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Timeline: Garth Brooks at Croke Park - from sold-out to cancelled

From the sell-out gigs to a cancelled run.

First published 8 July 5pm

IT’S OFFICIAL: GARTH Brooks WON’T be playing in Croke Park.

Never mind one night, or three nights, he won’t be playing any at all.

The announcement from Aiken Promotions came yesterday afternoon, hours after news broke that Peter Aiken had flown out to the United States to talk to Brooks himself.

So, how did we get to here? Let’s take a look:

Rumours of the country crooner playing Ireland first emerged in late 2013.

Speculation grew this January that an announcement from Aiken Promotions was imminent:

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Then the official announcement came that he was to play Croke Park:

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Brooks said at the time:

Before we go back on tour in the Fall of 2014, I want to challenge myself, the band, and crew.  In ’97, we were lucky enough to play Croke Park, the stadium was under construction. 130,000+ of some of the greatest fans in the world.  I was quoted then as saying ‘When this stadium is finished, I would love to come back and try to fill it again…this time to the brink.’…and we’re back to do just that.

It was clear that people hadn’t forgotten about the country star, who was absolutely huge in Ireland during his heyday.

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The queuing started days before the tickets went on sale.

garth-brooks-queue-630x354 Source: Stephen Graham

As ticket fever grew, and just after 170k tickets went on sale on 30 June, Brooks had another announcement for Ireland:

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Brooks sold one ticket for every 25 people in Ireland – in 90 minutes.

Before long, they were going for sale at hugely inflated prices online… and worse.

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Then it was announced that Brooks would play a fourth date in Croke Park on July 28.

The amount the GAA was to make from the events was huge.

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On 6 February, yet another date at Croke Park was announced – and Ireland kept buying those tickets.

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Somewhere along the line, a wax version of Garth Brooks’ torso went missing… and Ireland was in the grip of Garth Brooks mania.

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By mid-February, Croke Park residents had gone public on their anger about the gigs at the stadium.

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There was hope for a peace deal, and the row cooled down for a time. But soon, a mediator was called in.

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Amid threats of legal action, residents said they wanted to talk to Croke Park about more than just Garth Brooks.

A proposed mediation process was described as ‘disappointing’ by residents.

A fake ‘Garth Brooks cancels’ story caught some out, but residents vowed to file an injunction to stop the concerts going ahead.

screencap3-68 Source: Sundaytimesdaily.com

But it transpired that it wasn’t the residents who stood in the way of the concerts going ahead.

It was the licence for the events.

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Here’s why two of the five concerts were refused permission:

The reaction on Twitter was initially one of humour:

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There was speculation about whether the concerts could be saved, and if the remaining concerts would go ahead.

Then Brooks said this:

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Some Croke Park residents signed a petition to reinstate all five concerts.

The debacle got international coverage… and Fianna Fáil wrote new legislation to try and get the event back on.

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But Dublin City Council said that the decision could not be amended or appealed.

A decision had to be made, and quickly.

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Publicans and some residents wanted the five concerts to go ahead as work continued to find an amicable solution.

Pro Garth Brooks Concert Groups Controversies Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Questions were asked about what impact the situation would have on Ireland’s international reputation.

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The pressure was growing.

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(And somewhere in amongst the drama, Gerry Adams found time to belt out a tune.)


Source: DailyEdge.ie/SoundCloud

Dublin City Councillors voted in favour of all five concerts going ahead, but the city manager wasn’t showing signs of budging.

Dublin’s Lord Mayor called for a revision of the current planning laws.

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Peter Aiken flew to the US for ‘crisis talks’ with Brooks.

Then came the final word.

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After speculation, elation, and then more speculation, Garth pulled the plug on the gig.

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Tomorrow may indeed never come, but that hasn’t stopped people finding a little humour in the situation…

Read: What do you do now if you have a Garth Brooks ticket?

Read: All five Garth Brooks concerts have been cancelled>

Read: Open thread: What do YOU think about the Garth Brooks concerts being cancelled?>

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