Garth Brooks Dublin concerts will not take place, singer confirms

Why were all five of Garth Brooks sell-out Irish shows cancelled?

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Garth Brooks has confirmed that none of his five Irish shows will take place, despite talks to try to resolve a row over the Dublin concerts.

The US country singer had planned to play for 400,000 fans at Croke Park on consecutive nights from 25 - 29 July.

All five shows were cancelled on 8 July after two were refused licences, but refunds were on hold pending the talks.

However, in a statement on Monday night, Brooks said he had a "broken heart" but refunds would now go ahead.

The singer had repeatedly insisted that he would play all five shows or none at all after Dublin City Council granted event licences for only three of the dates.

Timeline of events

  • December 2013: Garth Brooks announces he is returning to live performance, more than 10 years after he last hit the road. He announces two dates at Croke Park, the scene of previous huge concerts
  • 30 January 2014: More than 200,000 tickets for three concerts sell out within two hours. The third date was added because of the huge demand for tickets, which saw some fans camping out for days
  • 6 February: A fourth and a fifth date also sell out quickly
  • 14 February: Residents who live near Croke Park say they are considering taking legal action against the organisers over the likely disruption
  • 6 March: The GAA, which owns Croke Park, asks a mediator to intervene in the row with the residents who were objecting to the concerts
  • 17 April: the promoter submits an event licence application for the shows to Dublin City Council
  • 3 July: The council grants permission for only three out of the five planned concerts - Brooks says he will either put on all five or none at all
  • 8 July: The promoter says all five concerts have been cancelled
  • 9 July: Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny asks for more talks to try to salvage the concerts
  • 10 July: Brooks appeals to the prime minister, saying he would "crawl, swim or fly over" to Ireland to beg for the five shows to go ahead
  • 13 July: Ticketmaster, the website that sold the tickets, delays its refund process in the hope of further talks
  • 14 July: Brooks issues a statement confirming none of the five Dublin shows will take place and refunds will now be processed

Details of the refund process were announced last week, but were stalled on Sunday to allow further talks to take place.

On Monday night however, the singer released a statement saying he had "just received the news the Irish council cannot change their earlier ruling to not allow the licences for all five shows.

"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 and for the right reason.

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

The Irish firm that organised the Dublin concerts, Aiken Promotions, also released a brief statement confirming that attempts to save all the shows had failed.

"Aiken Promotions regret to announce that despite pursuing all possible solutions, the five-concert Garth Brooks Comeback Special Event at Croke Park is cancelled.

"No concerts will take place. The ticket return process will begin on Thursday 17 July at 9am through Ticketmaster."

'Lost trade'

Brooks, his management and the promoter Peter Aiken have all come in for criticism for their handling of the bid to stage an unprecedented number of concerts on consecutive nights at the stadium.

Residents living close to the venue have complained that their area is "locked down" during major concerts.

The licence refusal made headlines around the world, and it was estimated the cancelled concerts could cost the city's businesses up to 50m euros (£40m) in lost trade.

In his statement, Brooks expressed his affection for the promoter and his fans, saying: "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."

Earlier this month, Brooks said having to choose which shows to do and which shows not to do "would be like asking to choose one child over another".

Six days later, he begged the Irish prime minister to intervene to resolve the dispute and offered to "crawl, swim or fly" to Ireland to meet Enda Kenny.

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