Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Garth Brooks writes letter to Aiken Promotions: 'If the powers-that-be can save this, I will play in Ireland'

Garth Brooks performs at "We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration At The Lincoln Memorial" January 18, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Garth Brooks performs at "We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration At The Lincoln Memorial" January 18, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Permission has been refused for two of the five planned Garth Brooks concerts at Croke Park.
Pic:Mark Condren
Permission has been refused for two of the five planned Garth Brooks concerts at Croke Park

Garth Brooks still wants all five of his Irish concerts to go ahead and has asked if there is ‘any chance’ they can.

In a letter to Peter Aiken, head of Aiken Promotions, Garth writes that if ‘there is any chance that the five planned concerts can be salvaged and nobody is being let down’ they can ‘proceed as planned’.

The letter, which was addressed to ‘Peter’, reads; ‘If you think for any reason that the ‘powers that be’ in Ireland can fix this, then I will faithfully go to the last second’.

The singer said he was informed yesterday that the shows have been cancelled and that the ticket refunds will begin on Monday.

“I cannot begin to tell you how badly my heart is breaking right now,” he wrote in the letter.

“I hope you understand that to play for 400,000 people would be a dream, but to tell 160,000 of those people that they are not welcome would be a nightmare.

“To do what the city manager suggests (play three shows and not all five) means I agree that is how people should be treated and I just can’t agree with that.”

The letter, which Garth agreed could be sent to Irish media outlets, reports that his ‘guys’ are still en route to Ireland with the concert equipment.

“Our guys are still en route and if there is any chance that the five planned concerts can be salvaged and nobody is being let down then we can proceed as planned until the refunds begin.”

He continues: “If you tell me, ‘Garth, thanks but it is over’, I will cease my efforts and bring our people and gear back to the States.

“If you think that for any reason that the ‘powers that be’ in Ireland can fix this, then I will faithfully go to the last second.”

He concludes the note; “Please let me know how to proceed. All my gratitude, respect, and love to you and Ireland, G.”

The singer has commented for the first time since Aiken Promotions announced all five of his planned Croke Park concerts would be cancelled yesterday.

The concert promoters were first to announce the news, saying;"It is with great regret that Aiken Promotions today announce that the 5 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.

"We are very disappointed for the 400,000 fans who purchased tickets for The Garth Brooks Comeback Special Event. "

Meanwhile, Ticketmaster also sent out a statement and said they are working on a plan to make the cancellation process 'as simple and convenient as possible for customers'.

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

They confirmed they would publish full details of the plan today.

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.

It was originally reported that promoter Peter Aiken has flown out to meet Garth Brooks in a last ditch effort to save the concerts.

However, it has been confirmed last night that Mr Aiken did not leave for the US but remains in constant contact with the country star.

 

Further reading:

Gerry Adams gives radio listeners rendition of Garth Brooks' song 'If Tomorrow Never Comes' 

Garth Brooks: 400,000 shattered dreams and why tomorrow may never come again for fans in Ireland

Garth Brooks fans camped for dream tickets... now they're out in cold again 

Garth Brooks Croke Park row: I have been shafted, says promoter Peter Aiken 

The letter Garth Brooks sent to Peter Aiken
The letter Garth Brooks sent to Peter Aiken

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