‘Open-air shows are almost like a party,’ says Boyzone’s Shane Lynch ahead of the band’s appearance at Newark Festival

No Matter What, Boyzone will headline a night of music at Newark Festival and, according to band member Shane Lynch, they cannot wait.
Boyzone are headlining Newark Festival.Boyzone are headlining Newark Festival.
Boyzone are headlining Newark Festival.

Fans of the Irish band will be thrilled to learn that Shane, Ronan, Keith and Mikey are coming to the area in a few weeks’ time, performing an open-air gig at Riverside Park, Newark.

And far from ‘slumming it’ at a small venue, Shane tells this reporter that he and the rest of the band thrive on the buzzing atmosphere, having had more than their fill of arena tours since they hit the big-time in the ‘90s.

He said: “There’s a lot more intimacy at open-air shows, we can be more engaging with the audience and the crowd. We can tone it down a little bit and we absolutely love it.

“We said this year that we don’t want to go back to the arenas. Open-air shows are almost like a party and they’re led by the crowd. We ask them what they want, play the songs they want to hear and talk to them about the hits we’ve had.”

Newark Festival is on near the imposing Newark Castle over the weekend of June 19-21. It is on the Saturday night that Boyzone will hit the stage (tickets available here).

The interview with Shane was also a chance to ask him a few questions on behalf of Boyzone fans. We asked followers on Facebook and Twitter what questions they would ask the pop star, picked a few of the best and, having acclimatised to the Irish accent, asked them for you. Here’s what he had to say:

**Who have you been most awestruck by since mixing with the stars?

“I would have to say Steve Collins, based on a recent experience. I’m a huge fan of boxing and Steve Collins is an Irish boxer. About 20 years or so ago he fought Chris Eubank. I recently had the pleasure of having a pint of Guinness with him and he was an absolute gentleman.”

**Will you be singing live?

Laughing, he said: “That’s a brilliant question! That’s taken me back a few years, back to the year when we did Top of the Pops and Oasis were on. Oasis mimed and Boyzone sang live and there was a massive hoo-ha about it. So yes, we will be singing live!”

**Do you miss Stephen?

Well, today is St Patrick’s Day and today is also Stephen’s birthday, so we have double cause to celebrate, including the life of Stephen Gately. Of course we miss our brother. He will always be missed. Stephen was on stage with us throughout the ‘90s and when we go on stage now we go on as a five-piece – he’s there with us.”

**A lot of fans have stayed loyal to the band – how does that feel?

“The loyalty that we’ve received from the fans is incredible, and it’s not just as Boyzone but also in our individual lives. I’ve had the pleasure of driving a racing car around Europe, the UK and the rest of the world. Fans of Boyzone come and support me and that in itself is amazing. We now have the pleasure of seeing, 20 years later, the youngsters we used to see outside hotels. We know who they are and we meet their husbands and their children. Boyzone is here because of the people. We are the people’s group.”

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