Garth Brooks concerts may get new dates in bid to save Croke Park shows

Garth Brooks concerts may get new dates in bid to save Croke Park shows

A PROPOSAL to reschedule two of Garth Brooks' troubled Croke Park shows will be discussed tonight when Dublin City Council meet to try and resolve the dispute around the concerts.

They will consider the option of creating a two-day gap in between the run of shows, meaning that local residents will not face five nights in-a-row of 80,000 fans flooding into the area.

Assuring residents a concert-free year in 2015 will also form part of the proposal with a final decision expected to be reached by tomorrow.

The council’s chief executive Owen Keegan is likely to be challenged in tonight's meeting over his decision not to give permission to all five shows, despite the council insisting that the licensing decision “cannot be amended or appealed”.

Mediator, Kieran Mulvey, joined negotiations with Aiken Promotions over the weekend in an attempt to ensure the five sell-out tour dates go ahead.

Rescheduling the dates of the concerts would create a gap in between the first three concerts and the final two, and Mr Mulvey is encouraging Aiken Promotions to make a new application for an event licence.

The final two gigs would take place on Wednesday 30 and Thursday 31 of July under the new plan, rather than the original Monday and Tuesday evenings.

The proposal would allow the residents around Croke Park a break in between performances, while the rescheduling would also mean that they would also be assured a concert-free year in 2015.

Mr Mulvey said that time is running out to convince the country singer to return to Ireland and that the country’s international reputation is being damaged as the issue continues unresolved.

"Is there a new process that can be put in place within the existing constraints that would allow this matter to be revisited afresh? I think there are issues are trying to be worked on at the moment," he said.

"In the meantime, Garth Brooks is awaiting decisions and I think we have a very short period of time to convince him to change his mind and come to Ireland."

Peter Aiken of Aiken Promotions explained that meetings have been taking place to try and reach a conclusion, and that the customised nature of the shows meant that moving to an alternative venue would not be a viable option.

"We're just going to keep working away as much as we can, meeting as many people as we can and doing whatever we can to try and get some light at the end of this," he said.

"The whole thing was based around an event which was the five shows. And Garth Brooks is the type of guy that, if he came in and he did three shows he would feel that it would be such an anti-climax to him for the 160,000 who didn't get to see him.

"The idea of moving to a different venue - it just wouldn't work because the stuff is custom-made for Croke Park... Twelve container loads have already left America on route here.

"We have a schedule to start on July 12th in Croke Park - that's how big a build up this is."

On Friday Brooks delivered an ultimatum to the 400,000 fans who had bought tickets, that he would only perform “all five shows or none at all,” following the decision by the Council to give permission to only three of the five proposed concerts that were to take place at GAA headquarters.

An estimated 70,000 fans were expected to travel from abroad for the shows, including large numbers of British-based fans who had bought tickets to see Brooks perform.

Adam Guest, 29, from Walsall told The Irish Post that he had spent £600 on flights, tickets and a hotel and is unsure whether he will be able to recoup the costs if the concerts do not go ahead.

“I booked two tickets for myself and my girlfriend for her birthday,” he said, “I’ve waited years to see Garth Brooks.”

“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."

In January, the country singer announced his first two Irish shows in 17 years.

An extra three further dates that were added left local residents angry after they complained that it was a breach of the GAA's agreement with them as the venue was already hosting three One Direction gigs.

The attempt to save the concerts comes as the threat of court action to prevent any of them going ahead continues.