Sunday 29 March 2015

Hotels hike prices ahead of Brooks’ return to Croker

Published 21/01/2014 | 06:37

Garth Brooks announces he will play Ireland for the first time in 17 years with two dates at Croke Park, July 25th & July 26th.
Garth Brooks announces he will play Ireland for the first time in 17 years with two dates at Croke Park, July 25th & July 26th.
Garth Brooks announces he will play Ireland for the first time in 17 years with two dates at Croke Park, July 25th & July 26th, for the Irish leg of his tour 'The Garth Brooks Comeback Special Event', Croke Park, Dublin.
Garth Brooks is eager to return to the scene of one of his "best shows ever" when he plays Croke Park this summer.
The event ended up being a best-selling DVD for the country superstar, who is now 51.
Brooks, who flew into Dublin to announce the double header concerts, believes his Croker gig was "one of the best shows I ever did".
Fans from across the globe are expected to snap up tickets when they go on sale next week, with many fondly recalling his last Irish performance 17 years ago.
"In 1997, we were lucky enough to play Croke Park," he said, although the stadium was then being redeveloped.
Fans of the 'Friends in Low Places' singer had caught wind of his imminent arrival, some even tracking his plane and gathering outside Croke Park yesterday ahead of the announcement.
"I was quoted then as saying 'When this stadium is finished, I would love to come back and try to fill it again. . . this time to the brink'.
Glenda Gilson was at croke Park to interview the super star for Xpose.
Gerry Kelly had got wind of the announcement and turned up at Croke Park.
Larry Gogan from RTE attended the annoucement of the two concerts at the Dublin stadium.

HE'S returning to Ireland after 17 years, and hotels are already hiking prices for the weekend of Garth Brooks' two concerts.

The 51-year-old country singer flew to Dublin to officially announce that he will take to the stage in Croke Park on July 25 and 26.

Fans are expected to travel from across the country to see him – and the capital’s hotels are already getting in on the action.

The Gresham (above) will charge €600 a night for a standard double room compared with the usual €160, while the Croke Park Hotel is already fully booked.

MASSIVE

The Belvedere Hotel is charging €299 for a room compared with the €129 the previous weekend, while a room at the Clarion will cost €230 instead of the normal summer weekend rate of €130.

Brooks is preparing to get back on the road with his forthcoming global tour, though the Irish stopover is not part of that schedule – instead, it is going to be his “comeback special”.

He has a massive following here, and wowed 130,000 people in 1997 when he sold out three back-to-back shows.

Brooks said nothing beats performing for the Irish, and he hopes to top those three performances and “make new memories” with his fans.

“If Garth Brooks is picking one place to represent the beginning again, this would be the place – it makes sense,” the Oklahoma-born superstar said.

“There was something different when I played here before – there was a haze that fell over the three days and it felt like what you're doing is right. Those special moments are rare.”

The unveiling of Brooks’ Comeback Special was delayed for more than an hour after he forgot his passport and experienced a problem with the schedule for his private jet.

Swapping his trademark stetson hat for a baseball cap to make the announcement, he told of his plans to keep the set list full of old hits.

“It will be 99pc old stuff and that is why people come to hear me,” he said.

“Whenever I go to concerts I’m the same, I prefer to hear my favourites.

CRYING

“Croke Park is bigger than I remember, but the opportunity is there and I'm really looking forward to getting out there. We told the guys when we were in Las Vegas and some of them started crying.

“Our residency in Vegas was an acoustic set the whole time, so you never really got to ramp it up.

“We all can't wait to get over and play in Dublin.”

Tickets for the Comeback Special, presented by Aiken Promotions, go on sale on January 30 at 9am from ticketmaster and all usual ticket outlets nationwide.

hnews@herald.ie

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