Friday 24 May 2019

Camping 4 days and 3 nights... Is Garth Brooks really worth it?

(left) Sonia Rice, (centre) Mairead O Hara and Janina Lieghio (right)
(left) Sonia Rice, (centre) Mairead O Hara and Janina Lieghio (right)
(left) Sonia Rice (right) Mairead O Hara
Sharon Henderon (27) getting ready for a long night
In the queue (left) Colette Lieghio (centre) Sonia rice 44 (right) Sarah rice 26

Mark McConville

Not being a Garth Brooks fan myself (I would find it hard to name two of his songs) I was wondering what all the fuss was about after he released concert dates in Dublin last week.

I heard squeals of delight from some of my colleagues - some of them were at his Croke Park concerts back in 1997 and they began to regale me with their own Garth Brooks tales and what a magical night it was.

"This is big," one of them said as he combed through the press release, making a careful note about the July dates and when the tickets would be going on sale.

I only thought such fervour would be seen in a One Direction fan - so this was a real eye-opener to me. I mean it's Garth Brooks.

Let me explain.

I’ve got three sisters so am only too aware of the extremes some girls might go to when it comes to following boybands.

Be it Take That, Boyzone, Westlife and – with the youngest sister now – One Direction, I am more than familiar with their excitement.

Video from The Lurgan Mail

I can almost understand (almost mind) why people would queue for Harry Styles, Niall Horan and the rest of 1D.

But apparently Garth Brooks - the 53-year-old father-of-three country singing superstar - has the same power.

I was looking through my Facebook page last night and I came across a photo of three girls sitting on chairs all hyped up. 

I clicked in to see what they were at.

When I read through the comments it dawned on me that they were camping out for Gareth Brooks tickets. Monday night. And the Garth brooks tickets don't go on sale until Thursday. Surely this is a joke, I thought.

Janina Liegho (28), originally from Armagh, was one of those pictured and this is what she had to say on behalf of herself and her equally tenacious companions.

What was your reaction to the announcement that Garth would play in Ireland? 

“I was buzzing when I heard it on 2fm and this will be our first time seeing Garth brooks. I’ve grown up a Garth brooks fan so I’ve been a follower of his music for at least 20 years. My favourite song is "That summer" and "Ireland".

"I think he’s kind of hot, especially when he sings; then he is amazing...”

Is Croker the best venue for the upcoming show?

“Croke park is the best place for him to come. The last time he was in Croker, it was getting renovated and he couldn’t wait to get back to it.

Garth has to put extra dates on he can’t just come to Ireland for two nights – he should definitely put on at least another two nights. He will get the crowd.”

Do you think camping out for three nights is worth it?

Camping out is definitely worth it. I’m third  in the queue and I cannot wait have tickets in my hand in three days time. We aren’t cold yet. We have layers upon layers on and family and friends to supply tea and coffee and food.  It will be a long three nights but we are willing to do this for a concert that’s going to be one in a million!”

So after speaking to Janina, I get why they camp out for Garth.

He's like the thinking person's crumpet I suppose.

And he might kick-start the line-dancing craze again.

While I think Janina and her friends are mad to camp out for tickets, I get the sneaking suspicion that some of my colleagues would do the same if they were guaranteed tickets.

Actually one is off this week, I wonder where he is....

Irish Independent

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