New rules seek to prevent repeat of Garth Brooks ‘fiasco’

Paudie Coffey says regulations will require promoters to consult before avertising event

The Government has announced a series of new requirement for event promoters in a bid to prevent a reoccurance of the Garth Brooks scenairo when tickets were sold before planning was secured.

The Government has announced a series of new requirement for event promoters in a bid to prevent a reoccurance of the Garth Brooks scenairo when tickets were sold before planning was secured.

 

Event promoters will be required to hold consultation with local authorities and interested parties before advertising a concert, the Government has announced.

The Minister of State at the Department of the Environment Paudie Coffey unveiled new licensing regulations to avoid a repeat of the Garth Brooks “fiasco”.

Mr Coffey said it would ensure there would no longer be a situation where concert-goers found out days before the concert that it was not going ahead.

He said: “This is a result of what I called the fiasco that happened last year and the confusion and the uncertainty it brought and it hurt a lot of people.

“It was appropriate that Minister (Alan) Kelly and I would review the licensing process to bring certainty to it and to ensure what happened last year doesn’t happen again.”

The previous regulations meant the pre-application meeting was optional. This paved the way for five Garth Brooks concerts to be scheduled without the agreement of Dublin City Council.

These revised agreements, to come into effect on October 1st, mean a mandatory meeting must take place and a preliminary risk assessment must be carried out.

If it is proposed to add further concerts, additional meetings must be carried out with the councils.

A decision from the local authority must be given four weeks before the event. Mr Coffey denied this short time frame could pave the way for the same mistakes to be made.

“If tickets are advertised or sold prior to a pre-consultation phase taking place, that event cannot go forward so it cannot happen essentially,” said Mr Coffey.

“It is a clear signal now to all involved - the event promoters, the facility managers and indeed the public as well.

“The previous regulations worked well until the additional concerts came on and the system found it hard to respond.”

The regulations were introduced after the cancellation of five concerts by Garth Brooks and Mr Coffey said he would love to see the star play here again.

Chair of the Croke Park Residents Committee Eamon O’Brien welcomed the moves by the Government.

Dublin lost up to €50 million by the cancellation of the concerts and the Dublin Chamber of Commerce said this could never be repeated.

“The Garth Brooks debacle last summer was hugely embarrassing for Ireland and jeopardised our international reputation as a great place to host and attend an event,” said Dublin Chamber of Commerce CEO Gina Quin.

“The whole episode highlighted a flaw in our legislation and also the need for a re-think on the way that concerts are sold and licensed in Ireland.”

Fine Gael TD Olivia Mitchell said the new licensing regulations will protect the residents in the Marlay Park area, where a series of summer concerts are due to take place.

“The Marlay Park concerts have been great in terms of driving revenue to the area but I do understand the concerns that have arisen among local residents,” she said.

“I know that the number of concerts held in recent years has been of particular concern to residents.

“Under the new regulations, where it is proposed to add performances to a schedule already announced, a further pre-application consultation meeting will be required to take place before the announcement of any additional dates.”