Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Garth Brooks warns Irish fans 'it's five shows or none at all' after Croke Park permit row

Five or nothing: Country star Garth Brooks is scheduled to play five-in-row concerts at Croke Park
Five or nothing: Country star Garth Brooks is scheduled to play five-in-row concerts at Croke Park

Garth Brooks fans are in meltdown as it emerged all five arranged concerts in Dublin could be at risk after two shows were ruled out by the city council following objections by residents living around the Croke Park venue.

Last night the country and western king issued a statement telling fans it was all or nothing.

In a statement, Brooks said: “For us, it is five shows or none at all. To choose which shows to do and which shows not to do, would be like asking to choose one child over another.”

"However, this plays out, Ireland has my heart and always will."

Concerts on July 25, 26 and 27 at Croke Park are allowed to go ahead but it is not yet known what will happen to two other proposed events on July 28 and 29 — or if any of the shows now go ahead.

The singer, whose long-awaited Irish gigs sold out in record time, said he had been given a massive welcome in Ireland.

“I can’t thank the people of Ireland enough for how welcome they have made me feel. I have faith that Dublin City Council will make the best decision for the people of Ireland,” he said.

Residents around the GAA stadium had objected to five nights of concerts in a row, and Dublin City Council said it would not be appropriate to grant a five consecutive night run.

It said the scale of the concerts was “unprecedented” and would lead to “an unacceptable level of disruption” to residents and businesses near Croke Park.

Last night it emerged the Aviva stadium management would be “willing and able” to step in as a venue for the two axed concerts.

The former Lansdowne Road ground has three licences in place every year to host concerts and these would be available to make up for the two lost Croke Park concerts.

A local charity has spoken of its disappointment after hoping to stage a significant fundraiser next week with two tickets for the July 28 gig as prizes.

Crossroads NI runs a befriending project for elderly people as well as offering respite events for young people who are carers.

“We had been planning to hold a text ballot next week on social media,” a spokesman said.

“It would have been £2 per entry for a chance to win the tickets, and we had hoped to raise a significant amount from it.”

Newtownabbey mum-of-two Katrina Grant said she was disgusted by the decision.

She had made arrangements to travel to Dublin with two friends for the July 29 concert, and could be out hundreds of pounds after having already paid for the hotel they will be staying in.

“We were over the Moon to get the tickets,” she said.

“There’s three of us going, it’s a girly trip.

Katrina said there had been no contact from the organisers and that they had learned of the problems on Facebook.

“We are just so disgusted and let down,” she said.

Story so far

Around 400,000 fans had booked tickets to the five nights of country star Garth Brooks concerts at Croke Park in Dublin and now thousands have been left in limbo.

Last night booking agency Ticketmaster was advising that if the concerts are cancelled ticket holders will receive a refund, but it is still possible the gigs may be rescheduled.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife Galleries

More

Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News

Horoscopes

Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Capricorn:

This is a wonderful opportunity to develop a creative project. Keep a notebook where you can store images, ideas, phrases and melodies that pop into your mind at odd intervals. This treasure trove will help you blast through blocks that held you prisoner in the past. It will also help to devote a set time each day to artistic pursuits. Exercising your imagination on a regular basis will cultivate contentment. There's more to you than your job title.More