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Dublin: 3 °C Wednesday 26 November, 2014

Council offers matinees for Garth Brooks gigs, but Aiken says it “will not be feasible”

Dublin City Council is now offering a licence for these shows, although the singer has said the option is ‘unfair’ on fans.

Image: AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

Updated 9.04pm

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL has offered a new resolution to the ongoing Garth Brooks concert issue.

In the council’s proposal, the council suggests a resolution involving the three approved evening shows and two matinee performances. However, the council says that the decision to perform now falls to Brooks and concert promoters Aiken.

Speaking ahead of the local authority’s statement this evening, Garth Brooks said he had no problem with matinees, but ruled out the possibility, saying that he did not want to compromise the quality of his show.

Aiken Promotions confirmed this evening that the proposal “will not be feasible”.

Responding to the deal,  Brooks’s publicist Nancy Seltzer said:

“To treat 160,000 people differently than all the rest who will be seeing the show the way it was meant and created is wrong.”

He does not understand why it is once again put upon him to treat people less than they deserve to be treated and he still returns to why did they allow five shows to be sold and all these people to be disappointed.

“It is not his decision; it is, with the greatest of respect, the city council’s.”

In a statement this evening, the council said:

Following a meeting this morning between Peter Aiken of Aiken Promotions and Owen Keegan, Chief Executive of Dublin City Council, the City Council has agreed to a proposal from Aiken Promotions designed to break the impasse that has arisen.

Under the proposal the City Council will consider an updated Event Management Plan, to be submitted in accordance with the Licence, whereby the three concerts will proceed but the Saturday and Sunday concerts will start earlier to facilitate separate matinee audiences on these two days.

This will allow everybody who bought a ticket to see Garth Brooks.

The Council is satisfied that the event licensing procedure was applied correctly in this particular case by the City Council and that the decision reached was appropriate and balanced having regard to all the competing interests.

However, in response to the disappointment of ticket holders who purchased tickets in good faith for the cancelled Monday and Tuesday concerts and in light of concerns that these ticket holders could turn up on the other days creating security and public safety concerns the Council has agreed, following consultation with An Garda Siochana, to consider a revised Event Management Plan prepared on the basis outlined above.

It will be a matter for Aiken Promotions and Garth Brooks to decide if they wish to pursue this suggestion.

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Brooks said that the Irish show was planned to be a major entertainment event and would not be like the events on his upcoming world tour in terms of scale and spectacle.

“I don’t have a problem with matinees,” he said, but added that he was concerned about how his performance would suffer as a result of carrying two shows in one day.

Speaking this evening at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said that the process and legal systems involved in the granting of licences can not be interfered with.

“At the same time we have a very can do attitude and I think the progress made today by the city manager with the promoter, and all of the organisations involved, have put on the table now as a potential solution to this, so let’s see,” he told reporters.

It’s not a case of Mr Politician moving on top of the law and saying: ‘You have to do this’.

He said that representatives from his Department had been in touch with those involved.

“I think the estimated exchequer loss here would be €50 million spend in the Dublin area,” Kenny added.

Peter Aiken of Aiken Promotions and GAA Director General Paraic Duffy had been called before the Oireachtas Transport Committee tomorrow, but this has now been called out given the “on-going efforts behind the scenes”.

Additional reporting by Susan Ryan and Hugh O’Connell

Read: Brooks will ‘crawl, swim, fly’ to meet Taoiseach over Croke Park gigs >

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