Garth Brooks 'decided to cancel concerts', committee told

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

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The decision to cancel five Garth Brooks concerts was made by the US star and the event's promoter, an Irish government committee has heard.

Owen Keegan, chief executive of Dublin City Council, said that Brooks and Aiken Promotions had to "accept the consequences" for the decision.

On Monday, it was confirmed that five concerts would not go ahead.

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

In a statement, Brooks said he had a "broken heart" but refunds for tickets would now go ahead.

Owen Keegan Owen Keegan said Dublin City Council were put in a difficult position

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.

Earlier, Mr Keegan appeared in front of the Joint Committee on Transport and Communications.

He said: "I very much regret the decision of Garth Brooks/Aiken Promotions not to hold the three permitted concerts and to examine options proposed by the city council in relation to the two concerts that were not permitted.

"This was their decision and they must accept the consequences."

'Reasonable'

Mr Keegan said that the council was put in a difficult position after tickets were sold for the five concerts in February.

He said that an application for the licence was first submitted by Aiken Promotions on 17 April and that the promoters were told that there were serious concerns about how the concerts would affect local residents.

He told the committee that the decision by the council to grant licences to three concerts was "appropriate, balanced and reasonable" and that he would not change the decision.

Mr Keegan added that the council said they would consider proposals to play a fourth night or for the two extra concerts to go ahead as Saturday and Sunday matinees, but these proposals were rejected by Brooks.

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.

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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