Dublin, Ireland may not be prepared for the “power of Garth Brooks,” but fans are hoping for the announcement from Garth, for more music, more U.S. tour dates and a World Tour schedule on Monday, July 7, 2014. Now, with the with The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) stepping in, the Dublin City Council's refusal of having all five of Garth's shows at Dublin's Croke Park, may now prove to be a horse of a different color - money green. The LVA has condemned the actions of Dublin's City Council and is urging Manager Eoin Keegan to reverse his decision not to allow two of the proposed five gigs to go ahead.
Garth hasn't been on tour in 13 years, so fans are expecting Garth Brooks' World Tour 2014 announcement on Monday. But, before making a U.S. trek or World Tour official, the singer set a five-night "Comeback Special Event" in Ireland, July 25-29, 2014 at Dublin's Croke Park. However, the performances haven’t set well with Dublin, Ireland’s City Council, residents and businesses. However, we Garth fans seem to have friends in high places such as The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), who is now condemning the council's refusal to allow two final shows.
Garth Brooks' hiatus began in 2001 for the honorable commitment to a more important job as “Dad”. He vowed to stay home in Oklahoma with his three daughters and wife Trisha Yearwood until his youngest graduated from high school this past May. On his website July 3, 2014, Garth Brooks posted that "the wait is over" along with the enticing date of July 7, 2014 as a hint at a big announcement on that day.
The performances in Dublin were to include five concerts at Dublin's Croke Park sports stadium. Now, his concerts have been abruptly shortened by the Dublin City Council on Thursday, July 3, 2014. The council’s decision was to deny issuing licenses to Irish concert promoter, Peter Aiken of Aiken Promotions for Garth’s final two performances. The reason for the forced cancellation of those concerts is just as surprising.
Garth was scheduled to perform at the the 82,000-seat Croke Park stadium, but the Dublin City Council’s action was decided by many residents, residents’ groups and local businesses. The Guardian newspaper in London reports the city council’s reasoning, "The cumulative effect on residents and on some businesses would lead to an unacceptable level of disruption to their lives and livelihoods," the council said in a written statement.
According to CMT, in addition to the Dublin City Council’s consideration in the matter, The BBC received 373 submissions from residents, residents' groups and local businesses to halt the two performances. We fans could see this happening with a much smaller town, however, Dublin is by no means a small town and full of bustling activity, so the “unacceptable level of disruption in their lives and livelihoods” and more cited on the city council’s denial for performances “The council cited their concerns about fears of noise, traffic disruption, illegal parking and “potential anti-social behaviour,” saying their reasoning was “to minimise disruption to the neighbourhood in which the concerts are to take place”is somewhat confusing and probably a major disappointment to Garth fans in Ireland.
The sad news is that, with a total of 400,000 tickets sold for Garth Brooks’ five-night schedule, some 70,000 of the 400,000 tickets were bought by fans living abroad. Ticket holders took to social media and the national airwaves to voice their disappointment. "I queued for two days and two nights for these tickets. I'm so annoyed, it's just terrible," Carol McDonald, who had bought a ticket for the July 29 date, told a popular phone-in show on national broadcaster RTE.
The promoter, Peter Aiken, in an interview also with RTE News, Ireland's national public service media organization, said “Brooks is devastated by the decision and feels it's unfair that 160,000 people will not be able to attend the two shows.” Because of projected ticket demand, says Aiken, “two shows were initially planned in Dublin, but it was extended to five nights with a larger production…” to meet fan requests.
There may be a ray of sunshine over this whole fiasco as reported by the Independent.ie Irish News, with The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) now urging Dublin City Manager Eoin Keegan to reverse his decision not to allow two of the proposed five gigs to go ahead.
The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) is the trade association and representative body for the publicans of Dublin. It is one of the oldest trade associations in the country with an unbroken history tracing back to its foundation in 1817. The purpose of the Association is to represent the views of the publicans of Dublin to key stakeholders and to promote their strategic business interests.
A decision will be made by Tuesday as to whether any of the planned concerts concerts will go ahead. Brooks, meanwhile, has given an "all five concerts or nothing" ultimatum.
The LVA has said that Dublin “simply cannot afford” for the sell-out gigs not to go ahead. “This is still a very difficult economy for every business in the city and the Garth Brooks concerts promised a hugely significant financial boost for pubs and for the wider hospitality industry,” O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the LVA said. “It is simply unbelievable that the City Manager who oversees a penal Commercial Rates and Water Charge regime for businesses in the City took the decision to cancel concerts that could help us afford the high charge regime.”
The LVA said it is “appalled” by the turn of events and estimates that the loss of the five concerts could cost Dublin pubs as much as €15 million. “This is still a very difficult economy for every business in the city and the Garth Brooks concerts promised a hugely significant financial boost for pubs and for the wider hospitality industry,” O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the LVA said.
The GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) and Croke Park statement was that they "note the decision of Dublin City Council in relation to the granting of a licence for the staging of three Garth Brooks concerts on Friday 25th, Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th July. We will fully assess the implication of today’s announcement and will make no further comment before Monday next, 7th July."
Brooks, who has sold more than 125 million albums and is best known for hits such as "The Thunder Rolls" and "Friends in Low Places", has played the occasional one-city run of shows and benefit concerts during his retirement but has never toured.
If Monday's announcement will not be a long list of U.S. tour dates or his World Tour 2014, it could be about new music. Brooks' last album was the 2013 box set, Blame It All on My Roots: Five Decades of Influences, on which he covers everyone from Hank Williams to Otis Redding.
Dublin may not be prepared for the “power of Garth Brooks,” but fans are hoping for this week's Monday's and perhaps a Tuesday announcement from Garth, for more music, more U.S. tour dates and a World Tour schedule. And , were hoping for a backup from the calvary . . . an Irish calvary called the LVA.
And, the thunder rolls. Stay tuned.