TENSIONS ran high in Limerick this Thursday morning as fans, some who had queued for days, failed to secure tickets for the sold-out series of Garth Brooks concerts in Croke Park.
Gardai maintained a presence from early morning outside Gleeson’s Sports Scene on Mulgrave Street, Limerick’s Ticketmaster outlet, as hundreds of fans queued for days to secure tickets for the Oklahoma superstar.
However, reinforcements were subsequently called as fans voiced their disquiet and were left devastated at failing to secure tickets.
The ‘Comeback Special’ concerts, catering to around 240,000 fans, sold out in 90 minutes, with fans who had queued for days left in low places as they failed to secure any.
Only the first 40 or so people in the queue in Limerick secured tickets, with angry scenes breaking out among those left ticketless who believed they had been “promised tickets”.
There was no violence or scuffles among the fans, who dispersed in minutes, but anger was expressed.
“People are tired, they are angry, the weather is crap, and we were told that we would all get tickets, that there was no problem with tickets and then we were told, sorry, they are all gone,” said Clare Keating from Mungret, who said she queued for “15 or 16 hours”.
“We could just see people getting angry, and the tensions were getting high,” she added.
Michael Leonard from Fermanagh, who lives in Clare, said: “We were told to hang around, and if we did long enough, the tickets would be printed and we would be sold them. Then they came out and said there was none left. So what are we meant to do?”
Steve Gleeson of Gleeson’s Sports Scene, said he had “every sympathy” for the fans left disappointed.
“We couldn’t access the system until 9am this morning,” he explained. “It is not like we physically have the tickets in the shop, we don’t, and all the Ticketmaster agents around the country are accessing the same system. So it is only as quick as we can print off, that we can actually get our hands on the tickets.
“I have every sympathy for them, but we asked people not to queue. Some people are there since Tuesday lunchtime. We didn’t want people queuing, we didn’t want them going through the hardship of it, but people did queue and I have every sympathy for them on it. Unfortunately we could only get our hands on what tickets we could get our hands on.”
For more on this story see the Limerick Leader print editions next week.