Entertainment Music

Saturday 20 September 2014

Gardai called after store runs out of Garth Brooks tickets

Published 30/01/2014 | 13:07

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GARDAI were called to deal with disappointed Garth Brooks fans after tickets were sold out.

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Some 100 fans were left without tickets this morning after queueing in Limerick for a number of hours. Some of the fans had been queuing for 48 hours.

All three dates for the Garth Brooks Comeback Special were sold out shortly before 1pm.

Some 240,000 tickets for the three nights at Croke Park sold out within 90 minutes, according to Aiken Promotions.

Two concerts were originally scheduled for July 25 26 – a third concert date for July 27 was added this morning to cater for demand. All three dates are now sold out.

However, there were still thousands of disappointed Brooks fans across the country who were unable to get their hands on a ticket.

In one case, gardai were called to Gleeson’s Sports Scene in Limerick City.

Fans Sharon Kelly, Danila Burke, Romina Perrozzi, Karen Tynan Kiely, Tracey Rowe, Emily Burke and Grace Breslin pictured with their Garth Brook tickets after queuing for days in Kilkenny
Fans Tracey Rowe and Karen Tynan Kiely from Kilkenny pictured with their Garth Brooks tickets

Staff at the store said it called gardai for extra security and crowd control.

“Around 100 people didn’t get tickets and I think staff were afraid what would happen,” a spokesperson for Henry Street Garda Station in Limerick said.

There were no injuries or trouble after the store ran out of tickets but Gardai were called to manage the large crowds and traffic.

“There was a large crowd and although they tried to get through as many people as they could, there were a few disappointed people.

“There was no hassle but there are no cameras in the area so we sent a unit up to make sure everything went okay,” the spokesperson said.

Store owner Steve Gleeson .

“We didn’t realise we were going to go through that many tickets,” the store’s owner Steve Gleeson said.

“Naturally there were a few grieving fans but unfortunately we did the best we could, we could only print six tickets at a time,” he explained.

He said people had been camped outside the shop since Tuesday afternoon.

Almost 30 sets of tickets have already been listed on the reselling website eBay, with the cheapest price for two tickets starting at €187.50.

The most expensive listing offers four tickets for the Friday night with the bidding starting at €700.

This listing also includes the choice to ‘buy it now’ for a set price of €1,100.

Thousands of Garth Brooks fans had been queuing for days at ticket outlets around the country, while tens of thousands more logged onto Ticketmaster this morning in the hope of securing a ticket.

However, many were met with online waiting times of more than 15 minutes, which Ticketmaster said was due to high demand.

A straw poll of 10 independent.ie reporters – using the website, the app, phones and physically going to outlets – saw three of our reporters secure tickets to the gig by 10am. Two of those reporters were online and one queued outside the Ticketmaster outlet on Stephen's Green, Dublin.

At the Stephen’s Green ticket outlet, hundreds of people queued.

Fans Niamh Farrell and Eimear Kelly enjoyed a night of dancing in Coppers and joined the queue after they finished partying at 5am.

"We came from Coppers [at 5am]. I think he’s worth it, it’s just good music,’’ she said.

The clubgoers had not been to the country singer’s last gig in Ireland as they were both only three-years-old.

Aoibhinn Loye from Co Armagh had been queuing since 7pm last night.

‘‘It’s very cold but it’s fun and everyone has been in really high spirits, I just really hope I’ll be able to get the tickets,’’ she said.

Fan Darren Prendergast said, ‘‘His music is just so worldwide, it’s so entertaining, every song catches people in different ways.’’

‘‘Plus the girlfriends wouldn’t forgive us if we didn’t get them for Valentine’s Day,’’ said his pal Phillip Thomas.

Patrick Hugh Lynch joined the queue at an early 2.30am admitting he was ‘‘totally insane.’’

‘‘This is witnessing a moment in history,’’ he insisted.

Another overjoyed fan was Ramona Mathews who starting queuing outside the Tullamore Bridge centre in Co Offaly yesterday at 11am.

“It was great craic here now last night, no trouble.”

At 9am this morning, staff came out of the shop and informed the queue that the printing machine “was still going”.

Being seventh in the queue, Ramona was one of the lucky few to receive holding tickets, guaranteeing her her six spots at the concert.

The atmosphere in the queue is jubilant this morning. “There’s singing going on here and everything”.

“We’ve a mother and daughter here, a husband and wife… everyone is going with their sisters, their parents.. it’s a real family vibe”.

Ramona is hoping to relive the experience of seeing Garth perform in 1997. “I saw him in 1997… that was a long time ago. Definitely worth it!”

Helen Kiely from Kilkenny was successful in securing three tickets “as a treat” for herself and her two daughters, both in their twenties. She is looking forward to seeing the concert as a family.

“The girls were reared on Garth Brooks and Queen… they adore him. There aren’t very many musical events the three of us would pop off to together and love every minute, all three of us.”

 Helen, who is “three weeks” away from launching her new business ‘Eat Kilkenny’, spent forty minutes online this morning trying to purchase the tickets.

“I was in the middle of trying to do accounts and afraid to leave my laptop! When you’re successful, I suppose forty minutes doesn’t seem that bad. I would have preferred a ’thirty minutes or less’ message while waiting though – ’fifteen minutes or more’ could be anything from fifteen minutes to two hours!”

Helen secured tickets for Friday night, although she says she didn’t realise the date until after she had bought them. “The panic that hit me when I got – two minutes to complete – I just clicked the button. I didn’t know until the end that I had selected Friday.”

The Kiely ladies were planning on staying in Dublin for the night of the concert but have changed their plans due to rising hotel prices.  “It’s too expensive. I’m paying for this as a treat and It’s already almost €300 for three tickets, all included. To add €300 for a room – it’s too much for one concert.”

By Aishling Phelan

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