Friday 18 October 2019

Bruce Springsteen to play Croke Park in May

Bruce Springsteen in a sell-out gig at the RDS in Dublin eight years ago. He will play Croke Park in May. Photo: PA wire
Bruce Springsteen in a sell-out gig at the RDS in Dublin eight years ago. He will play Croke Park in May. Photo: PA wire

Martin Breheny, Conor Feehan, Barry Duggan

Bruce Springsteen will play Croke Park this summer.

'The Boss' will perform one night at GAA HQ over the weekend on Friday May 27 as part of 'The River Tour 2016'.

Tickets will go on sale Thursday February 11 at 9am, and a second date is expected to be added on Sunday 29 if demand warrants it.

However, Peter McKenna of Croke Park told Newstalk this morning that his understanding is that Springsteen will not play the venue on the Saturday night.

Only three concerts are allowed at the venue, which has a capacity of 82,300, per year.

McKenna said they will sit down with the city council and relevant authorities if a second date is needed.

“The promoter artist have confirmed May 27 as a definite date,” he said on Newstalk.

“We have provided for May 29 should the artist want to use that. That is in the artist’s gift.

“Our understanding is that Bruce’s show is a phenomenal force when he gets going. He will play live for three and a half hours at a minimum. It is a huge amount of energy and to repeat that night after night is a huge physical task.”

He said it “seems to be the plan” that Bruce will take a day off should a second concert need to be arranged.

Mr McKenna ruled out May 31 for a third concert.

The Springsteen concerts will result in GAA games having to be moved to alternative dates.

Three concerts were held in Croke Park last year, without impacting on the GAA programme.

The Script played there on June 20, while Ed Sheeran played to sell-out crowds for two nights on July 24 and 25.

While there will undoubtedly be some complaints over switching championship dates to facilitate concerts, the revenue generated by entertainment superstars has become an integral part of the Croke Park Stadium model.

In turn, Croke Park feeds substantial amounts of money into central funds for distribution to counties and other units of the GAA.

More than 230,000 attended the Ed Sheeran and Script concerts last year, while 235,000 turned out for the three One Direction shows a year earlier.

But the Springsteen gigs will rekindle memories of the controversy two years ago over the Garth Brooks concerts. Due to phenomenal demand, the number of concerts increased from three to five nights.

Permission for the two extra concerts was refused, leading to an infamous saga, involving various groups of local residents, Brooks, the promoters, then Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke and even the Mexican Ambassador.

The various and extensive attempts to broker a deal failed, including an offer to allow three concerts go ahead, as originally planned.

Brooks rejected the proposal, resulting in the cancellation of all the concerts which left over 400,000 fans bitterly disappointed.

In the past, concerts have usually been fixed for Croke Park on weekends when the stadium was not required for GAA activities.

Tickets on sale Thursday February 11 at 9am from all Ticketmaster outlets nationwide. 24hr Credit Card Bookings:- 0818 719300 (ROI) and 0844 277 4455 (NI).

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