'IRELAND! Just waking up to the news! Unbelievable': Garth Brooks thanks Irish fans

Hundreds of thousands queued for tickets from the early hours of this morning 
'IRELAND! Just waking up to the news! Unbelievable': Garth Brooks thanks Irish fans

Garth Brooks will play five nights at Croke Park next year Picture: Mark Stedman

Garth Brooks has paid homage to his Irish fans as he gears up to play five concerts at Croke Park next year.

In a tweet, the country superstar said he was just waking up to the news and sending all his love after hundreds of thousands queued for tickets from the early hours of this morning. 

Initially promoted as two nights in Croker, a third date was added at short notice this morning for Sunday, September 11, 2022, quickly followed by Friday, September 16, 2022 and Saturday, September 17, 2022. 

The American country music star had originally been granted permission for three concerts but earlier this month an event licence was granted by Dublin City Council for two more dates following a planning procedure involving public consultation - so fans need not worry about a repeat of 2014.

According to Ticketmaster's website, there is low availability for the September 9, 10 and 11 dates, but fans are still hoping to score tickets for the 16 and 17. 

With thousands of fans still queueing online, the Croke Park events look sure to be sellouts.

Here we go again

From 8.01am we saw floods of screenshots showing queue numbers in the hundreds of thousands as what seemed like the entire country scrambled for golden tickets, with one fan tweeting 'The internet in Ireland is about to crash #GarthBrooks.'

 Garth Brooks at a photocall on the skywalk at Croke Park. Picture: Moya Nolan
Garth Brooks at a photocall on the skywalk at Croke Park. Picture: Moya Nolan

Ticketmaster tweeted that it has been "really busy this morning" and asked fans to be "patient."

As it became clear the tickets would sell out, talk quickly turned to whether we might be looking at extra dates. Earlier this week, Brooks said he would "love to do five" but he'd "also love to be 6ft 5in with abs."

“What happened in 2014 was a miracle. Who does numbers like that? We got 400,00 hard tickets in one city and it’s impossible, there’s no way we are going to do that number again. There is just no way,” he said.

Well, it looks like Brooks might be 6ft 5in with abs next September because the impossible has happened.

For fans, the mood was jubilant on Twitter as tickets were secured for mammies, daddies and country music fans up and down the country. Some superfans even secured tickets for three dates like Caroline Duke who was up "all night" Wednesday preparing to jump into the virtual queue as early as possible.

Residents react

A Croke Park group, which represents seven residents associations have said that they knew it was always going to be five concerts.

Anthony Kelly, chairman of the District Seven Alliance, told Newstalk's Pat Kenny Show, "We had a meeting last week with Croke Park and it was all put to us that it was going to be five."

Mr Kelly said that the residents' issue is not with the event but with the management of the concerts.

"It is the traffic management. It is the waste management. It is the security aspects of before and after. The vast majority of people don't mind Croke Park but they do mind what comes after and the way things are managed. "

Mr Kelly says that the concerts have gotten the go-ahead without any proper traffic management or security management plans in place. He confirmed objections have been logged in relation to the concerts.

"The objections went in. 126 observations went in. Of them, 86 were against and the rest were for. Those who were against were just ignored. 

"People aren't against events in Croke Park. It is the way they are managed. It is the clean-up after. It is the waste after."

Meanwhile, Colm Stephens PRO for the Clonliffe and Croke Park Area Residents Association appeared on RTÉ Radio 1's Claire Byrne Show and deemed the five-night stint "unacceptable."

"This was investigated a long time ago by An Bord Pleanála and they imposed a cap on the number of concerts and the number of what are called 'special events' in the stadium. That cap was set to three per annum.

"Three in any calendar year we are prepared to accept and we feel that it is a reasonable compromise.

"The majority of the submissions about these concerts objected to the number of concerts being above three and the City Council seems to have ignored our submissions. There is a two-to-one majority against the concerts but they have gone with the minority."

Mr Stephens said there is no legal course of action residents can follow now and he doesn't know "how people will put up with it," adding that he is considering moving out of his home during the concerts.

"Many people will try to move out of the area when Garth Brooks is there and abandon their houses. It will be a serious consideration for people. Unfortunately, it will be in school term time."

"We may have to get off-site to make room for Garth Brooks to make millions on the backs of the Irish people," he concluded.

The five gigs are set to draw close to 400,000 attendees with fans splashing out somewhere in the region of €30m.

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