Michelle Devane, PA
Garth Brooks has said he waited his whole life for his five concerts at Croke Park.
The US country music superstar is due to play in Dublin over the course of 10 days, with the first show starting this Friday.
The 60-year-old held a press conference in Dublin on Thursday afternoon, where he became emotional as he spoke of his excitement and nervousness ahead of opening night on Friday.
“I’ve been waiting for this my whole life,” he said.
“Tomorrow night, I stop waiting.”
Around 400,000 people are expected to attend the gigs in total, with all counties represented and at least 5 per cent of ticketholders coming from outside Ireland.
“It’s all starting to get really real, which is great,” he said. “I’ve waited for this forever.”
He said he did not care about the poor weather that has been forecasted, saying he was “gonna dance in the rain”.
Brooks, who was wearing a hoody and a pair of blue denim jeans rather than his trademark cowboy hat, arrived in Dublin on Wednesday with his wife Trisha Yearwood.
He described the stage as looking “pretty amazing” and he urged people to get to the venue early and to use public transport.
The show starts at 7.30pm and there is no support act ahead of Brooks’ performance.
“People might get tired because I didn’t come over here to play for five minutes,” he said.
“I came over here to try and push the curfew. We’re really excited.
However, he added quickly that the show would end as planned at 10.30pm.
“We will honour that curfew,” he said.
“So our job is to squeeze as much fun as we can in that three-hour window.”
He also said his fans are the boss of what happens on the night.
“If they’re tired, I’ll let them go home early,” he said.
“If they seem to be wanting some more of it, they’ll get more than they could ever want and they’ll regret that they wanted more, trust me.”
“We’re so excited to be here. So happy,” he added.
There is particular interest in the event as Brooks’ five concerts in 2014 were cancelled following a licensing dispute with locals around Croke Park and the local authorities.
Dublin City Council said at the time that it would only grant licences for three of the concerts at the stadium, however the singer refused to perform unless all five went ahead.
In November 2021, after huge demand for two Garth Brooks gigs at Croke Park, a further three dates were added: September 11th, 16th and 17th.
Due to the large numbers of attendees, organisers are warning people to plan their journey to and from Croke Park, as there is only one car park close to the venue that holds 400 cars, and traffic restrictions will be in place near the venue.
People aged under 14 will not be allowed onto the standing/pitch area, and bags must be less than an A4 size and will be searched on the way into the venue.
Attendees are also asked to double-check the date on their tickets and are reminded that the show starts at 7.30pm, with gates open from 5pm.