Wednesday 22 May 2019

Lord Henry Mountcharles 'uncomfortable' with Garth Brooks' '5 gigs or no gigs' ultimatum

Lord Henry Mountcharles
Lord Henry Mountcharles

Lord Henry Mountcharles has said he finds Garth Brooks' 'five gigs or no gigs' ultimatum "strange".

He made the comments in response to Brooks' statement, issued late last night, which outlined the country singer would not play Croke Park unless he could play all five gigs.

Speaking to broadcaster Sean O'Rourke on RTE Radio 1, Henry Mountcharles said, "I think it’s strange.  It makes me feel uncomfortable. 

"The language here should be about trying to find a solution to this.  I don't think playing hardball is appropriate in the circumstance. 

"I don't want to get into critic of specific parties but I’m sure you can hear where I’m coming from."

Mountcharles, who is not staging any gigs at Slane Castle this year, added that he finds the debacle "extraordinary".

"I find it absolutely extraordinary because the process requires a heavy level of engagement amongst all parties concerned," he said.  "I really do scratch my head as to how it ended up in this place.

"Frankly speaking, and I've kept very quiet and watched this matter unfold, I did consider five shows back to back an intensification, perhaps a bridge too far.

"Because an artist can fill Croke Park five times on the trot doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.  I find it strange that the promoter and the GAA didn't get a heads up that this was going to be a problem."

He added that he had a great deal of sympathy for Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Christy Burke, whose hands are tied on Dublin City Council manager's decision not to grant a licence for the final two gigs.

Regarding an apparent lack of engagement between Aiken Promotions and Dublin City Council, he said he's "puzzled".

"For example, as soon as I am in a position to have a feeling that there's going to be a show at Slane I will give officials in Meath County Council the heads up that this is coming down the tracks and the process of engagement starts and issues that may have been raised in previous shows are addressed," he revealed.

"A lot of work goes in prior to application for the license.  I find it extraordinary this late in the day that people are expressing surprise that this happened.  The word on street, and I stayed away from it, was that this was likely to be the situation."

Cllr Burke also reiterated that there will be no reversal on Dublin City Council's decision.

"It was made clear, the law and the planning procedure does not allow the CEO and city manager reverse the decision he has definitively made," he told Sean O'Rourke.

He added, "The CEO has made this decision and whether I like it or not or you like it or not that decision wont be reversed in accordance with the planning regulations."


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