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Garth Brooks reveals tour info to Gainesville man

Chicago is first stop in three-year world tour

POSTED: July 15, 2014 12:03 a.m.
SCOTT ROGERS/The Times

When Andy Roberts got a chance to speak with country music legend Garth Brooks backstage at a recent concert he asked when his world tour would start. Brooks promised Roberts would be the first to know when tour plans were finalized, and the singer is made good on his promise.

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After a weekend of anticipation, Andy Roberts finally got a call from Garth Brooks announcing the first stop on his worldwide tour.

“I’m excited and nervous,” Roberts said before the call.

Roberts, a longtime fan, attended a Brooks concert in Las Vegas in January when he was chosen out of the audience to ask Brooks a question.

“I was the last person called on,” Roberts said. “When he called on me, it just came out.”

The owner of TurnKey Facility Maintenance in Gainesville asked what the first city on the tour would be.

Brooks answered that question in a phone call Monday. The country music singer revealed to Roberts his tour will start in Chicago.

Roberts revealed the location to the rest of the world from the Children’s Hospital of Atlanta Child Life Zone.

The Zone is supported by Garth Brooks’ Teammates for Kids Foundation, which is why Roberts made the announcement there, said Heather Kirksey, media coordinator for the hospital.

“I’d been thinking about what would be the best way to announce it,” Roberts said. “I was presented this idea and as soon as I heard it I knew it was perfect.”

After Brooks announced at his Friday news conference he would be calling Roberts, Roberts has been interviewed by HLN, Channel 11 Alive news and radio station Kicks 101.5.

“I’ve been busy,” Roberts said. “My phone’s been ringing since Friday.”

Bryan Brinson, who Roberts said has helped him handle the unexpected attention, was at the concert when Brooks chose Roberts out of the audience.

“I had no idea (this would happen),” Brinson said. “We thought it’d be a simple phone call and nobody would hear about it but close friends.”

Nobody believed them when they came back from the concert, Brinson said.

“And if they believed us, they still didn’t think Garth would call,” he said. “A guy who owns a janitorial business in Gainesville, small-town Gainesville, gets to make world news. I think it’s so cool.”

With the announcement out, Roberts is looking forward to getting back to his normal schedule of working and being home with his wife and two boys, who are also Brooks fans, he said.

“They sing his songs in the car,” Roberts said. They’ve been asking me ‘When’s Garth gonna call?’ They love Garth.”



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