Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Garth Brooks concerts called off

Garth Brooks was due to play five concerts in Dublin
Garth Brooks was due to play five concerts in Dublin

A comeback extravaganza by country superstar Garth Brooks has been called off after residents around the stadium objected to the five-night run.

An unprecedented row erupted in Ireland after the singer extended his planned two shows at Dublin's Croke Park to more than twice as many gigs to cope with demand.

Some 400,000 tickets were sold to fans worldwide. But city chiefs turned down planning permission for two of the concerts over an agreement between stadium owners the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) and residents living around the arena.

Last ditch attempts to get the three other shows to go ahead - after Brooks declared it was five or none at all - collapsed today after promoter Peter Aiken flew out to Tulsa in the US to plead the concerts go ahead.

In a statement, Aiken Promotions said: "It is with great regret that Aiken Promotions today announce that the five-concert Garth Brooks Comeback Special Event at Croke Park has been cancelled. No concerts will take place.

"The ticket return process will be outlined tomorrow.

"Aiken Promotions have exhausted all avenues regarding the staging of this event."

Ticketmaster, the selling agent, said it was working on ways refunds would be made.

"We are working on a plan to make the cancellation process as simple and convenient as possible for customers," the company said.

"However the scale of this operation is unprecedented in the Irish entertainment industry and therefore we would ask customers to be patient while we finalise our plan."

Ticketmaster said it would confirm refund plans tomorrow (July 8).

The decision not to grant a licence for the five shows - announced last week after an application was made in April - cannot be directly appealed against or reviewed.

Licences were granted for three nights only, on July 25, 26 and 27.

But a solicitor for some of the residents lodged papers in the High Court demanding the remaining shows be cancelled.

At the same time another group from the Ballybough neighbourhood beside the stadium handed a petition to the city manager appealing for all five shows to go ahead.

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