Tomorrow may come after all for the canceled Garth Brooks “Comeback Special” concerts in Dublin’s Croke Park.
Commenting publicly for the first time since the Dublin City Council denied licenses for two the five sold out concerts, leading Brooks to cancel the five-night run entirely, the American country legend announced that he will happily still play the concerts if the “powers that be” in Ireland can present a solution.
Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny is said to be willing to help facilitate a deal.
“If you think for any reason that the ‘powers that be’ in Ireland can fix this, then I will faithfully go to the last second,” Brooks wrote today in a letter to promoter Peter Aiken.
“I cannot begin to tell you how badly my heart is breaking right now,” Brooks wrote.
Addressing his all-or-nothing ultimatum that he would play all five scheduled, sold-out concerts or none at all, Brooks told Aiken that he could not conscionably do that to his fans, who snapped up all 400,000 concert tickets in record time.
“I hope you understand that to play for 400,000 people would be a dream, but to tell 160,000 of those people that they are not welcome would be a nightmare,” he wrote.
“To do what the city manager suggests (play three shows and not all five) means I agree that is how people should be treated and I just can’t agree with that.”
In one line that may provide some hope to the disappointed fans – who, unless there are any further developments, are to be issued refunds from Ticketmaster next week – Brooks mentions that his crew are still en-route to Ireland with the concert equipment.
“Our guys are still en route and if there is any chance that the five planned concerts can be salvaged and nobody is being let down then we can proceed as planned until the refunds begin.
“If you tell me, ‘Garth, thanks but it is over,’ I will cease my efforts and bring our people and gear back to the States.”
But, he adds, “If you think that for any reason that the ‘powers that be’ in Ireland can fix this, then I will faithfully go to the last second.
“Please let me know how to proceed. All my gratitude, respect, and love to you and Ireland,” he wrote, before signing off “g.”
Brooks gave Aiken permission to share his letter with the media.
The country singer officially called off the concerts yesterday after learning that Dublin City Council would not budge on their decision to only offer licenses for three of the performances.
Aiken flew to the US to speak one-on-one with Brooks in an effort to convince him to play the three shows, but it was to no avail.
Brooks is immensely popular in Ireland and the five-night run was billed as his “Comeback Special.” All 400,000 of the concert’s tickets sold out in record time.
But residents of the area around the 80,000 seat stadium, which is home to Ireland’s GAA games, launched a campaign to prevent licenses from being issued for the concerts.
An agreement signed by the Dublin City Council in 2009 stipulated that no more than three concerts are to be held at Croke Park in a given year. The addition of the five Garth Brooks concerts would have brought the 2014 total to eight.
On July 3, Dublin City Council announced that it would only give license to three of the scheduled concerts, on the nights of July 25, 26 and 27.
In response, Brooks issued an all-or-nothing ultimatum.
“For us, it is five shows or none at all,” he said in a statement released following the council’s decision.
“To choose which shows to do and which shows not to do, would be like asking to choose one child over another.