Garth Brooks has told the promoter of his five concerts in Ireland that he's game to go ahead with the shows as planned if the municipal roadblocks that led to their cancellation on Tuesday can be resolved.
"If you think for any reason that the 'powers that be' in Ireland can fix this, then I will go to the last second," Brooks wrote in a letter sent Wednesday to promoter Peter Aiken of Aiken Promotions, a copy of which was obtained by The Times.
Brooks also elaborated on his comment last week when the snag in plans to stage the five shows at Dublin's 83,000-capacity Croke Park Stadium first surfaced, at which time city council officials denied permits for two of those concerts. Brooks said he'd prefer to play all five or none at all. After city officials upheld the permit denials on Monday, Aiken announced that all five would be canceled.
"I hope you understand that to play for 400,000 people would be a dream," Brooks wrote to Aiken, "but to tell 160,000 of those people that they are not welcome would be a nightmare.
"To do what the city manager suggests" by playing three instead of five shows, all of which quickly sold out months ago, "means I agree that is how people should be treated and I just can't agree with that."
Brooks also noted that his concert crew and equipment were on the way to Ireland and had not yet been instructed to return to the U.S.
"Our guys are still en route and if there is any chance that the five planned concerts can be salvaged and nobody is being let down then we can proceed as planned until the refunds begin," Brooks said, adding, "If you tell me, 'Garth, thanks but it is over,' I will cease my efforts and bring our people and gear back to the States."
He also wrote that "I cannot begin to tell you how badly my heart is breaking right now."
The letter concludes "please let me know how to proceed. All my gratitude, respect, and love to you and Ireland, G."
Brooks has called a news conference for Thursday in Nashville in which he plans to address the situation, and possibly reveal more specifics of his previously announced plans to resume touring in 2014. So far the Dublin shows, which had been scheduled for July 25-29, were the only ones the singer had confirmed.
They were being billed as the "Garth Brooks Comeback Special Event," and presumably were paving the way for a more extensive full-scale tour, his first since announcing his retirement from touring in 2001.