TWO major hotel groups are to refund fans in full for rooms booked during Garth Brooks’ ill-fated Croke Park shows due to “exceptional circumstances”
Moran & Bewley's Hotel Group and Jurys will offer refunds to fans following the cancellation of the much-hyped Garth Brooks Comeback Special Event, which involved the country crooner playing a series of five sold out concerts in Dublin’s Croke Park over July 25-29.
Around 70,000 international fans – many of whom are British-based – were due to travel for the shows.
A spokesperson for Jurys Inn, which operates a number of hotels in Dublin, said that due to the “exceptional circumstances” that all “concert-going customers who booked directly with Jurys Inn to stay in our Dublin hotels on the dates in question (July 25-29h) will not be out of pocket and will receive a full refund should they desire it.”
Moran & Bewley's Hotel Group also assured guests that “all rooms, including those booked under a no-refund policy, which have been pre-paid, will be completely refunded under these exceptional circumstances.”
About 400,000 people booked tickets for the five concerts, with the first three concerts (costing €65 a ticket) sold out in 90mins.
In total, Dublin Chamber of Commerce estimated that the five gigs would bring about €50million into the capital.
Joan Doyle, 38, from Birmingham bought tickets for the Tuesday night concert. Her reaction to the news was “disappointment” but as she had already planned to spend the entire week in Ireland and take in the Galway Races she wasn’t as badly effected as others travelling to the gig in her group.
“We have a random night in Dublin now, but my friends had flights, ferries and babysitters booked so I feel more disappointed for them.”
Adam Guest, 29 from Walsall booked two tickets. He told The Irish Post that he and his girlfriend were not taking holidays this year, choosing the trip to Croke Park instead. Guest estimated he had spent £600 on flights, tickets and a hotel.
“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…but because we have booked flights and accommodation, it’s not that simple.”
After asking for patience and describing the situations as “unprecedented” Ticketmaster have now announced details of their refund policies.
A statement outlined that for tickets purchased over the phone, online or mobile no action is required.
On Tuesday, July 15 a full refund, including service charges, will automatically be returned to the card used to make the purchase. Ticketmaster advised that refunds would take 7-10 working days to process.
For postal tickets a refund form is available via the Garth Brooks FAQ page, whereas tickets bought in person can be returned in person from July 15.
Mr Keith English, Managing Director, Ticketmaster Ireland, said: “We understand the disappointment of Garth Brooks fans. Having reviewed the huge task at hand, we believe the process we have outlined is the simplest and most efficient for fans. The scale of this operation is unprecedented and therefore we would ask customers to continue to be patient.”
Iarnród Éireann has confirmed that customers who booked rail travel to attend any of the Garth Brooks concerts will be refunded in full. Representatives from both Aer Lingus and Irish Ferries were not available to comment.
GARTH BY THE NUMBERS
Name: Garth Brooks
ALBUMS SOLD: 100million +
Announced comeback tour: December 2013
Croker Comeback Concerts cancelled: 5
Number of complaints received from local residents: 370
Disappointed country fans: 400,000
Estimated loss of business to Dublin: €50m (£39.7m)
Garth’s motto: “For us, it’s 5 shows or none at all”