Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Garth Brooks Dublin concert fiasco: The blame game continues as GAA, promoters and council told 'to explain themselves'

Country star Garth Brooks had originally been scheduled to play five concerts at Croke Park
Country star Garth Brooks had originally been scheduled to play five concerts at Croke Park

Representatives from the GAA, Aiken Promotions and Dublin City Council are to be hauled in front of an Oireachtas Committee to explain their roles in the Garth Brooks fiasco.

Members of the committee on Transport and Communications today agreed in private session to invite the stakeholders to discuss the matter tomorrow.

Fine Gael TD for Limerick Patrick O'Donovan told independent.ie that the public deserve the know "who is responsible for this disaster".

"The public need to be told the full sequence of events that led to five concerts going to three and then to zero," Mr O'Donovan said.

"This has done serious damage to this country's reputation and representatives from Dublin City Council, the GAA and Aiken Promotions have a lot to answer," he added.

Meanwhile, Cllr Nial Ring from Ballybough, near Croke Park, has said that Garth Books should be “flown over” to Ireland to explain why he cancelled his concerts at Croke Park.

“Someone else who should be asked to appear before that committee meeting is Garth Brooks.”

“He should be flown over and asked to say why  if he loves the Irish fans so much why he decided to cancel these concerts”

“He was prepared to do two concerts and make a profit. And suddenly he didn’t want to do three.”

Meanwhile, promoter Peter Aiken has said there is no possibility of Garth Brooks coming to Ireland – it is effectively “game over”.

Garth Brooks pulled out of all five of his comeback concerts in Croke Park after residents objected
Garth Brooks pulled out of all five of his comeback concerts in Croke Park after residents objected

Mr Aiken said he is personally “shell shocked” and “devastated” that all five Garth Brooks gigs have been cancelled, and the whole debacle has taken its toll “personally” and “financially”.

“It’s game over,” Mr Brooks told RTE’s Morning Ireland.

“We couldn’t have done a scaled down version. He didn’t want to leave 60,000 people without tickets... and I think he made the right decision. All along I told him it was going to be OK.”

“It was a comeback special. We all got caught up in it, it would have been special. It certainly wasn’t driven by greed.”

“If it was greed, Garth Brooks would come back and do the three shows. He’s into this for millions,” Mr Aiken said.

The concert promoter said he is living in a “nightmare”, and he blamed Dublin City Council for its “ludicrous” change of mind.

“You presume you’re going to get the license. They did tell us that it was a big ask to get the five shows. But I never got the inclination that five would have been too much.”

“They did say that it was going to have an impact and that we would have to have additionality, more stewards etc, and we did have that.”

 “How can they turn around and say to ‘you can have three’, and then come back and say ‘you can have four’, and then ‘three’, how silly does that sound?”

“That’s what made the whole thing so ludicrous. They should have said none, and that would have been a lot easier.”

The country and western singer is “frustrated” by what happened, Mr Aiken said.

“It’s like living in a nightmare... I’m facing up to it and it’s not easy.”

“When I spoke to Garth and his manager they just made it quite clear that he was [only] going to do five shows.”

“I’ve only spoken to him briefly... I think he feels frustrated that I’m offered three, and then four, and then back to three, and then he says I’m only doing five.”

 “It’s dreadful. It would have been five days, of a lot more than five concerts, it would have been a celebration.”

“This would have been a spectacular show... it couldn’t have gone anywhere else (to another stadium).”

Mr Aiken said neither he nor Garth Brooks predicted the demand for the concerts.

“It started at two (shows) because he’d been away for 17 years and we were coming back... even then we thought it was a risk.”

“It’s a huge blow to me personally, it’s a huge blow to the company, we’re 53 years on the go.”

Further reading

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

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

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

Five Garth Brooks concerts were cancelled in Ireland. Here's how Twitter reacted 

Garth Brooks: All five concerts at Croke Park cancelled, Aiken Promotions confirm 

Garth Brooks: Concert promoter Peter Aiken flies to US in last ditch attempt to save Croke Park shows 

Tale so tragic Garth Brooks could probably write song about it 

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

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