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Saturday 20 September 2014

Garth fans dance to ease the pain of achy breaky hearts

Published 27/07/2014 | 02:30

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Rebecca Azmar from Spain at Dublin Goes Country in Dame Lane last Friday. Photo: Tony Gavin

Music fans turned Dublin in a mini-Nashville this week-end determined to "keep it country" despite the cancellation of the Garth Brooks concerts.

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The star had been due to play five nights in Croke Park, starting Friday night, before the licensing and planning fiasco scuppered the multi- million-euro event at Croker.

Among the disappointed fans determined to make the best of it was Norwegian Marit Knudsen who had spent €1,200 to travel to Ireland for the concerts.

She was bitterly disappointed but said that she was still having a great time attending other country music events that had been organised around the city.

"We had the flights booked and there was no refund available - so we flew in anyway," said Ms Knudsen. "We had tickets for the Friday and Saturday night concerts and had been waiting for 16 years to see Garth, so it was a big let-down for us," she added.

David Ellis flew in from his home in Wrexham, Wales, because he could not get a refund on his Dublin hotel stay.

"I have had a fantastic time because the weather has been amazing - but tonight would have been the pinnacle of my trip because I would have been going to the concert," said Mr Ellis. "It would have been a marvellous occasion because the weather is amazing and it had all of the ingredients - all except Garth Brooks," he corrected.

Country musician and songwriter NC Lawlor said that he is playing gigs every night this week. He was delighted that there were a number of country events on in Dublin and he said that they should be on more often.

"As long as it is not raining, we should be doing this all of the time," he said at an open air street concert in the city centre. "There are a lot of people here visiting, who were hoping to go to the Garth gig - but they'll get something else instead and still enjoy themselves," he added.

Meanwhile, almost 85pc of the 400,000 Garth Brooks ticket holders now been refunded their money.

Ticketmaster have confirmed that 330,000 tickets had been reimbursed and added that they are pleased with the progress they have made in what was an "unprecedented" event.

Sunday Independent

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