Spice Girls fan ‘walked out’ over sound problems in Cardiff

Some fans have complained of sound issues for the second time on the Spice Girls’ reunion tour.

The pop group performed at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on Monday night and some fans claimed they could not hear the music properly.

Others were also unhappy about getting wet, as the stadium’s roof was left open but many enjoyed the event.

It follows complaints about sound from the band’s opening gig at Dublin’s Croke Park on Friday.

Alison Powell, from Chepstow, Monmouthshire paid £70 for a ticket in Cardiff but left 45 minutes early.

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PA/Andrew Timms

Image caption

Geri Horner, Emma Bunton, Melanie Brown and Melanie Chisholm of the Spice Girls in concert at Croke Park in Dublin

“It was really, really disappointing,” she told Claire Summers on BBC Radio Wales.

“You couldn’t hear anything they were singing. The band drowned them out. You couldn’t hear the harmonies, you couldn’t hear the words.

Analysis – Mark Savage, BBC Music Reporter

It wasn’t just the Spice Girls who had sound issues this weekend. Festival-goers were filmed chanting “turn it up” during the Strokes’ set at All Points East in London, where one fan compared the sound to “underwater karaoke”.

The truth is that getting the sound right for large-scale, open-air concerts is a nightmare. No matter how you arrange the speakers, every venue will have dead zones and hot-spots, while weather conditions can play havoc with even the most sophisticated mix.

Think about this: As night falls, cool air settles on the surface-level air that’s been warmed all day by the sun. The sound tends to “bend” towards the colder air, travelling right over the stadium seating and into the atmosphere.

Add to this the noise restrictions in city centre venues like Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, and you can see why these concerts may have ended up disappointing fans.

If you are having trouble hearing a show, the best solution is often to move until you find a sweet spot. Not such an easy task if you’re seated, but on the ground level, stationing yourself next to the sound desk is generally a good bet.

“When they started talking to each other and there was a bit of banter on stage, you just couldn’t hear it.

“It left us totally flat, so flat that we actually left early – about three-quarters-of-an-hour before the end.

“We weren’t the only ones leaving. People were saying they were also really disappointed.”

After Friday’s gig, Spice Girl Mel B said she hoped the sound “will be much better” at Cardiff.

But fans took to social media to vent their anger, describing the sound as “atrocious”, “awful” and saying they “couldn’t hear half of it”.

However, many did enjoy the event and did not experience any issues with the sound.

“It was absolutely amazing,” said Emily Farley, from Swansea, who added that she got “soaked.”

“I heard these reports of the sound being bad but when I was in the moment, I couldn’t notice it myself.

“But every now and again, because the rain was so heavy, there wasn’t so much of a problem with the sound, but you could tell it was raining in the microphone. When they were talking it was a little muffled.

Another fan called it a “fantastic show” while one described it as “phenomenal”.

The Spice Girls will now head to Manchester, then Coventry, Sunderland, Edinburgh and Bristol. They finish their tour at London’s Wembley Stadium.

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