SOME of the 70,000 ‘overseas’ Garth Brooks fans living in Britain, with tickets for the artist’s Croke Park shows, have expressed their dismay to The Irish Post following Dublin City Council's refusal to grant a licence for two of the five shows.
A total of 400,000 tickets have been sold for the event - 70,000 of which were bought by fans booked to travel from outside of Ireland.
But after forking out hundreds of pounds and arranging summer holidays around the event, British based fans have been left in limbo following an ‘all or nothing’ ultimatum by the artist in his stand-off with the council.
“I booked two tickets for myself and my girlfriend for her birthday,” said Adam Guest, 29 from Walsall.
“We’re not going on holidays this year because we are booked to go to the concert in Croke Park. No one is coming out of it with any glory. On the one side you have 370 residents and then on the other, 400,000 fans who have bought tickets.”
The 29-year old said he has already spent £600 on flights, tickets and a hotel and doesn’t know if it will be possible to recoup those outlays if the concerts don’t go ahead.
“I’ve waited years to see Garth Brooks,” he said. “The last time he came to Ireland I was only 12 and too young to travel across. If it was in England, in Wembley, it would be no big deal, you could just travel down on the day but because we are flying we have booked flights and accommodation, it's not that simple.”
He added: “If common sense prevails all five concerts will go ahead. I assume Dublin City Council doesn’t want to risk millions [in revenue].”
Last week, Peter Aiken of Aiken Promotions, the promoter of Brooks’ Croke Park concerts, suggested that none of the shows at GAA’s headquarters would go ahead, after the council cited unacceptable levels of disruption to the local community in their decision to deny permission for the concerts on Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 July.
Joan Doyle, 38, told The Irish Post that she is due to travel from Birmingham for the Tuesday night concert.
“There’s about seven of us travelling, some by ferry and by plane. It’s cost me and my friend about £600 between us so far and some of the other girls have organised child care – the weird thing is we haven’t really heard anything from any of the ticket companies. I’m fortunate in a way because I’ve planned to go on to the Galway Races after so my whole trip isn’t about the concert but for a lot of the girls it is.”
In a statement Dublin City Council said they reduced the number of concerts to three because they did not want to set a precedent for increasing the number of concerts in Croke Park in the future.
It was highlighted that allowing five Garth Brooks concerts in addition to the three One Direction concerts would have doubled the previous maximum number of annual shows. It was also raised that several of the proposed Garth Brooks concerts were due to take place on week nights.
In a statement issued on Thursday evening, Mr Brooks said: “I can’t thank the people of Ireland enough for how welcome they have made me feel.
“I have faith that Dublin City Council will make the best decision for the people of Ireland.
“For us, it is 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.”