Garth Brooks ended his three-year North American stadium tour this past weekend in Houston, but he isn’t disappearing for long.
Starting Aug. 29, he’ll come into people’s homes as executive producer and narrator of America’s National Parks, a five-part Nat Geo documentary series. As the clip below illustrates, Brooks is just as compelling talking about the plight of a female mountain lion and her daughter in winter in the Grand Canyon as he is prowling around a stage.
The five parks receiving their own episode are Grand Canyon (Aug. 29), Yosemite (Aug. 30), Big Bend (Aug. 31), Badlands (Sept. 1) and Hawai’I Volcanos (Sept. 2). In addition to airing on Nat Geo, the entire series begins streaming on Disney+ Aug. 31.
Each episode starts with a message from first lady Jill Biden about the highlighted national park plays a part in America’s history, and will be featured in a PSA reminding current service members and Gold Star families of their free admission to national parks.
Shortly after the series concludes, Brooks will then return to Ireland for five stadium shows at Dublin’s Croke Park, Sept. 9-11, 16-17. He is playing his first dates in Ireland since 1997, and returning after five Croke Park shows were canceled in 2014 after Dublin city council agreed to allow only three concerts, per the city’s annual agreement with the local residents.
In an interview last November shortly after 400,000 tickets sold for the five new Dublin shows, Brooks told Billboard the Ireland stop is the perfect capper to the stadium tour.
“What I love most about what just happened in Ireland is that it has put an upbeat ending to the stadium tour, right? We’ve got our last year here and now it is the yellow brick road heading toward Emerald City,” says Brooks, mixing references to one of his favorite movies The Wizard of Oz, and Ireland, known as the Emerald Isle.
Though Brooks does not report his box scores to Billboard, he has said that the stadium dates — in many cities he did two shows — averaged more than 90,000 people per stop.
For Brooks, the Ireland concerts are the fulfillment of a broken promise that has haunted him since 2014. “For the last seven years, the discussion has been going on, and for the last seven years it was simple: [My saying,] ‘Guys, if there’s any chance we put on anything for sale that can’t happen, I’m sorry, I’m just not going to do it to the people. I’m not going to do it to myself. I just can’t do it again.’”
Confirmation for the shows didn’t happen until early November, a few weeks before tickets went on sale, in part, because Brooks insisted that the city commit to five shows, just as they had in 2014. “I couldn’t come over here unless all five were available again, just in case it might happen again — which I never dreamed it would,” he said.
After Dublin, Brooks will focus on this fall’s release of The Anthology, Part II, a coffee table book and six-CD series offering insights from his career and personal life from 1996 to 2001. The forthcoming project delves into stories behind the recording sessions for Brooks’ albums including Fresh Horses, Double Live and Sevens, and his Aug. 7, 1997, Central Park concert, which drew an estimated 1 million people to the New York City park, and another 14.6 million viewers to the HBO special.
On Sunday, the 25th anniversary of the Central Park show, Brooks hosted a session on online network talkshoplive, where he showed segments from the concert and shared his memories of the career-defining show. The talkshoplive event drew more than 1 million people and crashed the talkshoplive servers, leaving thousands of viewers unable to join until at least 45 minutes in.
Brooks’ downtown Nashville entertainment complex, Friends in Low Places, is also expected to open later this year.