By Michelle Devane, PA
It has been a long time coming with plenty of ups and downs along the way but Garth Brooks fans will finally see him take to the stage again at Dublin’s Croke Park later today.
The US country music superstar is due to play five concerts at the stadium over the course of nine days.
The 60-year-old became emotional at a press conference in Dublin on Thursday as he spoke of his excitement and nervousness ahead of opening night.
“I’ve been waiting for this my whole life,” he said, adding that he didn’t care about the poor weather forecasted and that he was “gonna dance in the rain”.
Around 400,000 people are expected to attend the gigs in total with at least 5 per cent of ticket holders coming from outside Ireland.
It has been 25 years since the music legend last played in Dublin.
Brooks was due to play five concerts in 2014, but the gigs were cancelled following a licensing dispute with locals around the venue and the local authorities.
Dublin City Council said at the time that it would only grant licences for three of the concerts at the Dublin venue, however the singer refused to perform unless all five went ahead.
In November 2021, Brooks returned to Ireland to announce he would play in Croke Park in September 2022.
After huge demand for two gigs at the venue, a further three dates were added.
Fans will be hoping the star will don his Stetson and sing some of his greatest hits including If Tomorrow Never Comes, Friends In Low Places and Callin’ Baton Rouge among other well-known tunes.
They have been urged to make their way to the stadium early and to use public transport.
The show starts at 7.30pm and there is no support act.
Due to the large numbers attending, organisers are warning people to plan their journey to and from the venue, as there is only one car park close to the venue that holds 400 cars, and traffic restrictions will be in place near the stadium.
People aged under 14 will not be allowed on to the standing/pitch area, and bags must be less than an A4 size and will be searched on the way into the venue.
Those going to the concert are also asked to doublecheck the date on their tickets and are reminded that the show starts at 7.30pm, with gates open from 5pm.
Brooks has said he will honour the 10.30pm curfew.