Bruce Springsteen to play Croke Park concert in May

GAA reschedules Leinster Championship games on the same weekend

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in the RDS, Dublin in 2012. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill/ The Irish Times

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in the RDS, Dublin in 2012. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill/ The Irish Times

 

Bruce Springsteen is to play Croke Park in Dublin for the first time on Friday, May 27th, forcing the rescheduling of two GAA Leinster championship games.

The GAA has brought forward the Wexford-Kildare football match and the Wexford-Dublin hurling game due to take place that weekend. They will be played on Saturday, May 21st, in Croke Park.

“The Leinster Council and all three counties involved in the May 29th fixtures were aware in advance of the concert and are happy to accommodate the switch to a new date,” a spokesswoman said.

Springsteen has confirmed he will play one concert but there is already widespread speculation he may play an extra show the following day, and possibly a third one on the Sunday.

Long established as one of the world’s bestselling rock stars in terms of both albums and concert tickets, he last performed in Dublin in 2012. There were rumours a year ago he would play at Croke Park last summer, but they proved unfounded.

Ticketmaster has announced tickets will go on sale on Thursday, February 11th, from 9am. Prices will start at €65.45 for seats, €98.50 for standing places and up to €131 for other areas, in addition to a service charge.

Demand for tickets is likely to be overwhelming. Springsteen has been one of the biggest rock concert draws in Ireland since he first performed here in a memorable concert at Slane Castle on June 1st, 1985. About 100,000 people attended on one of the hottest days of the year as he kicked off the European leg of his Born in the USA tour.

The announcement of Springsteen’s visit to Dublin has revived memories of the saga in 2014 involving American country singer Garth Brooks. Tickets were sold out for five shows at Croke Park, but they were all cancelled when Dublin City Council granted permission for only three.

After the controversy, promoter Peter Aiken, who is also promoting Springsteen, said it was the first time he had ever felt stress. “ It did take a toll. If I had to go back again I’d definitely do things a little different,” he said.

Clonliffe and Croke Park Area Residents’ Association spokesman Colm Stephens said local residents’ groups were told at a recent meeting with representatives from Croke Park there would be three concerts at the stadium this year.

“This is in line with the planning permission. We seek a commitment from Croke Park that they will stick to this in the future,” he said.

The stadium, which has a capacity of 82,300, has permission to hold three concerts each year. For any additional concerts, a licence application has to be submitted to the city council under the Planning and Development Act.

Apart from the Springsteen concert, no others have been announced for Croke Park this year.

Permission for two of the intended five consecutive Garth Brooks concerts, for which more than 400,000 tickets had been sold, were refused in 2014 to minimise disruption to the neighbourhoods around the stadium.

“Licensing five shows in a row, three of them on weekdays, would lead to an unacceptable level of disruption to their lives/livelihoods over an unprecedented and prolonged period caused by, concert related noise, access restrictions, traffic disruption, illegal parking and potential antisocial behaviour,” the council said at the time.

Three concerts were held in Croke Park last year, one by The Script and two by Ed Sheeran.