Northern Ireland news

Van Morrison urges people to sign petition calling on Executive to allow re-commencement of live music

Van Morrison has launched a petition called on the Executive to support in word and deed, a time line and roadmap for the re-commencement of live music"
Marie Louise McConville

Van Morrison has launched a petition calling on the Executive to support a timeline and roadmap for the re-commencement of live music amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 75-year-old musician wants the north's government to work with those involved in live music to approve applied safety measures which will allow live performances to begin again.

The Van Morrison Official Rhythm and Blues Foundation, a registered charity, which exists to help musicians in need and for the advancement of arts, culture and heritage has also established the `Lockdown Financial Hardship Fund' to support musicians who are facing financial hardship

In September, Van Morrison announced he would be donating the proceeds earned from downloads of his three anti-lock-down singles track - Born To Be Free, As I Walked Out, and No More Lockdown - which have been released over the past six weeks.

At the time of their release he faced criticism for the trio of protest songs with Stormont Health Minister Robin Swann describing the lyrics as "dangerous".

The three tracks are available for download and streaming services. The proceeds raised will be contributed to the fund to offer single time grants of £500 to successful applicants.

Professional musicians across Ireland and Britain who earn at least 50 per cent of their income performing live music, are self-employed or currently unemployed, and are over the age of 16, are eligible to apply.

Speaking about the issue, Morrison said: "The Northern Ireland Executive have refused to quantify the economic impact of the restrictions on live music nor have they provided the scientific evidence to justify the ban. It’s time to make them accountable," he said.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news