Girls Aloud promise to delight fans

Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts, Cheryl and Kimberley Walsh at a magazine party in London
Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts, Cheryl and Kimberley Walsh at a magazine party in London [Getty Images]

The first of Girls Aloud's two back-to-back Belfast concerts takes place on Monday as part of their first tour in more than 11 years.

This year marks 21 years since Cheryl, Kimberley, Nadine, Nicola and Sarah won Popstars: The Rivals and formed Girls Aloud.

To mark the milestone they have hit the road again, but for the first time as a quartet.

Their new shows are being dedicated to bandmate Sarah Harding who died from cancer in 2021.

BBC News NI has spoken to one superfan who is travelling more than 5,800 miles to see them in Belfast.

Carolina de Almeida Leite, 33, from São Paulo, has been a fan since the age of 18 after discovering the global trends of the Billboard 100.

“I remember seeing Girls Aloud at the top or nearly there and falling in love with their live performances that I could always watch online," she said.

Carolina plans to attend Monday's Belfast concert with group of friends she met on social media through their love of the pop group.

“Each of us are from a different city and also different states of Brazil," she said.

Girls Aloud announcing the tour at Radio 2
Girls Aloud have reunited for their first tour as a quartet [PA Media]

It will be the first time her friends, Denis, Rosekler and Barbara will be able to see the remaining members perform live.

Carolina last saw the group as a five-piece during their Ten: The Hits tour in London when she was finishing her university degree.

“We never thought they would come back after what happened to Sarah,” she said.

The Brazilian superfans also plan to fly to Manchester for another Girls Aloud gig at the AO Arena.

Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster's Vinny and Cate programme in March, Nadine Coyle said there was a "gaping hole" left by bandmate Sarah.

"It's very difficult because it's so much in your face when you're doing things," she said.

Nadine explained how there would be "lovely elements where Sarah's really going to be honoured" in the show.

"So all of those classic Girls Aloud elements are going to be on there, this is the biggest stage show we've ever done."

Closer to home, local superfans are also preparing for the return of the band.

Corey Smith, 25, from Lisburn is attending both Belfast dates.

He has been a fan for 20 years and said it was “lovely” the remaining members had got back together to honour Sarah.

“I’d love to see something dedicated to Sarah, which I think they will do," he said.

Corey has never had the opportunity to meet Girls Aloud but is hoping that being followed on social media by Cheryl will boost his chances.

He is looking forward to hearing album tracks and is hoping for a hits "megamix" of some of their solo tracks.

Girls Aloud performing in 2012
Girls Aloud performing in 2012 [BBC]

Where are Girls Aloud playing?

Following two opening nights in Dublin’s 3Arena, they play two concerts at the SSE Arena in Belfast on Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 May.

Both concerts are set to begin at 20:00 BST with doors opening at 18:30.

How can you get to the concert?

Translink is running a special bus service to the SSE Arena leaving from Foyle Street bus centre in Londonderry at 15:00 on both concert days.

Those bus services will also pick-up fans at Drumahoe, Claudy, Dungiven, Maghera and Toome.

Booking is only available to buy online and closes at 11:00 on day of each concert.

For those travelling by train, the closest station to the arena is Titanic Quarter, which operates on the Bangor line.

Parking is available at the arena with a cost of £5.40 for two to three hours parking or £7.20 for three-four hours.

Can you still get a ticket?

The pop band was originally due to perform one date in Belfast, but added a second performance due to ticket demand.

Tickets for both Belfast dates are at “low availability,” according to Ticketmaster.

How much are tickets?

Tickets for both Belfast dates are available at three different price points: £54.70, £66.20 and £91.20.

Who is supporting Girls Aloud?

No support acts have been announced yet but Girls Aloud are set to be joined by “special guests” according to the SSE Arena website.