Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

Moondance at Dunluce as Van Morrison plans a marvellous night

Van Morrison will play Dunluce Castle this June
Van Morrison will play Dunluce Castle this June

Superstar Van Morrison has confirmed he will bring his musical magic to the spectacular Dunluce Castle.

The 700-year-old medieval fortress will provide a stunning backdrop for two evening open air concerts at the famous landmark this summer.

One of Northern Ireland's top tourist attractions, Dunluce Castle has been the scene of countless bloody battles and sieges throughout its colourful history.

But its historic walls – home to some of Ireland's most important rulers down the centuries – will reverberate with the world-renowned tones of the 67-year-old Brown Eyed Girl singer on June 7 and 8.

Perched on the Causeway Coast, it has been used as a set for numerous films and television dramas but it will be the first time it has been used as a concert venue, writing another chapter into its illustrious past.

The east-Belfast born singer-songwriter confirmed the shows on his Twitter account.

The event, called Solstice at Dunluce, will take place on land adjacent to the castle with the building lit up for the occasion.

Morrison will headline both evenings, and there will be special guests lined up as support acts.

In January, representatives of Exile Productions, who are running the event, visited the castle to check its suitability and were delighted by what they saw.

They held lengthy talks with Coleraine Borough Council and the castle's owners about the staging of the show.

Dunluce Castle still belongs to the McDonnell family, who also own Glenarm Castle in Co Antrim. But Dunluce Castle is currently managed by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

Nigel Campbell, from Glenarm Castle, said he was "delighted" Morrison would be performing at Dunluce. "What a fantastic backdrop for the two-day musical event and what a great opportunity to showcase the glorious Causeway Coastal Route. It's going to be an historic two days."

Profile

Known to his fans as 'Van the Man', Van Morrison achieved worldwide fame following the release in 1967 of Brown Eyed Girl. He has produced numerous acclaimed albums including Astral Weeks and Moondance. He has won six Grammy Awards, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and awarded an OBE for services to music. On Sunday night, Morrison gave a special St Patrick's Day performance at Belfast's Europa Hotel – his first in the city on that date for 35 years.

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