Thursday, July 10, 2014
– Garth Brooks made it clear Thursday he would go over to Ireland to beg the prime minster and play five now canceled shows if given the chance. He also said he had no clue in advance that troubles lay ahead for his now-canceled five concerts.
Brooks said he has no beef with the people of Ireland - he'd tell people to go there in an instant to experience the beauty of the country - but he sure does with the process that, thus far, has led to the cancellation of five sell-out shows in Dublin later this month.
"At no one time did anybody go 'whoa whoa wait,'" he said.
"The system is flawed," said Brooks before backtracking. "It's not my country to say that."
Brooks addressed the Irish concerts issue near the end of his presentation at the press conference announcing his return to recording and touring and the first two questions were from reporters from Irish publications.
"If we can pick one place on the planet to show them the most special place we think is coming, Ireland is the pick. This thing is monstrous. The reason why it is is it must match the quality and integrity of the Irish people."
"Today we should be laughing and joyous," Brooks said about his upcoming CD and touring, which were announced at the press conference. "We have this dark cloud all over us."
Brooks said if Prime Minster Enda Kenney called him, "I will drop on my knees and beg" to let the concerts go ahead and "let them have fun."
"In the '90s, controversy and Garth Brooks found each other," Brooks said during a question-answer section of the press conference. "Ireland, I don't have a clue. January, I went over for press. I was treated like a king. I have never been treated like anything else than a king."
"Everything was rocking," he said. "Every six months, you have a meeting where you have to pass their tests - safety, rigging...We passed those tests. Until about 10 days ago, 2 weeks ago, everything was love."
The Dublin City Council voted to allow Brooks to stage three concerts instead of the five that were already sold out with more than 400,000 slated to attend.
Brooks said he was told, "'You're going to have figure out the other two.' I wish I could tell you where it came from."
He said, "The statement was a simple yes, you can make 240,000 people happy. The response was with a simple yes, you can make 400,000 people happy. Open it up. Let people have fun."
Brooks has previously said he would not choose to allow some of his fans attend his shows.
"I don't think that's the way to treat people," Brooks said.
"Ireland should never be embarrassed. Its people should never be embarrassed," Brooks said in answering a question. "The system should be looking at itself, saying, 'we have flaws, and this is how it's done.'"
One suggestion floated was for Brooks to do matinees so the concerts would go more than three days. "I don't have a problem with matinees," he said. "I don't want to give them a half-assed show."
He indicated that the evening show was the complete show with a matinee lacking some offerings of the night, although he did not go into detail.
"I personally will do whatever it takes except canceling on people," he said.
Brooks said the Irish shows were unique to Ireland. "It's 255 feet wide, 20-feet tall. That's just the video screen."
"This isn't a show that you pick up and move," he said. "It's a one-time only thing."
He said 75 percent of ticket buyers were under 25. "They haven't seen us," he said. Brooks has not toured since 2001.