years we’ve all had.”
It’s likely the footage The Sun was talking about could have been clips featured in The Girls Aloud Show’s trailer:
The tour will be a celebration of the late, great Sarah Harding
Fans can rest assured that Sarah’s legacy will be celebrated on their new tour.
“Sarah’s always going to be such a massive part of Girls Aloud,” Kimberley told British Vogue.
“I think we channelled our grief into all the fundraising we did for The Sarah Harding Breast Cancer Appeal and that helped us a lot. And as tough as it will be, we want to give Sarah her moment on this tour. We need it. The fans need it. She needs it.”
Cheryl agreed: “The tour has got to be inclusive of Sarah because she’s such a massive part of our make-up. It will never feel like the old Girls Aloud again but we’ve reached a point where we feel ready to celebrate all of it. Sarah included.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Cheryl shared: “[Sarah] turned to me once and said, ‘You know when I’m not here, you girls should do something.’
“But when you’re face to face with someone that’s dying… We just thought some miracle was going to occur. We all thought we might be able to do something together.”
Oh, and what’s this about Glastonbury?
The tour noticeably ends a day before Glastonbury’s traditional ‘Legends’ slot, so fans have already been speculating that 2024 could be the year Girls Aloud make their debut at the festival in some capacity.
“We’ve spoken about this but the thing is, we’d have to take our stage and so the logistics would be hard,” Nadine told British Vogue. “But we are touring at the same time so maybe we could get a jet in.”
During this interview, the band’s publicist pointed out they’d “not actually [been] asked yet”, with Nicola joking: “We’ll obviously come up with some spectacular opening. But all my ideas cost billions of pounds, which is the problem.”
Here’s what each of the stars had to say about the Girls Aloud reunion
“It’s the right time to celebrate Sarah, it’s the right time to celebrate the band and the right time to celebrate the fact we can still do this 21 years later,” Cheryl said. “That’s a big honour in lots of ways.”
Kimberley agreed: “Over the last year, we’ve felt this outpouring of love – obviously towards Sarah, but actually towards all of us as a group. And I guess it’s ignited something in all of us again. It feels like something has changed and it does feel like the right time to celebrate Sarah and the 20-year anniversary that we didn’t celebrate at the time.”
Meanwhile, Nadine enthused: “Girls Aloud are a band that made such a huge impact on people’s lives. We grew up with the band, but so did so many other people.
“So for us, not to do something again feels like such a shame and a waste. We want to have that moment with fans where we can all enjoy it together.”
“I think what’s really encouraging is that whenever people ask us about reuniting it’s not, ‘Would you guys ever do it?’ but ‘When are you guys gonna do it?’,” Nicola concluded.
“To know we still have that love from our fans and people who watched us grow up gives us the confidence to do the tour. It will be massive celebration of everything we’ve done up to this point.”
When are tickets for The Girls Aloud Show on sale, then?
Pre-sale begins on Wednesday 29 November, with general tickets then available from 9am on Friday 1 December.
For more ticket info, visit Girls Aloud’s website here.