Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

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

Fans in Cookstown queued overnight for Garth Brooks tickets
Fans in Dungannon queued overnight Garth Brooks for tickets
Fans in Belfast queued overnight for Garth Brooks tickets

Many Garth Brooks fans camped out for days in January to get their hands on tickets for his Dublin gigs.

Now many of them feel they have been left out in the cold again.

Thousands donned their sleeping bags in a bid to secure a ticket to the If Tomorrow Never Comes singer's show.

And when they finally got their hands on them, many rushed off to book hotels and transport for the weekend with their idol.

But those expensive plans have come to a grinding halt after they received the news that the shows were cancelled.

Katy Clarke (23) from Ballymena got four tickets as birthday presents.

She told the Belfast Telegraph: "I just think they were so ridiculous in how they handled the whole situation.

"So many rumours were spread and false claims were put out and at the end of the day 400,000 people lost out because of the greed of the promoters and a small minority who live in Croke Park who receive ample perks for living near the venue.

"It's annoying that these were long planned birthday presents with hotels booked and transport sorted and now we just lose our money."

She added: "It was ridiculous how long we had to sit and wait around for a no."

Francine McIlhatton (26) from Belfast camped out on and off for four days to get her tickets.

"I am devastated, especially when we are hearing mixed reports of what the actual reasons behind the cancellation of the concerts are.

"This is a lifetime opportunity – when is he going to come back here? On a global scale it's an absolute embarrassment."

Patricia McGookin (36) from Belfast bought two tickets for her husband's birthday and paid more than face value for them.

She said: "On the morning the tickets went on sale we had about 10 computers on in work trying to get them. All the computers crashed except mine. It went through but then it crashed when I went to put the payment in.

"So then I saw on Facebook someone selling tickets but I paid more than face value for the two tickets. It's a huge disappointment."

Debbie McKibben (39) from Ballynure had four tickets.

She said: "I'm totally gutted to be missing out on what should have been a fantastic event for not only his fans but the island of Ireland as a whole. "From a personal point of view, right now, I'm so disappointed. However, I'm astounded that the licensing requirements have been left so close to the concerts actually being held."

But former US diplomat Richard Haass – who chaired ill-fated peace talks in Belfast – thought he might be able to smooth relations between the residents opposed to the concert and the organisers. He posted on Twitter: "Big Garth Brooks fan. Will consider mediating in exchange for two pina coladas."

DUP councillor Guy Spence also saw an opportunity. He tweeted: "Aiken Promotions let's talk, bring him to Belfast."

Comedian Tim McGarry added: "If Garth Brooks would agree to play the Ardoyne shops on the Twelfth we could solve all of Ireland's problems."

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