Garth Brooks gigs may be blocked by angry residents

Garth Brooks fans queuing for tickets at the Ticketmaster outlet at Merchant's Quay, Cork, yesterday morning. The singer has now sold out a five-night run in Croke Park, from Friday 25-Tuesday 29 of July. Picture: Larry Cummins
Garth Brooks fans queuing for tickets at the Ticketmaster outlet at Merchant's Quay, Cork, yesterday morning. The singer has now sold out a five-night run in Croke Park, from Friday 25-Tuesday 29 of July. Picture: Larry Cummins

Residents living around Croke Park are “seriously thinking” about seeking an injunction to stop the five Garth Brooks concerts this summer.

As Brooks-mania continued yesterday with tickets for the fourth and fifth concert selling out in minutes, Patrick Gates of the Clonliffe and Croke Park Area Residents’ Association confirmed that residents would be seeking legal advice and that some had already said they were seriously thinking about looking for the injunction.

“The community are incensed by this,” he said. “They are adding one concert after another without any consultation with the residents. It is a disgrace. They [Croke Park] had an agreement for three concerts. Four was going too far. Five is a joke. It means we are going to be in lockdown for five days. Getting in and out of our homes becomes so stressful, especially if we forget our passes or proof of address.”

Mr Gates also said such large concerts also often attracted high levels of antisocial behaviour.

He said so close to an 80,000-seat stadium, residents knew they would have to “grin and bear it” a couple of times a year but five times in a row was not on.

“No other community in the world would put up with it,” he added.

Rodney Sarmiento, Montenotte, Sean Walsh, Mayfield, Helen O’Mahony, Bandon, and Hilary Bennett, Clonakilty with their tickets. Pic: Larry Cummins

Tickets for the fourth date went on sale at 9am yesterday and sold out in less than 30 minutes. A fifth date was then added with tickets for that date going on sale immediately.

As with the previous dates, these tickets were also snapped up, bringing the total number of tickets sold for Brooks’ comeback special in Ireland to a staggering 400,000 — more than 8% of the entire population.

All 240,000 tickets for Brooks’ scheduled three shows at Croke Park sold out last week within 90 minutes, before a further 80,000 tickets sold out for the fourth concert this morning.

It is the first time an artist will play five consecutive nights in Croke Park. Hundreds of fans queued outside Ticketmaster outlets across the country on Wednesday night in advance of the fourth concert being announced as demand for the tickets shows no signs of abating.

Sisters Sinead and Tanya Keenan proudly display their early morning haul. Pic: Larry Cummins

Ticketmaster said special attention was focused on Limerick for the latest dates to ensure that fans who missed out last time got a chance to get tickets.

Last week, gardaí had to be called to a Limerick shop when fans were left furious after failing to secure tickets.

Apart from Garth Brooks, the GAA is set for yet another cash windfall with the announcement of the fifth date.

The GAA will pocket €750,000 from the fifth date on Tuesday, July 29, and with three more One Direction concerts also going ahead, as well as an American football match, the association is poised to rake in more than €6m in rental income this year.

Anthony Hayes, Ballyphehane, Jackie Hayes McGann, Ballyphehane, and Alice O’Callaghan, Togher were equally delighted to get their hands on tickets for the Croke Park gig. Pic: Larry Cummins

Chase the blues away

* Some 400,000 tickets have been sold — the equivalent to 8.7% of the population.

* Garth Brooks is the first artist to play five consecutive nights in Croke Park.

* Aiken Promotions have said the concerts are the fastest-selling shows they have been involved in in more than 50 years.

* Demand for rooms in Dublin for the concerts has led some hotels to more than double their prices, with hotels that normally charge around the €100 to €120 mark now quoting prices in excess of €400.

* The GAA will pocket €3.75m from the concerts, with the association expected to pocket €6m in rental this year.

* Brooks tickets cost just €60 — extremely cheap in comparison to prices of well in excess of €100 charged by other major artists.

* Brooks is expected to net in the region of €26m for his five-night run.

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