Slane ruled out as Brooks venue, but Aviva available

Reports that the Aviva Stadium will be used as an alternative venue for Garth Brooks' concerts have been labelled as "speculation".

Reports that only three of the concerts had been approved followed a tweet by city councillor Ray McAdam that he had been told the news by the city manager. The reports werestrongly denied by Dublin City Council, who said the decision had yet to be made.

A spokesperson for the Aviva said "It's pure speculation at the moment."

"The Aviva is free, there are no concerts planned … for the dates in question."

A switch to Slane has also been ruled out.

Henry Mountcharles said he had made a "strategic decision" earlier this year that Slane would not host a concert in 2014 and told the Irish Examiner: "That position will not change."

Slane in Co Meath is one of the few alternatives to Croke Park for the concerts, which are now less than a month away.

Some 400,000 tickets were sold for the five night run, beginning on July 25, but it emerged this morning that just three off the concerts are now likely to go ahead.

Aiken Promotions, who organised the concerts, said they would respond to media requests later today.

Locals in the Croke Park area had voiced their opposition to the string of shows, and just last week a mediation process aimed at resolving the dispute recommended that in future GAA headquarters should not host concerts on four or five consecutive nights.

Thousands of fans could now be left disappointed, and today Henry Mountcharles said Slane could not fill the breach.

"The bottom line on this, from a logistical point of view, is it would be very difficult," he said.

"I do not think the Garth Brooks staging requires the same specific details as, for example a U2 '360' show.

"This breaks down to the fact that maybe doing five gigs in a row, in this context, is over-egging the pudding."

Slane faced a similar situation almost a decade ago when Eminem pulled out of shows at the venue, and Mountcharles said dealing with disappointed fans who had bought tickets was "a logistical nightmare".

He said he thought it might be a case of "first come, first served" when it came to deciding which shows by the American country artist would go ahead and which would be dropped.

"This is not an easy situation," he said.

"I made a strategic decision months ago that I would not be doing a show at Slane this year. I am already in negotiations for shows for next year, and that position will not change."

— Noel Baker, Irish Examiner

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