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Garth Brooks hopes friends in high places can save Irish shows

By Alan Duke, CNN
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 1734 GMT (0134 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "I cannot begin to tell you how badly my heart is breaking right now," Garth Brooks writes
  • The "Friends in Low Places" singer hopes "'powers that be' in Ireland can fix this"
  • Brooks' promoter cancels all 5 shows when Dublin's council approved just 3 concerts
  • 400,000 tickets sold represent nearly one of every 10 people in Ireland

(CNN) -- Garth Brooks is still holding out hope he can do shows in Ireland despite the Dublin city council saying no to two of them.

Brooks told the Irish promoter after the city's approval of just three shows he would wait "to the last second" before sending his crew and gear back the the United States.

"I cannot begin to tell you how badly my heart is breaking right now," the singer wrote in a note to Aiken Promotions on Tuesday. Brooks' rep on Wednesday provided CNN a copy of the note.

The Dublin shows had been planned for Croke Park Stadium, a football arena that can hold more than 90,000 fans, on five consecutive nights during the last week of July. The council approved Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows, but rejected licenses for Monday and Tuesday night concerts.

The promoter, saying Brooks insisted on five shows or none at all, announced Tuesday that all concerts of "The Garth Brooks Comeback Special Event" were canceled and the 400,000 tickets sold would be refunded.

A measure of the demand to see Brooks perform live is impressive, considering the 400,000 tickets sold represent nearly one of every 10 people in the Republic of Ireland's 4.5 million population.

"I hope you understand that to play for 400,000 people would be a dream, but to tell 160,000 of those people that they are not welcome would be a nightmare," Brooks wrote. "To do what the city manager suggests (play three shows and not all five) means I agree that is how people should be treated and I just can't agree with that."

While the promoter surrendered Tuesday, saying it had "exhausted all avenues regarding the staging of this event," the note revealed that Brooks held out some hope.

"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," he said. "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. If you think for any reason that the 'powers that be' in Ireland can fix this, then I will faithfully go to the last second."

One of Brook's biggest hits was a country tune about "Friends in Low Places."

The city council noted the stadium was "in a heavily populated residential area" and five nights of Brooks would be "an over intensification of use of the stadium." The traffic, noise and "potential antisocial behaviour" by Brooks fans could add up to "an unacceptable level of disruption" for Dublin residents, the council said.

The city promised residents it would limit the number of special events to three each year when the stadium was renovated several years ago. It already hosted three concerts in May, the council's statement said.

Brooks was the biggest selling solo recording act ever when he left the road and studio behind to concentrate on raising his three daughters 13 years ago. Fans have only seen him perform since then at a few benefit concerts and a weekend residency in Las Vegas.

Garth Brooks works weekends in Vegas

His youngest daughter Allie graduated from high school in May, relieving Brooks of his paternal duty to drive his kids from his farm in Owasso, Oklahoma, to school each morning and be there for every soccer match.

Brooks revealed last December in a "Good Morning America" interview that wife Trisha Yearwood and his daughters had given him approval to launch a world tour in 2014.

He has scheduled a news conference on Thursday but it is not known whether it will be a new tour announcement.

CNN was first alerted to this story through a Twitter posting.

CNN's Joan Yeam contributed to this report.

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