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Brooking forward Garth Brooks 'can't wait' to play Dublin but doesn't think all five gigs will happen

Speaking about being unable to play the full five nights in 2014, he said: "It was like a death in the family to us, it hurt. It's still very fresh to me"


Garth Brooks. Picture: Getty

Garth Brooks. Picture: Getty

Garth Brooks. Picture: Getty

Garth Brooks has said he “simply can’t wait” to play in Ireland next September.

However, he said he doubts he will be able to play all five nights that Croke Park has permission for.

The US country music superstar is in Dublin this morning for an event to launch his gigs next year.

The singer has permission from Dublin City Council for five nights, and tickets for two go on sale on Thursday morning.

“I can't tell you how happy I am, and I speak I for all of our management,” he told reporters today in Croke Park.


Country music singer Garth Brooks (Niall Carson/PA)

Country music singer Garth Brooks (Niall Carson/PA)

Country music singer Garth Brooks (Niall Carson/PA)

“We are lucky enough it’s the exact same people that I got to play with in Croke Park in the late 90s.”

The Friends In Low Places singer added: “If there is a blessing in what happened in 2014 it’s that there is a chance for the people who got those tickets before."

And he praised Ireland and his Irish fans.

"It's the greatest privilege to play in Ireland,” Brooks said, adding that the experience since his 2014 gigs were cancelled had been “a rollercoaster ride”.

"I simply can't wait,” he said. “It's the greatest place to play music and the fact it's Croke Park makes it even better.”

Last week, Brooks announced tickets for two Croke Park shows will go on sale on Thursday.

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The US country music superstar has permission from Dublin City Council for five dates next year, on September 9, 10, 11, 16 and 17, but only two have been confirmed as going ahead.

Promoter Aiken announced tickets will go on sale for the September 9 and 10 shows next Thursday November 25 at 8am, and the Irish dates are his only European shows next year.

The musician sold out five nights for 2014 but pulled out when planning for all five was not granted, disappointing 400,000 fans.

Brooks praised the promoter, but said he does not think he would be able to play all the five nights.

“I stand with the Aiken family, and I will stand with them as long as they let me,” he said.

"I would love to do five [nights] but I would also like to be 6 foot 5 and have abs.

“What happened in 2014 was a frickin’ miracle - who does numbers like that? There's no way we are going to do that number again.

“What I wanted was the chance for all five shows for the five bunches of people in town.”

However, he said: “It's great we've been granted five but I can't see us doing five.

"Is it going to happen? I think it’d be impossible.”

Speaking about the 2014 controversy and being unable to play the full five nights in 2014, he said: “It was like a death in the family to us, it hurt. It's still very fresh to me.

“It was a little hard to understand, but your parents raise you to know what right and wrong is.

“When you were told I'd have to pick two shows, it wasn't right.

“We either all went together or none so I chose the latter because I couldn't find a fair way.”

Brooks recalled fond memories of the last time he played Ireland, in 1997.

“It was so sweet to come here and hear people sing your songs louder than you,” he said.

“They seemed to know every word of every song.”

And he says he is still amazed by the reception he gets when he comes here.

"When I arrived in the airport I had my mask in and I couldn't understand how everyone knew it was me. I stand out like a sore thumb but it still feels like home,” he said.

It is estimated the full run of gigs could be worth €50 million to the local economy, although some residents around Croke Park and surrounding areas have hit out at expected disruption and nuisance as crowds of gig-goers descend on the area over several days.

Tickets for the first two confirmed gigs are priced at €81.00 seated, and €65.45 standing, Aiken said, and there will be no VIP or platinum packages for the gigs.

The tickets are priced the same as they were for Garth’s cancelled 2014 run in Croke Park.

There will be a ‘pit’ at the front of the stage where fans can get up close with the singer, however unlike many other artists’ gigs, these will not be priced higher than the other standing tickets, and will be available on a first come, first served basis.

"The blessing of being in ireland is you get to be among human beings that define love the best,” Brooks said this morning.

“The curse is when you don't live here, you don't get to experience it every day.

“I have been around the world and there's no place like this [Ireland].”

Asked if any celebrities would be coming to the shows, he said: “I don't know I want the people here to come that were hurt the last time; if ten come that's fine, they're the ones that I want.”

Asked about the cancelled 2014 shows, he said: “It's not mine to forgive. I don't hold anything on anybody - if you get a chance to play in Ireland you're a lucky son of a b*tch.

“I don't hold a grudge against anybody. I thought the opportunity was gone.

“There is nothing for me to be forgiven, if anything is to be forgiven it's for the people who had those tickets.”

Asked why he thought those shows sold out, he said: “I think what happened with Ireland, and why I think five shows might be out of the question, in 2014 parents started talking to their kids about Garth Brooks and we know stories are must better than the truth.

“That generation knew from their parents, that’s why they came out [in 2014].”

But on whether he could sell out five nights again, he said: “I would be totally shocked if we end up with the same chance in 2014 .”

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