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Wednesday July 29th, 2015 2:56AM

Gainesville man to announce start of Garth Brooks tour

By Mitch Clarke, Editor
Andy Roberts of Gainesville thought it was a big deal when Garth Brooks called on him to ask a question during a January concert in Las Vegas.<br /> <br /> He had no idea what was about to happen next.<br /> <br /> "I asked him what the first stop on his new world tour was going to be," Roberts said in an interview with WDUN's Derreck Booth that will air during Friday's edition of "The Afternoon News Wrap."<br /> <br /> "He laughed and said, 'I can't tell you. But let me get your contact information and I'll let you announce it to the world. You can do whatever you want with the information.'"<br /> <br /> Roberts wasn't completely sure the country singer would follow through on the promise. But at a news conference Thursday to announce a new album, Brooks told reporters he would be calling Roberts on Monday so that he could announce the opening date of the long-anticipated tour.<br /> <br /> The 52-year-old Brooks retired in 2001 at the height of his popularity. But 13 years later, he's back at work. A new album will be released soon, followed by a three-year world tour.<br /> <br /> Roberts said he has no idea where the tour will begin, but he expects he'll hear personally from Brooks on Monday.<br /> <br /> "I haven't had a chance to decide how I'm going to announce it," Roberts said. "I want to do it in a cool way and I want it to be good for Garth, too. I truly appreciate what he's done. This is a very big deal."<br /> <br /> Roberts said it is his understanding that he'll get to announce the opening tour date and location, and then Brooks will post more details about the rest of the tour in a day or two on his website.<br /> <br /> Roberts has long been a fan of Brooks, but he's never seen one of his big tour shows. The concert in Vegas earlier this year was in a smaller venue, and Brooks talked a lot to the audience during the show in addition to singing a number of his songs.<br /> <br /> "He has truly always been my Number One," Roberts said. "For this story to come out like this has been unbelievable for me. I'm ecstatic, like a kid.
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