Belfast Telegraph

Garth Brooks 'sceptical' about Dublin City Council proposal for matinee concerts

By Claire Cromie

Garth Brooks' is "sceptical" about playing two matinee concerts as proposed by Dublin City Council - hours after he pleaded with Dublin City Council to let him play, saying he would "crawl, swim or fly" to Ireland to make 400,000 fans happy.

The council released the following statement on Thursday evening:

"Under the proposal [from Aiken] the City Council will consider an updated Event Management Plan, to be submitted in accordance with the Licence, whereby the three concerts will proceed but the Saturday and Sunday concerts will start earlier to facilitate separate matinee audiences on these two days," read the statement.

"This will allow everybody who bought a ticket to see Garth Brooks."

The statement added a disclaimer that: "It will be a matter for Aiken Promotions and Garth Brooks to decide if they wish to pursue this suggestion."

But immediately after the statement was released, sources confirmed that Peter Aiken was understood to be "sceptical and unsure" as to whether Garth Brooks would accept the new deal.

Fielding questions on his comeback and the scuppered plans for Ireland in a streamed press conference earlier on Thursday, the singer suggested the daytime shows would not be as good a performance as anything at night.

In the same conference he said he would beg Ireland's Taoiseach to let him play the five cancelled Dublin concerts, saying "I will crawl, swim or fly" to Ireland to make 400,000 fans happy.

He said he did not have a clue what went wrong with the Dublin comeback.

“In the nineties, controversy and Garth Brooks found each other and I always knew, good or bad, you know how you got into it,” he said.

"Ireland - I don’t have a clue."

“If the prime minister wants to talk to me, I will crawl, I will swim or I will fly to him, I will sit in front of him, drop on my knees and beg – let me play to these 400,000 people.”

The singer said he did not feel it was fair on fans to cancel two shows and play the other three, saying:  “We don’t do golden circle, it’s always been the same price across the board, You treat everyone equal, same way here, even in Vegas."

“Why are the 160,000 people being treated different to the 240,000? The statement to me was you can make 240,000 happy and play three shows, and mine back was, yes, or you can make 400,000 happy and let me play five shows.

“I don’t know how we got here but the 'powers that be' aren’t here to help.

“Create your laws, create your guidelines but don’t sell a show to people and get their hopes up and cancel them,” he continued.

“That’s not okay – if the prime minister himself wants to talk to me, I will crawl, swim, I will fly to him, I will sit in front of him, down on my knees and beg him to let me play.”

He said 75% of the people who bought tickets in Ireland were 25 or younger so would not remember the concerts from the nineties.

He then compared the tour to Elvis' comeback.

"If we can pick one place on the planet to show the world there's something special coming, Ireland was the place.

"No offence but 400,000 tickets were sold - let those five shows go ahead, then fix whatever laws need to be addressed after that."

He added: "Ireland should never be embarrassed... they are the most loving people on the planet.

"The Irish have my love forever. Whether I play there again or not is not the answer.

"If anyone is sad about this you're not one billionth as sad as I am."

Brooks ranks behind only The Beatles and Elvis Presley in U.S. album sales, but 13 years ago he walked away from the music business to raise his family.

With his youngest daughter Allie beginning college this year, the stage is set for his return.

Additional reporting by and PA

Further reading:

Brooks dispute 'should be resolved' 

Garth Brooks: Will the White House and Barack Obama get involved in Croke Park fiasco? Apparently not... 

Garth Brooks: Star's last-gasp plea sparks a behind-the-scenes flurry over Croke Park concerts 

Mystery grows as man who tried to stop Garth Brooks gigs claims: I was given £12,000 to fund court case  

What to do about your Croke Park gig tickets ... 

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