Dublin City Council: full statement on Garth Brooks concerts

Authority says it expressed concern to promoter over number of events planned at Croke Park


The following is the full text of a statement issued by Dublin City Council on Friday July 4th in relation to the Garth Brooks concerts:

Further to the copious media reports over the past two days concerning the grant of event licence for the proposed Garth Brooks Concerts (at Croke Park) by Dublin City Council, please see the following update.

The outdoor event licensing procedure is not the same as that which applies to a Planning Application. As can be seen below, a different set of procedures apply to event licensing.

Dublin City Council has been consistent (since it was confirmed that tickets were sold for five concerts) in informing the promoter and his agents that its main concern was the impact that 5 consecutive concerts would have on the local area.

It should be noted that the promoter could have lodged the licence application at any stage, including before the tickets went on sale last February.

In late January/early February 2014 tickets went on sale for five proposed Garth Brooks to take place at Croke Park.

Dublin City Council were not formally consulted by the promoter prior to the tickets going on sale. It should be noted that there is no requirement for such consultation.

There was no formal consultation with Dublin City Council and the promoter prior to the lodgement of the event licence applications although there were a number of informal discussions with the promoter’s agents prior to its lodgment.

Again our concerns regarding the number of concerts was expressed.

The application for the outdoor event licence was not received until the 17th April, 2014. The application was for five proposed concerts to take place from the 25th to the 29th of July 2014.

The application was accompanied by a draft event management plan which included associated drawings. The application was circulated to the relevant statutory agencies for their information and consideration.

There is a five-week public consultation period associated with such applications where any person can make a submission/observation on the application within that period. The closing date for submissions in this case was the 21st of May 2014 and in excess of 370 were received within that timeframe.

The submissions were extremely detailed in nature and were submitted from a wide spectrum of the public, including numerous residents (individuals and representative associations) and some businesses.

A copy of the submissions/observations with data sensitive information such as phone numbers and e-mail addresses removed were sent to the statutory agencies on the 28/29th of May 2014 for their information and consideration. They were also circulated to the relevant Dublin City Council internal departments.

A copy of the submissions were also sent to the promoter and venue management with a request from the planning department of Dublin City Council for the promoter to consider the concerns raised within the submissions and outline in detail any proposed mitigation measures they deemed appropriate to address these concerns. A reply was received by Dublin City Council planning department on the 20th of June 2014.

On the 3rd of June 2014 at Dublin City Council’s request a meeting was held with the promoter and venue management relating to the production/build/decommissioning of structures schedule that was received with the application on the 17th of April 2014

On the 11th of June 2014 a meeting was held to discuss traffic management and transportation in the context of a review of the 1 Direction concerts and also to discuss the transport arrangements, and the promoter’s traffic management/ transportation proposals for the Garth Brooks concerts.

Statutory meetings (this is a formal meeting of agencies and bodies including promoters and venue management) were held on the 16th of June 2014 and 24th of June 2014 at the request of Dublin City Council. The purpose of these meetings was to get an update on the application and arrangements for the proposed concerts if licensed and to discuss issues raised in the submissions/observations.

Dublin City Council planning department made it clear at these meetings no decision had been made on the application at that time. Dublin City Council stated at both meetings that its most serious concern was the number of shows proposed and the impact on people living in the area.

The draft event management plan received on the 17th of April 2014 was updated at the request of Dublin City Council…to incorporate the most up to date information, following the series of meetings as outlined above on the 3rd of June 2014, 11th of June 2014, 16th of June 2014 and the 24th of June 2014 and prior to a decision being made on the application. The applicants, at the request of Dublin City Council, also sent in a detailed letter on the 20th of June 2014 outlining mitigation measures proposed to deal with a number of key issues raised in the submissions and observations that were received on the application.

Dublin City Council must have regard to the following when making its decision;

1. The documents including the plans and particulars submitted by the applicant including any required revisions to the draft event management plan;

2. Any documents, correspondence, plans and particulars submitted by statutory agencies and bodies with regard to the draft event management plan;

3. All submissions and observations from members of the public;

4. The information highlighted/exchanged at the above mentioned meetings.

Having regard to the above, a decision was made to grant the event licence subject to conditions, one of which was to reduce the number of concerts from five to three.

As the licensing authority, Dublin City Council must adhere to the procedures laid down in the attendant Planning Act and Regulations. The decision to grant or refuse an event licence is made by senior management in DCC’s planning department, to whom those powers have been delegated by the chief executive. As with all major applications, decisions are not made lightly and are done so in consultation with other members of senior management.

It should be noted that event licence decisions made under the Planning & Development Acts cannot be amended or appealed.