Garth Brooks rules out doing five Croke Park shows over three days

Dublin City Council had said it would allow two matinees to make up for gigs not granted licence

At a press conference in Nashville this afternoon, Garth Brooks said he will “crawl, fly and swim” to Ireland in order to meet Taoiseach Enda Kenny if it means he can play five concerts at Croke Park.

Thu, Jul 10, 2014, 21:12

Country music star Garth Brooks has ruled out the possibility of playing matinee shows for 160,000 fans who would lose out from the cancellation of two of his five proposed shows at Croke Park.

He was responding to the decision of Dublin City Council and Aiken Promotions, the promoter of the Irish shows, to leave open a compromise option of performing the five shows over three days with two of the shows running as afternoon matinee performances.

The compromise was proposed after Brooks adopted an all-or-nothing approach, saying he would only perform the agreed five shows or none at all as he did not want to cancel on 160,000 fans.

“To treat 160,000 people differently than all the rest who will be seeing the show the way it was meant and created is wrong,” said Brooks’s publicist Nancy Seltzer after a press conference in Nashville in response to the compromise deal.

“He does not understand why it is once again put upon him to treat people less than they deserve to be treated and he still returns to why did they allow five shows to be sold and all these people to be disappointed.

“It is not his decision; it is, with the greatest of respect, the city council.”

The council last week refused permission for the two concerts planned for July 28th and 29th due to fears of noise, traffic disruption, illegal parking and “potential antisocial behaviour”.

It said the “scale, magnitude and number” of concerts, with an expected attendance of in excess of 80,000 people per night over five consecutive nights, three of them being week nights, was “unprecedented” for the Croke Park stadium.

Aiken Promotions, which suggested the matinee option, tonight said the proposal “will not be feasible”.

Brooks told reporters at the press conference that the show was specially designed for a night-time performance at Croke Park.

“I don’t want to give them a half-assed show. I want to give them everything Garth Brooks has,” he said.

The council’s plan, which had also been agreed with gardaí, would have seen the concerts go ahead as planned on Friday July 25th, Saturday July 26th and Sunday July 27th with matinees on the last two days. This would still comply with the terms of the council’s licence.

“It will be a matter for Aiken Promotions and Garth Brooks to decide if they wish to pursue this suggestion,” the council said in a statement.

Brooks, a record-setting solo artist, said he was willing to meet Taoiseach Enda Kenny this weekend to find a way of playing the proposed five night-time sold-out concerts to 400,000 people.

“If the prime minister himself wants to talk to me, I will crawl, swim; I will fly over there this weekend and sit in front of him,” he said.

“I will drop on my knees and beg for those 400,000 people to just let them have fun and let them come see [the shows].”

Brooks criticised Dublin City Council’s planning rules around concerts where tickets can be sold in advance and then the concerts can be cancelled because they have not met the licensing laws.

“Create your laws, create your guidelines but don’t sell the show to people and get their hopes up and that you are just going to cancel on them and that is okay,” he said.

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