Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 26 May 2015

'Crushed' Brooks confirms concerts will not take place

Star Brooks released statement confirming cancellation of gigs
Star Brooks released statement confirming cancellation of gigs

Hundreds of thousands of country music fans have been left disappointed after Garth Brooks finally confirmed that none of his five concerts planned for Dublin will go ahead.

The superstar said the news that Dublin City Council cannot grant licences for all five of his shows meant that ticket refunds will now go ahead.

They are expected to be given to the 400,000 fans who bought tickets from Thursday this week.

"I have always been advised to NEVER send a message in 'the moment.' It is said it is best to take a walk, wait awhile, and think about it," he wrote in a statement through his public relations company Nancy Seltzer and Associates, based in LA.

"With that said, I just received the news the Irish council cannot change their earlier ruling to not allow the licences for all five shows. To say I am crushed is an understatement. All I see is my mother's face and I hear her voice.

"She always said things happen for a reason and for the right reason. As hard as I try, I cannot see the light on this one. So it is with a broken heart, I announce the ticket refunds for the event will go as posted by Ticketmaster."

The statement appears to end weeks of speculation about whether a deal could be struck to allow some or all of the concerts scheduled for the end of this month to take place.

Brooks had intended the Irish shows to be a showpiece to kick off his comeback tour, but when city planners refused to license all five events, no compromise agreement could be reached. "I want to thank the Irish authorities for going the distance for all of us who wanted to share songs and dance together," added the 52-year-old star.

"I really want to thank all the people around the world that continued to think good thoughts that this would actually happen.

"Most of all, to Peter Aiken and those 400,000 people who believed enough to go through what they have been through to get to this point ... I love you, always have, always will."

The statement came as politicians prepare to scrutinise the decision to approve only three of the five shows at a government committee today.

Belfast concert promoter Peter Aiken and GAA officials will face the committee tomorrow.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary described the situation surrounding the concerts as "bizarre", and said "it wouldn't happen in any other country in the world".

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