Van Morrison has had to move a set of four planned concerts in Belfast, Northern Ireland to December due to ongoing travel restrictions due to COVID-19. The Belfast native had planned four performances at the Europa Hotel at the end of October, but those have been moved back by two months in hopes that fans will be able to travel north for the shows at that time.
Morrison’s website has not issued any comment regarding the postponements or the reason for them, but Allyson McKimm, events director of Hastings Hotels, confirmed that the postponements were due to travel restrictions put in place by the Republic of Ireland due to ‘ongoing Covid-19 guidelines’. The performances were planned to have limited capacity audiences and social distancing in place.
The writer and singer of several hits on both sides of the Atlantic including “Brown-Eyed Girl” and “Moondance” among others, Morrison has courted controversy with his stance on the ongoing restrictions against large events due to the coronavirus. Calling for an end to such restrictions based on what he dubbed “pseudo-science”, Morrison made headlines in August.
“As you know, we are doing socially distanced gigs at Newcastle Upon Tyne’s Gosforth Park, Electric Ballroom and The London Palladium,” the singer-songwriter wrote on his official website. “This is not a sign of compliance or acceptance of the current state of affairs,” he noted, but rather “to get my band up and running and out of the doldrums. This is also not the answer going forward. We need to be playing to full capacity audiences going forward.”
In September, Van Morrison released three songs that he characterized as “songs of protest which question the measures the Government has put in place.” Born To Be Free, As I Walked Out, and No More Lockdown were put out on September 18.
“I’m not telling people what to do or think, the government is doing a great job of that already. It’s about freedom of choice, I believe people should have the right to think for themselves.”