Spice Girls fans can be forgiven if they’re a little confused at the moment. Every few months, new reports surface that the group is about to reunite for a tour, most notably in February when the five members got together at Geri “Ginger Spice” Halliwell’s London apartment and posted a photo of the summit that ricocheted across the Internet. “The time now feels right to explore some incredible new opportunities together,” they said in a statement at the time. “We all agree that there are many exciting possibilities that will once again embrace the original essence of The Spice Girls, while reinforcing our message of female empowerment for future generations.”
The word “tour” appeared nowhere in that statement, but it still whipped fans into a frenzy. After all, what do mega-groups do when they reunite? They don’t sit around and play Scrabble in a little room. They go out and earn tens of millions of dollars playing concerts all over the world. But days after the Spice Summit, Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham tried to manage expectations.
“I’m not going on tour,” she said. “The girls aren’t going on tour. We were just bouncing ideas around. Brainstorming. There’s so much bad stuff going on, and the Spice Girls were about fun and celebrating individuality. I think there’s so much that the brand can do, and it’s such a positive message for young kids. What does that look like in the future? It’s not me in a catsuit.”
That seemed pretty definitive, but it hasn’t completely killed the story. Earlier this week, new comments from Mel “Scary Spice” Brown got everyone worked up again. “For sure we are getting back together,” she said. “We’re sisters at the end of the day and what we went through was quite an amazing, brilliant, journey so we’re together, we’re back together … There’s one that’s been a bit difficult (Beckham). But she’s getting roped in.”
Once again, she didn’t mention a tour, but it’s unclear what “back together” means if they aren’t doing shows. Are they really “back together” if they’re just pumping out new “Girl Power” T-shirts? We don’t know what’s really happening here, but here’s why (and why not) the group will reunite for a tour.
Why They’re Not Going to Tour
1. Posh simply has no interest. Victoria Beckham released a solo album in 2001 shortly after the group dissolved, but it didn’t produce any hits and she quickly abandoned her music career to focus on her wildly successful fashion label. She also married soccer superstar David Beckham, and together they are worth an absolute fortune. She doesn’t need Spice Girls money and doesn’t want to spend a year on the road apart from her young children, singing “Wannabe” night after night. Every hopelessly-split group has someone like Robert Plant, Morrissey or David Byrne. They are extremely stubborn and can’t be lured back into the fold by enormous paydays. That’s the role Posh is playing here. Scary Spice seems to be the Nick Mason or Jimmy Page of the group by saying at any opportunity that she’s ready, willing and able to do it should the others agree.
2. Sporty Spice ain’t too interested either. The Spice Girls were talking about a reunion back in 2016, but Mel “Sporty Spice” Chisholm didn’t want to participate. “‘I had to think about myself and the most important thing in my life, which is being a mother to my little girl,” she said. “I had to be present for her. It was a hard decision, not only letting down the girls but all the fans who want it to happen. But we’re four individuals, we’ve gone on to have separate lives and careers and want different things.” With Posh on the same page, the remaining members got so frustrated they came close to doing something as a trio, but then Geri Halliwell became pregnant and it was called off. Touring as a trio would have been tough, but a Spice duo would have been an historic flop.
3. They have other ways to make money. Nothing is concrete, but the group is reportedly considering some sort of Chinese TV project, new endorsement deals, a new hits compilation and a televised talent show. None of these things will earn them money like a tour, but if Posh and Sporty aren’t down to make that happen, they’ll have to look at other options. When Scary says “we are getting back together,” she may just mean the merchandising wing of the group is up and running again and they’ll be out there as a group promoting it in some form.
Why They’re Going to Tour
1. The money is too big to resist. The last time the Spice Girls reunited in 2007/08, they did just 47 concerts across three months and pulled in over $100 million. That was a decade ago and ticket prices have skyrocketing since then. If they’re willing to work for a bit longer this time, they could easily double the gross of the last one (if not more). Throw in merchandise sales and sponsorship deals, and the potential profits might be big enough to get Posh back into her catsuit. If she folds, Sporty will likely be close behind. It’s easy to refuse if Posh isn’t on board, but that changes once Sporty’s the only holdout.
2. They don’t even need Posh. With all due respect to the many talents of Victoria Beckham, she’s not exactly a crucial part of their live act. The four other Spice Girls each sang a solo song on the last tour, but Beckham merely walked down a catwalk like a model while “Like a Virgin” and “Supermodel (You Better Work)” blared out of the speakers. A Posh-free tour would generate slightly less buzz than a complete reunion, but they’d still pack arenas all over the world. They toured as a four-piece when Ginger quit in 1998 and still did well. The same would likely be true if another four-piece hits the road.
3. Simon Fuller makes things happen. The group’s old manager Simon Fuller was present at the February private Spice Girls summit, and he’s very good at making money from live shows. “It may be four [members of the Spice Girls] instead of five,” he told TMZ in March. Since then, Mel B has said that Beckham has been “getting roped in.” What exactly that means we don’t know, but she agreed to a reunion tour once before and it might happen again. If anyone can convince her, it’s Fuller. But until there’s a formal announcement, we’re all going to be in Spice limbo.