#GarthBrooks foregoes graduated response and cancels all five concerts

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Having admitted that, despite selling 400,000 tickets at €65.45 each (on an island of 6.4m people), he didn’t ‘feel welcome’ in Ireland, Garth Brooks has now followed up with his all or nothing threat over his Dublin shows with a cancellation of all five. A reputed total of €26m in tickets had been sold. Presumably, Mr Brooks share of that money would have been small consolation for the, eh, poverty of the love he was feeling from Ireland. Even a graduated response to the objections by the local residents group would presumably have seen him get a reasonable share of the €15m+ from three concerts.

According to the Irish Times, a ship with his equipment had already left by sea yesterday. Whether it can now turn back in time isn’t clear (perhaps some sort of diplomatic incident is now in the offing).

The real action will come tomorrow when the promoters announce how they intend to refund tickets. Presuming the anecdotal claims of large numbers of tickets changing hands privately are at least partially true. Any refund mechanism that simply refunds the money to the original credit/debit card that purchased it will provoke an interesting reaction (since, technically, the ticket can’t be sold on). So if you were a chancer who gambled on buying tickets and selling them on at a mark-up, you’ll now get an added windfall of your original money back (if you can avoid refunding the person you gouged them on to).

The wider hit will be to the hospitality industry with many hotels and flights booked. The background to the cancellation is the interaction of the planning laws and concert promotion. Many concerts are advertised and sold prior to acquisition of planning permission, with potential for a more convoluted matrix of issues arising, such as at Croke Park where there are existing agreements with residents groups (eg see some background here). And it’s not like the very real prospect of planning permission not being secured for all five concerts wasn’t clear back in February.

This post should be peppered with clever references to obscure and maybe not-so-obscure Garth Brooks lyrics, but I’m like the Antrim football and hurling teams, I’d intended to avoid Croke Park like the plague.

  • Son of Strongbow

    This cr*p has led the local news for days!

    Who really cares that some Yankee Diddlee Twanger can’t channel his inner Hugo Duncan for a horde of culchies down in Dublin?

    As to not “looking good for residents around Casement Park”, haven’t the locals painted some pretty pictures on the walls to welcome visitors to the taxpayer funded GAA ground?

  • Big Island Exile

    The GAA are missing a trick. Why don’t they book Garth Brooks as the half time entertainment for the huring semi finals, the football semi finals, both finals, a specially arranged camogie U11 final…etc
    I’m sure the players would appreciate a 2 hour half time break.

  • Roncol

    They were allowed three concerts under the original planning permission, they have had their three concerts, therefore it should never have been planned.

    However the real problem for the GAA is that they no longer have the money for their contribution to the Casement Park redevelopment. This of course explains why the Provos were all over the issue quicker than a FF councillor to a brown envelope.

    Why should inner city Dubliners have suffered a week or more of disruption between preparation and removal of stages etc., when all of the benefit was leaving the State to the US and the UK? The promoter was a foreigner, the artist was a foreigner and the rent was being exported to the UK to pay for a folly in West Belfast.

  • redstar2011
  • Mark

    Cynic2 – ” more Saugivnon Blanc than Beat the wife ”

    The next time you have to slum it down in Ballybough / Croke Park , why don’t you drop in to one of the residents and repeat your ignorant comment …….. see how far you get !