The parade of starry-eyed journalists prancing into Croke Park on Monday for an audience with Garth Brooks was only mildly unsettling. The world’s first interview with Osama bin Laden in a Tora Bora cave could hardly have attracted such a mixed bunch of reporters. RTÉ was all in, hashtag #rtenewsbehindthescenes. It despatched Six One news co-anchor Caitríona Perry with full crew for the cherished sit-down interview. An audibly excited Ray D’Arcy described the charged atmosphere, the fear and the nerves around the room as technical teams checked and rechecked their equipment. Arts and media correspondent Sinead Crowley prefaced her Twitter handle with “Miss” following a charmingly funny exchange with Brooks.
He gave it time. He had a personal word with every journalist and broadcast reporter, stood in for dozens of selfies, signed a radio presenter’s acoustic guitar and listened to at least one stream of adulation without rolling his eyes. By the end of the day there was a Garth audience for everyone in the audience. As a marketing event, the Brooks blitz was a thing of wonder.