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Wednesday 24 September 2014

Aiken defends Brooks' matinee shows in US after Irish gigs axed

Emma Jane Hade

Published 28/07/2014 | 02:30

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Country music star Garth Brooks. AP
Country music star Garth Brooks. AP
Garth Brooks

Concert promoter Peter Aiken has defended Garth Brooks' decision to hold matinee shows on several of his American tour dates, an offer which he rejected in Ireland.

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A spokesperson for the singer said this evening that the reason he chose to put on an evening and night-time show is because the Chicago venue is indoors.

“The answer is truly simple. The Allstate Arena in Chicago is an indoor arena.”

The country singer, pictured, last week sold out 10 concerts in Chicago as part of his comeback tour, but raised eyebrows in Ireland when it was announced that the concerts would be played over seven days in September.

Dublin city Lord Mayor Christy Burke last night said that Brooks owes the 400,000 disappointed Irish fans an apology.

But Mr Aiken told the Irish Independent: "He doesn't owe anyone an apology. The fact of the matter is that there was a suggestion about doing a matinee on the day.

"It was a suggestion to do it, and an offer that Dublin City Council were prepared to look at. It was never going to work anyway, you couldn't have done it. It was physically impossible."

The 52-year-old star is due to play 10 concerts in Chicago between September 4 and 14, and is set to play twice on three of these dates, his first appearance taking place at 6pm and the last at 10.30pm on September 6, 12 and 13.

Earlier this month, during the negotiations between Croke Park residents, concert promoters, Dublin City Council and the singer, it was suggested that Brooks could play the now controversial sold-out five concerts over the space of three days with two matinee shows.

Brooks said he did not have a problem with matinees but highlighted concerns he had over the quality of his performance.

Smaller

Mr Aiken added that the US shows would be held in a smaller indoor venue.

"It's not even a quarter of the size of the show that he was going to put into Croke Park," he said. "It was all based on the lights and production, which wouldn't work during the day, you wouldn't be able to see it!"

Mr Burke said: "My attitude to it all, that he needs first of all – if that's the case – to apologise to his Irish fans."

The money for more than three-quarters of the tickets for the cancelled concerts has already been refunded.

Irish Independent

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