Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 29 November 2014

All Garth Brooks Croke Park concerts 'could be cancelled'

Back at Croke Park: Garth Brooks
Back at Croke Park: Garth Brooks

There is speculation today that all five of country singer Garth Brooks' sold-out concerts at Croke Park this month could be cancelled.

The Irish Independent has reported that Dublin City Council's decision to only give a licence for three of the five concerts has left Aiken Promotions in breach of the contract signed with the country music megastar.

A source told the Irish Independent: “I would expect that none of these concerts will now go ahead.”

Today's ruling comes despite the fact that the country superstar was scheduled to perform five concerts at GAA Headquarters, with 400,000 tickets sold in record time.

Croke Park will retain concerts on Friday July 25th, Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th.

This leaves the fate of the concerts on Monday 28th, and Tuesday 29th, in jeopardy.

Promoters Aiken, who are in charge of Brooks’ Irish concerts, have met with rival promoters MCD in the last 24 hours.

MCD own the performing rights at the Aviva stadium at Landsowne Road, which has a capacity of 50,000 as opposed to Croke Park’s 80,000.

It’s understood that the Aviva has been discussed as a possible venue for the remaining two Brooks concerts and they will be run over three nights.

If this is agreeable with all parties,  MCD and Aiken will have to apply once again for a licence to Dublin City Council which will be subject for approval.

This afternoon, the GAA said it will make no comment until Monday.

It said: "GAA and Croke Park note the decision of Dublin City Council in relation to the granting of licences for the staging of three Garth Brooks concerts on Friday, July 25, Saturday, July 26 and Sunday, July 27."

"We will fully assess the implication of today’s announcement and will make no further comment before Monday next, July 7."

The decision to grant permission for just three of Brooks' five sold out concerts has come as a major shock for fans.

However, problems regarding the concert have been flagged for some time.

Irate local residents had launched a major campaign because a written agreement in 2009 outlined that no more than three concerts were to be held at the stadium each year.

Dublin City Council's CEO Owen Keegan spent yesterday holding high-level talks with staff in the planning office.

Fine Gael Cllr Ray McAdam said today: “I think there will be a significant amount of fallout from this."

But he said the decision is "a reflection" of the "the recommendations in a recent mediation report".

He said five concerts was “too much in the first place”.

A spokesperson for Aiken Promotions has said they are “very disappointed that Dublin City Council did not grant a licence for the five Garth Brooks concerts at Croke Park”.

They have said that they will issue a further statement in due course.

Dublin City Council said today a total of 373 submissions were received from members of the public on the concert licence application.

It said it would be concerned with the precedent that would be created if five consecutive concerts in a row of this scale were licenced.

Dublin City Council said the reasons for the cancellations were the "the scale, magnitude and number of the concerts" and the "cumulative effect on residents and some businesses".

"Five shows in a row following on from the three concerts already held there this year is considered an over intensification of use of the stadium for the holding of special events/concerts."

"The cumulative effect on residents and on some businesses in the Croke Park and surrounding neighbourhoods, of licencing five shows in a row, three of them on weekdays, would lead to an unacceptable level of disruption to their lives/livelihoods over an unprecedented and prolonged period caused by, concert related noise, access restrictions, traffic disruption, illegal parking and potential antisocial behaviour."

Further Reading

Garth Brooks Dublin gig faces cancellation court bid

Five-star Garth Brooks' Dublin gigs make a whopping £22m

Why Garth Brooks should chair peace talks

Why Garth Brooks is still our cowboy hero by a country mile 

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