Van Morrison calls for full-capacity concerts to resume

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 25 August 2020
Van Morrison

Van Morrison

Van Morrison has penned an open letter calling for music industry folk to "speak up" and demand normal concerts resume without social distancing

Van Morrison has called on fellow musicians and industry folk to "speak up" to get full-capacity gigs back up and running again.

The 'Brown Eyed Girl' hitmaker is playing reduced capacity shows at Camden's Electric Ballroom and The London Palladium in September, as well as The Virgin Money Unity Arena – the UK's first socially-distanced music venue at Newcastle Racecourse – this month.

But the 74-year-old music legend has bemoaned the lack of effort from his fellow musicians and promoters in working to get normal shows back amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Morrison wrote on his website: "As you know, we are doing socially distanced gigs at Newcastle Upon Tyne's Gosforth Park, Electric Ballroom and The London Palladium. This is not a sign of compliance or acceptance of the current state of affairs, this is 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.

"I call on my fellow singers, musicians, writers, producers, promoters and others in the industry to fight with me on this."

Morrison insisted it only appears to be musical theatre legend Andrew Lloyd Webber and himself who are pushing for full-capacity concerts to resume, while he insisted it's not "economically viable to do socially distanced gigs".

He added: "Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and myself appear to be the only people in the music business trying to get it back up and running again.

"Come forward. It's not economically viable to do socially distanced gigs. Come forward now, the future is now."

Sam Fender played the first gig at The Virgin Money Unity Arena, and despite being sceptical at first, he admitted it was a "fantastic" experience.

The 26-year-old singer/songwriter played two homecoming shows at the outdoor venue in north east England, where audiences had their own viewing platforms which held five people and were spaced two metres apart, and he was pleased to "have [his] job back".

He said: "I was like, 'Of course I'll do it. I don't care what capacity we will do this in, in what format. I want to be on a stage with my band playing to some people.'

"Because I want my job back! I think everyone wants their job back.

"But obviously I was sceptical. It was like playing in front of the biggest human cattle market. But it was fantastic. Of course it's not going to have the same vibe as a gig where there's a mosh pit and then people having to go to the emergency room."

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