Garth Brooks Ireland Comeback Shows Canceled
All five of Garth Brooks' sold-out comeback shows in Ireland have been canceled.
The concert promoters who had been planning the shows announced the surprising decision Tuesday (July 8).
"It is with great regret that Aiken Promotions today announce that the five concert Garth Brooks Comeback Special Event at Croke Park has been cancelled," they said in a prepared statement. "No concerts will take place. The ticket return process will be outlined tomorrow. Aiken Promotions have exhausted all avenues regarding the staging of this event. We are very disappointed for the 400,000 fans who purchased tickets for the Garth Brooks Comeback Special Event."
Brooks was scheduled to perform five sold-out shows from July 25-29 at Croke Park to kick off his worldwide comeback tour, but the Dublin City Council refused to license the last two nights in a meeting last week.
That was in response to pressure from the Croke Park Residents Association, which had opposed the shows, citing an agreement with Croke Park in which no more than three concerts could take place at the venue in a year.
After the council reached its decision, Brooks issued an ultimatum, saying he would play all of the shows, or none of them. "To choose which shows to do and which shows not to do, would be like asking to choose one child over another,” he stated.
Officials met in a series of last-minute negotiations Monday, aimed at finding a way to resolve the situation. “There’s still a bit of hope," promoter Peter Aiken said.
Those hopes were dashed Monday night, when Dublin's city manager stood behind the decision not to grant licenses for two of the concerts -- despite the city council voting in favor of reviewing the licensing conditions for the shows.
“It is a huge disappointment and when you consider that 400,000 people were going to come to Dublin for these concerts," Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan tells the Journal. "It’s a huge loss as well to the city, but it will result in reputational damage too for the country as well."
Last week Brooks teased a big announcement that was supposed to go up on his website Monday morning. Instead of announcing the dates and cities for his worldwide comeback tour as expected, the singer announced a press conference for Thursday (July 10). It is widely anticipated that he will announce the details for a world tour, which he has said will feature new music and could last as long as three years.