Saturday 27 December 2014

Aiken and Keegan most to blame for Garth fiasco

Published 03/08/2014 | 02:30

Garth Brooks
Garth Brooks
Peter Aiken
Owen Keegan, Dublin City Council chief executive, has been talking about the Garth Brooks concerts fiasco

The public remains deeply bewildered by the Garth Brooks fiasco but it believes that Aiken Promotions and the Dublin City manager Owen Keegan are most to blame for the planning chaos that disappointed 400,000 music fans.

But Garth Brooks' conduct in refusing to compromise has also left him open to blame by the public. The country superstar declined an offer to hold three concerts instead of five.

And he also rejected another alternative plan to squeeze five concerts into three days at Croke Park by including two matinee performances.

"I would crawl, swim, fly over there this weekend, sit in front of him,[the Taoiseach] I will drop on my knees and beg . . . but I won't do matinees," Mr Brooks said.

Perhaps as a result of the flat refusal to do matinee performances, 14pc of the Irish public feels it was Garth Brooks who was most to blame.

The Sunday Independent /Millward Brown poll asked who was most to blame for the cancellation of all five concerts.

The largest proportion of respondents (17pc) blamed the main promoters, Aiken Promotions. Legislation requires that licence applications are made at least 10 weeks prior to an event. Aiken Promotions applied for a formal licence in April, 16 weeks before the concerts but a whole two months after selling 400,000 tickets.

However, in terms of blame, Aiken Promotions was just one percentage point more than the recently appointed Dublin City manager Owen Keegan.

In all, 16pc felt the Dublin-city chief was most to blame for cancellation of the Croke Park shows. Dublin City Council refused licences for two of the five concerts planned for the stadium, with chief executive Mr Keegan saying that the decision was irreversible - though compromises 
were eventually offered.

Next in the blame game were local residents of the Croke Park area who objected to so many concerts taking place. They are blamed most by 14pc of the Irish public.

But the GAA, who stood to have a bumper pay day, are blamed by 12pc of voters.

The Government's decision not to act and interfere with the planning process appears to have been accepted by respondents. In all, just 8pc felt the 
Government was most to blame for the fiasco.

It emerged last week that Garth Brooks is to sell his €5.6m Malibu beach house as he is relocating to Nashville.

The singer, and his wife 
Trisha Yearwood, are selling the luxurious 4,236-square-foot beach house on the prestigious Sea Lane Drive. The pair have also put their 2,000 acres of prime real estate in Oklahoma on the market.

Trisha (49) had said their youngest daughter was soon to go to college, and leave 
the couple with a massive empty nest.

Sunday Independent

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