Last-ditch efforts to save Oklahoma county music superstar Garth Brooks’ five-concert series set for later this month in Dublin, Ireland, have failed, reports USA Today.
After learning that Dublin’s city council could not change its ruling denying permits for two of the five shows, which were to run from July 25-29, Brooks issued a statement saying Ticketmaster would begin refunds for the 400,000 purchased tickets.
Here is the statement from Brooks that USA Today posted this afternoon:
I have always been advised to NEVER send a message in “the moment.” It is said it is best to take a walk, wait awhile, and think about it. With that said, I just received the news the Irish council cannot change their earlier ruling to not allow the licenses for all five shows. To say I am crushed is an understatement. All I see is my mother’s face and I hear her voice. She always said things happen for a reason and for the right reason. As hard as I try, I cannot see the light on this one. So it is with a broken heart, I announce the ticket refunds for the event will go as posted by TicketMaster.
I want to thank the Irish authorities for going the distance for all of us who wanted to share songs and dance together. I really want to thank all the people around the world that continued to think good thoughts that this would actually happen. Most of all, to Peter Aiken and those 400,000 people who believed enough to go through what they have been through to get to this point…I love you, always have, always will. I encourage any and all of them that can come see the show, at some point around the world, to bring your Irish flags and waive them proudly at the concerts. I will be looking for you.…garth.
As previously reported, Brooks and promoter Peter Aiken canceled the shows last week because of the licensing issue, but the singer, promoter and fans held out hope that last-ditch efforts to save the series would allow them to play on. This morning, Ticketmaster decided to delay the start of its refund process in the hopes the concerts could still be played.
In January, the “Garth Brooks Comeback Special Event” was announced in Dublin in anticipation of Brooks’ world tour.
“In ’97, (when) we were lucky enough to play Croke Park, the stadium was under construction,” Brooks said in a January statement. “130,000-plus 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.”
The Tulsa native was originally scheduled to play two shows, and when the number of performances was increased to five cope with demand, some nearby residents complained. Earlier this month, the Dublin City Council refused to grant permission for five shows, saying they would cause “an unacceptable level of disruption” for residents and businesses.
But Brooks said he would play all five shows or none at all, since he was unwilling to let down the 160,000 fans who would be left out if he performed the three concerts that had been licensed. As previously reported, he made his stance clear at a press conference last week:
“At no time in there ever did anybody go ‘whoa, whoa, wait.’ At no time when the 400,000 tickets were announced that they sold through did anybody go, ‘whoa, whoa, wait.’ At no time in these monthly meetings that you go to have to get your stuff done to get to the next meeting to let the shows go on did anybody say ‘whoa, whoa, whoa,’” Brooks said. “If I think of Ireland, I think of love. For me, it’s not Ireland to say ‘160,000 people, screw you.’ That’s just not you guys. So trust me, I’m shocked.”
As just reported, Brooks allowed one of his fans, Andy Roberts from Atlanta, to reveal today the city where he will launch his upcoming comeback tour: The tour will launch in Chicago.