Garth Brooks planned to make a splashy return to touring later this month with a string of five consecutive sold-out shows in Dublin, Ireland. Thanks to a questionable decision by the city however, the shows planned for July 25-29 at Croke Park may not actually happen, even though 400,000 tickets have already been sold.
Because some residents in the neighborhood surrounding the venue expressed some concerns about noise and other issues, the Dublin City Council decided in the 11th hour to allow only the first three of the shows to proceed, leaving 160,000 ticket holders—many of whom had already booked and paid for travel arrangements—with no shows to attend. An estimated 70,000 people had planned to travel to the shows from overseas.
Unwilling to disappoint those fans, Garth issued a statement Ireland’s public service broadcaster RTE News
is calling “an ultimatum.”
“I have faith that Dublin City Council will make the best decision for the people of Ireland,” Garth’s statement said. “For us, it’s five shows or none at all. To choose which shows to do and which shows not to do would be like asking to choose one child over another. However this plays out, Ireland has my heart and always will.”
“The council said allowing all five concerts would have caused unacceptable levels of disruption to the local community,” RTE reports. It decided on July 3 that the concerts on Monday, July 28 and Tuesday, July 29 could not proceed.
Concert promoter Peter Aiken of Aiken Promotions told RTE Garth was “devastated by the decision and felt that it is not fair that 160,000 people will not be able to attend those shows.” Aiken also said the council’s decision was unexpected.
“He said Aiken Promotions had been in daily contact with the council since the earliest stages of planning the concerts and it had never been indicated at any point that there was going to be a problem staging five shows,” RTE reports.
“There is no right of appeal against the council's decision except by going to the courts,” according to RTE.
Meanwhile, Garth’s web site is teasing what is expected to be an unrelated announcement coming July 7 with the message “the wait is over.” We’ll find out on Monday what that’s all about.