herald

Monday 18 December 2017

It's all over after Garth rejects bid to salvage gigs

Country music star Garth Brooks speaks at a news conference on Thursday, July 10, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Photo: AP/Mark Humphrey
Country music star Garth Brooks speaks at a news conference on Thursday, July 10, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Photo: AP/Mark Humphrey

GARTH Brooks last night dashed all hopes that any of his planned Croke Park concerts would go ahead, saying he had "broken heart".

Rejecting last-minute compromises, he said: "As hard as I try, I cannot see the light on this one", and he instructed ticket refunds to go ahead.

In a statement late last night, the country superstar said: "I have always been advised to never send a message in 'the moment'.

"It is said it is best to take a walk, wait a while, and think about it.

"With that said, I just received the news the Irish council cannot change their earlier ruling to not allow the licenses for all five shows."

His emotional statement continued: "To say I am crushed is an understatement. All I see is my mother's face and I hear her voice. She always said things happen for a reason.

"As hard as I try, I cannot see the light on this one. So it is with a broken heart that I announce the ticket refunds for the event will go ahead as posted by Ticketmaster."

His statement came after a day of fevered negotiations to try to reach a compromise. The talks involved Kieran Mulvey - who had mediated with Croke Park residents - Aiken Promotions and Dublin Lord Mayor Christy Burke.

Refunds

A new proposal had been put to the Brooks team by Trade Minister Joe Costello under which the three licenced gigs would go ahead, with the axed concerts to be played at the end of his world tour.

Fans with tickets to the cancelled gigs would have been offered refunds or else they could have held on to their tickets until Brooks visited Ireland at the end of the tour.

Responding to Brooks' decision, Mr Costello last night told The Herald: "It is very disappointing that Garth Brooks didn't see fit to go ahead and accommodate his quarter of a million fans."

Meanwhile, senior government sources said that Brooks was offered the possibility of coming back as early as October to play the remainder of the gigs, and the possibility even of a sixth.

However, this was apparently also rejected.

Brooks also said: "I want to thank the Irish authorities for going the distance for all of us who wanted to share songs and dance together.

"I really want to thank all the people around the world that continued to think good thoughts that this would actually happen.

"Most of all, to Peter Aiken and those 400,000 people who believed enough to go through what they have been through to get to this point . . . I love you, always have, always will.

"I encourage any and all of them that can come see the show, at some point around the world, to bring your Irish flags and wave them proudly."

hnews@herald.ie

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