Jim Carroll

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The real drive for five: why Garth Brooks is up for the match

The success of Garth Brooks’ five night run at Croke Park is down to supply and demand

I'm moving in boys: Garth Brooks at Croke Park

Fri, Feb 7, 2014, 09:53


It sounded like a threat to anyone living near Croke Park. Speaking on Newstalk on Monday morning to plug his fourth show at the biggest stadium in the country, Garth Brooks exclaimed “I’d play a hundred shows there”. Promoter Peter Aiken and the lads at GAA HQ must have been rubbing their hands with glee.

Even though Brooks subsequently added and sold out a fifth show, he could easily hit double figures for shows at Jones Road at this rate without breaking sweat and still have plenty of demand in the tank for more to come. Forget One Direction or Kings Of Leon or Arcade Fire or any of the other much heralded acts hitting Ireland this year, the return of Brooks is the live music business winner of the summer. Indeed, he could probably pull a Vegas and play a marquee on the pitch for months on end if he fancied spending autumn/winter in Ballybough.

While there was surprise expressed in some quarters at how Brooks can shift around 400,000 tickets justlikethat, this shows a rudimentary misreading of the market. Brooks has several things in his favour: a dedicated fanbase, pent-up demand because of scarcity and a keen understanding of price points.

Unlike other heritage acts who do the dog every summer, Brooks hasn’t toured in years so this is his fanbase’s first opportunity to yeehaw at him outside the United States in years.

More importantly, unlike other heritage acts, Brooks is not engaging in any price-gouging. Tickets for the Dublin shows in July are 65.45 euro each (plus Ticketmaster’s linedancing tax) rather than some of the more outlandish figures acts of a similar ilk might charge. It’s still amounts to a gross of around 21 million euro, which is quite a chunk of change with a world tour to come, but you won’t find the fans complaining.