Flashback: That time the Spice Girls visited a small Wicklow town
It’s been 20 years since the Spice Girls unleashed girl power on the world with the release of their breakthrough album Spiceworld. But in 1998, it was a small Wicklow town that was overcome with Spice mania as the fab five arrived in town.
In January 1998 they flew into Ireland to film the video for ‘Stop’. Filming began on Carnew Street in the inner north suburb of Stoneybatter.
Locals were reportedly paid £100 for the inconvenience of having their street sealed off, but it didn’t seem too many were put out. The Spice Girls chatted to locals between takes and signed autographs for eager fans.
The next day they travelled to Rathdrum in County Wicklow. A handful of local children had been chosen to appear with the five popstars for the video. The girls braved the January temperatures in their signature miniskirts, platform boots and leather jackets.
The town’s square was scattered in hay as Geri Halliwell entered on the back of a piebald pony. The video clip closes with the Spice Girls performing on stage in the local pub.
A month later they kicked off their global Spiceworld tour in Dublin with two shows at the Point. They had spent several weeks in Dublin rehearsing for the forthcoming tour.
It was their first major international performance and the pressure was on- up to 400 foreign journalists were jetting into town to critique them. Tickets for the Dublin shows reportedly sold out within two hours and were soon selling for five times more than the original ticket price of £25.
The Spice Girls went on to tour throughout Europe, the United Kingdom and North America, although their tour schedule was interrupted by the shock announcement from Geri in May that she was leaving the group.
The North America leg of the tour was performed without Halliwell. Her decision to leave the group made headlines around the world.
It signalled the beginning of the end for the Spice Girls, who despite this remain the most successful and highest paid all-female group ever.