Dublin set to ‘go country’ in lieu of Garth Brooks
Series of events planned to entertain dissappointed concert goers
Ministers for Silly Hats: Paschal Donohoe and Michael Ring get ready for a hoedown. Photograph: Fáilte Ireland
From left to right at today’s announcement were singer-songwriter Clara Rose, Minister for Transport and Tourism Paschal Donohoe, Minister of State for Tourism Michael Ring and singer-songwriter NC Lawlor. Photograph: Fáilte Ireland
Dublin is set to “go country” with a series of events that have been planned to help heal the wounds of disappointed Garth Brooks fans.
The country singer had sold 400,000 tickets for five concerts at Croke Park,
which have now been cancelled after Dublin City Council did not grant licences for two of the gigs, all of which were due to be held at the end of this month.
Details of “City & Western” events in Dublin over the July 25th weekend were announced today.
The Dublin Goes Country campaign will include music at a variety of venues, themed menus at Dublin bars and restaurants and nightly events featuring food, dance and music.
“Garth may not be coming, but Dublin is still here,” said Mr Donohoe, who added that and he hopes the events will give fans a reason to come to Dublin anyway.
“Ireland is a great place for festivals as we showed during the Gathering,” said Mr Ring. “ I am sure this is going to be a great weekend, too. I would encourage all visitors to come to Ireland as planned.”
Mr Donohoe said he wanted to acknowledge what the airlines and the tourism industry have done to support the event.
The cowboy hat-clad ministers posed with two Irish country musicians next to a few bales of hay and an American flag at the announcement.
Mr Ring said Dublin hoteliers have not seen a lot of cancellations as a result of the axing of the Brooks concerts. He said he plans to attend one or two of the events himself, but he “can’t be holidaying all the time”.
Mr Ring also had a message for Brooks: “I thought he might have played the three concerts for his fans. He’s supposed to love the fans so much, and I was hoping that he would play it for them. But maybe he might reconsider and come back again at some stage because they do love him.”
Mary Collins of Fáilte Ireland said she was impressed at the local tourism industry’s quick response to the concert cancellations. She hopes that people “grab their partners for what should be a great hoedown in the city later this month”.
Among the highlights are Whelan’s Bluegrass, Country and Roots Festival; “In Lonesome Dame”, live outdoor music in the Dame Street district; an “OK Corral” busking trail from Grafton Street to Wolf Tone Square (July 26); and “Stetson and the City”, a music trail that will feature Irish country and folk bands.
Gingham bunting, bales of hay and square dancing lessons have been promised at the Dame Street event.