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Garth Brooks in Croke Park in November 2021. Sam Boal
return of the garth

'An extravaganza': Everything you need to know ahead of Garth Brooks' five nights in Croke Park

Organisers have said that the five concerts could be “the biggest cultural event in Ireland in the history of music”.

ORGANISERS HAVE SAID that Garth Brooks’ upcoming five concerts in Croke Park will be an “extravaganza” that will deliver a “significant boost” to the Irish economy.

The country music star is set to play the first of his Dublin shows in four days’ time on 9 September, followed by four other shows on the 10, 11, 16 and 17 September.

Organisers are expecting over 400,000 people to attend the sold-out events, which they likened to “five all-Ireland finals coming together”.

“Everybody wants a ticket,” Jim Clarke of Aiken Promotions told reporters this morning.

“This is probably the biggest cultural event in Ireland in the history of music, so clearly people want tickets, and that demand is not going to diminish as the days approach.”

Stadium director Peter McKenna said the concerts are a “phenomenal event” to come to Croke Park, calling Brooks “an icon and a world superstar”. 

“I would really like to thank Peter Aiken for sticking with this over a large number of years, eight years in total since the first concerts were thought of. To bring the concerts to Croke Park, it’s not an easy challenge,” McKenna said.

He also acknowledged the support from the local community for the shows, which he said has been ” very, very positive this time around”.

“I think everyone that comes in will have a really good time. As I said, this is a world superstar and I think it’s going to be five evenings of just really spectacular entertainment.”

Work has started on the stage for the shows, which is being purpose-built for these shows alone. Several documentaries of the events are also set to be filmed, Clarke said.

“This equipment, a lot of it has been flown directly from America. It is a one-off, it’s not part of an established tour. Everything we’re doing here, we’re doing for the first time,” he said.

There’ll be a tremendous lighting background to the show. It’s going to be an extravaganza.

Clarke added that the events will be “an absolute boost to the Irish economy”.

“It’s a boost for the local employment as well. I think when you look back at this, people will think this has probably been an absolute bonus for Dublin city and for Ireland.”

Getting there

Gates will open at 5pm, with Garth Brooks going onstage at 7.30pm sharp each night. There is no support act for any of the five shows.

Early queueing for the concerts will not be permitted in the streets around the stadium.

People should ensure that they have downloaded their tickets to their iPhone wallet or Google Pay wallet in advance of the show, as screenshots or printouts of digital tickets will not be accepted.

They should also ensure that their mobile phone is fully charged before attending the event, and that they have the correct ticket for the correct date.

Organisers are asking attendees not to bring a bag unless it is totally necessary. Any bags must be less than A4 size and will be searched ahead of the event. People without bags will be fast-tracked.

Under 14s will not be allowed entry to the standing/pitch area.

Garda Superintendent Martin Mooney said gardaí have a comprehensive plan in place for the event. 

“At the end of day, there’ll be 80,000-plus patrons coming here every night so their safe arrival, that they enjoy the concert and that they leave the concert and get home safe, that’s our main priority,” he said.

A “soft” Garda cordon will be put in place on the roads surrounding Croke Park from 10.30am, where residents and businesses in the area will be accommodated, while the hard cordon will be put in place from 3pm. 

“That basically is the roads around the environs of Croke Park will be in lockdown,” he said.

Residents with up-to-date vehicle passes will be allowed access to the area. There will be no traffic permitted inside the inner cordon after 10.15pm, except for emergency vehicles.

‘Be mindful’ of local residents

Mooney urged concert-goers to be mindful and respectful of local residents around the stadium. 

He said there will be “zero tolerance” for any person drinking on the street, urinating on the streets, littering or engaging in antisocial behavior.

Concert-goers should allow plenty of time to get to the venue, and to plan how they are going to leave once the concert finishes, he said.

People are urged to use public transport where possible, and can plan their journeys and  check how to get to and from Croke Park on the Transport for Ireland website.

Irish Rail and Bus Éireann have laid on additional services for the events, while Luas and Dublin Bus services have extended opening hours. 

For those driving, there will be 400 car parking spaces available at O’Connell School’s car park on North Richmond Street.

Private coaches will not be permitted to drop attendees at Croke Park or Mountjoy Square. Coaches can park at the Dublin City Council facility on Collins Avenue, located next to Whitehall GAA Club. It can accommodate up to 130 coaches. 

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