Editorial: Lessons must be learned from concert debacle
Apart from being deeply disappointing to fans of Garth Brooks, the decision of Dublin City Council to restrict the country singer to three concerts in Croke Park has the potential to deal a major blow to the economy of the city. As the 'blame game' starts, a number of questions have already arisen about this debacle. And there is also now considerable doubt as to whether the concerts will go ahead at all, given the statement from the entertainer.
We hope, for the sake of the fans that they do – and also for the sake of the wider economy of Dublin city. While one must have a certain sympathy with the residents in the vicinity of the stadium, it also has to be acknowledged that it might have been better if they embraced these concerts – and used them as leverage to get an absolute guarantee of 'three only' from now on.
On the other hand, it does seem odd that Croke Park, the headquarters of the GAA, decided to go ahead with five days of concerts for 400,000 customers, without consulting the various interest groups that represent residents. The other question that immediately comes to mind is why tickets were sold by the promoters first, before applying for the license.
Although no one questioned it at the time, and it is the way we do things here, in hindsight it seems, at best, ill-advised. Custom and practise won't be any consolation to those fans who had bought tickets and possibly booked a hotel, transport and even flights to Dublin for the occasion. They have the double disappointment of bearing substantial costs for a concert which, as things stand, they may not see. Whatever happens now, lessons must be learned so such a debacle is not repeated.