HUNDREDS of Inishowen country music lovers were left devastated on Tuesday evening when it was announced that all FIVE Garth Brooks concerts, due to take place later this month, would be cancelled.
Last week, Dublin City Council refused the licence to hold the concert on five consecutive nights after a number of Croke Park residents objected to the American star’s five performances.
However DCC did issue a licence for the concerts to go ahead in Croke Park on three of the nights, from Friday, July 25 – Sunday July 27.
But in yet another twist to the Garth Brooks saga, Aiken Promotions announced on Tuesday that the entire event had been cancelled.
In a short statement, they said that it was ‘with regret’ that the Garth Brooks Comeback Special Event at Croke Park has been cancelled, but that they had “exhausted all avenues” and were “very disappointed” for the 400,000 fans who purchased tickets.
Concert promoter Peter Aiken said: “When I spoke to Garth and his manager, they just made it quite clear he wanted to do five shows. He didn’t want to leave 160,000 ticketholders out and I think he made the right decision.”
However, this doesn’t help the hundreds of local fans who had arranged transport, accommodation and time off work to attend the country star’s comeback concert.
Gleneely woman Lorna Martin Kerr was outraged when she heard the concert was cancelled. Lorna and her pals had booked McGonagle’s bus to travel to the concert after failing to secure reasonable priced accommodation in the capital.
Lorna was practically annoyed that the concert was cancelled so close to the date, as it was due to take place in two weekends time.
Rose O’Donnell, from Crislakeel, Burnfoot, who won two tickets for the country star in an Inishowen Independent draw last week, is disappointed but philosophical.
“It is a real shame that all the concerts have been cancelled. I never thought it would come to this. I was sure that they would sort something out in the end,” she said.
“It is disappointing but there are people much worse off than me; people who queued out all night and people who are much bigger fans,” she added.
Competition winner Rose had been planning to travel to the Monday night Croke Park show with her daughter Mary, a huge Garth Brooks fan. As luck would have it now, the Burnfoot woman was unable to secure accommodation in the capital.
“I tried loads of places but I couldn’t get anywhere, which is just as well now,” she said.
Meanwhile, Buncrana woman Caroline Nicell said the cancellation of the concert portrays Ireland in a bad light. She said the money the tourism industry would have been made from the concert will never be made back. She believes it could also have a roll on effect to other large artists who want to stage concerts in the country in future.
However, for the ‘Inishowen Independent’s’ two lucky ticket winners, it’s not all doom and gloom, as instead of getting their two Garth Brooks tickets they will each receive vouchers in lieu of the tickets to spend at a local outlet.