It's not common for music artists to have their shows cancelled, but when it happens, it's often down to a singer losing their voice, taking ill, or, as was the case for the rolling stones not so long ago, the death of a loved one. I don't think i've ever heard of a case where such a big star coming from the states is messed around by a city council but that's precisely what happened to Brooks though when Dublin city chief executive Owen Keegan decided to mess up the entire event by only permitting Brooks to play 3 of the 5 shows he'd originally agreed to do through Aikens Promotions. When faced with the very real possability of 2 of his shows being axed, Brooks was adamant that he would play all five or none. I personally felt that Brooks did this FOR his fans, rather than against them, which some suggest. Brooks was basically saying initially that he was not prepared to let any of his fans down by cancelling 2 out of 5 shows and to be fair to the man, Brooks puts a lot into his shows. I feel that Brooks decided early on to stand his ground and be firm in his decision because the PEOPLE, and not a bunch of council members, are what is important, and they should not have their entertainment scrapped by a bunch of highly paid beaurocrats.
What seems to have kicked it all off in my view, was the fact that Aikens Promotions did not seek permission from Dublin City council first and like all suits in positions of power, their nose was put out of joint. In other words this event was doomed to fail because Keegan, the council's chief executive, was not made to feel like "the man". That's entirely my own personal view having had my own fair share of absurdity and egoism from certain so called "professional amatuer"members when dealing with a committee over the past year. These people are all paperwork, complacency and lacking in any real creative vision. Any wonder such an event like bringing the biggest selling country music artist in the world to play in Ireland was going to have a problem when some city council was not consulted.
Many fans blame Brooks and Aikens Promotions but blame must be levelled at Keegan because while Aikens Promotions SHOULD have initially asked permission from Dublin City council, a council, knowing full well the enormity of the event and the potential 50 million euro boost to the economy from accomadation, transport, food and drink sales among others, should be able to, in the words of Brooks "work something out". Yet the inept council failed to do so despite the fact that, according to some reports, (http://www.evoke.ie/garth-brooks-will-cancel-five-shows-even-though-it-will-cost-him-millions/) a ship had already had set off from the U.S. Garth Brooks had invested a lot of money into the event, with a 90 strong crew and the plan to film the five events for a DVD and documentary.
What caused Keegan to deny two of the shows was the case of the 373 complaints from nearby Ballybough who did not want Brooks to play Croake park. While the views of 373 people should be taken into account, what about the over 400,000 people wanting to see Garth play? Out of those 373 complaints I am told that one third of all submitted complaints were falsified.
Whie It's stated that 373 complaints were filed to stop the concert, compare this to the 400,000 tickets sold. I mean think about it, if someone offered you a a few nights stay in a luxury hotel while the event took place so you didn't have to be within earshot of Brook's shows, or a few hundred euros to make your "suffering" a little easier, wouldn't you take it? Couldn't that have been arranged so that not only would the 400,000 fans have their shows, the struggling economy would benefit ( keep in mind that this is a country that needed an EU bailout back around 2008) and the country could attract even more big name stars instead of what we have now...angry fans who've lost money on now uneeded hotel accomadation, transport and God knows what else, a poorer economy and a bad reputation that is broadcast throughout the world we're told. All because of a bunch of disgruntled fake signature signing party poopers and some guy in charge of a council who needs to be handed a shovel and sent to clean out some cow shed, something with a little less brain activity.
Just looking at the many comments from people attached to news stories concerning this, a fair number have begun to see that it's Owen Keegan that is the problem and he is being called to resign.
But that's enough about the Republic. Unfortunatly it seems Dublin have chimps working within the council but that is no excuse for our own politicians and councils in the north who, if they had any sense, would have seized the opportunity and invited Garth to play here in Belfast, Londonderry or wherever else. You mean to tell me in the whole of the north there is no venue the size of Croake Park in which to cater for such crowds? Think of the boost to our own economy that a show like that would have created, never mind telling the world once again that Northern Ireland welcomes events and musicians from outside the country to come and play here. We need a lot more of THAT stuff, and a lot less councils and bureaurcrats. Northern Ireland should have taken Brooks in while he was here, when Dublin was messing him around. What message does it send out to other big name entertainers when they are rejected despite having paid big money for a 90 strong crew, including film, sound, pyrotechnics, stage production crews and etc?
At the time of writing, Garth has cancelled all 5 shows because the council would not budge on letting him play the remaining two. It would be very easy for fans to direct their anger at Brooks because it's entirely possible they may never attend a Brooks concert again unless they travel further afield. Why didn't he just play the three? Brooks is quoted to have said that it was unfair to be asked to pick and choose which shows to play and that it would be like asking a parent to choose between their children. I think it's a question of integrity. He could have picked some shows and said screw the rest of the fans, but he declined entirely in order that he treat all his fans fairly, yet it won't realistically be felt that way when so many lose out on money paid on accomadation and etc. Despite the frustration felt by fans it's important to keep in mind that Brooks declining the 5 shows, while dissapointing and maddening, it was, in my opinion, essentionally to expose the stupidity of the Dublin City council to the world but more importantly and primarily to prevent them from ever compromising a big star event again (assuming of course if we demand said council members to resign) A country wide organised effort of protests and demands for Keegan and co's resignation SHOULD have been undertaken while Brooks was still in talks here in Ireland. That would have sent the message of the people across loud and clear.