Belfast Telegraph

Van Morrison going back to his roots? Belfast's tree-lined Cyprus Avenue could host gig from singer who immortalised it in song

By Amanda Ferguson

The song Cyprus Avenue is known the world over for featuring on Van Morrison's classic 1968 album Astral Weeks.

Now residents of the Belfast street could find the legendary singer performing it for them on their doorsteps if the East Belfast Partnership has its way.

East Belfast Partnership, as part of EastSide Arts Festival, is planning to stage a live concert there this August.

Morrison previously described Cyprus Avenue as "a street in Belfast, a place where there's a lot of wealth".

"It wasn't far from where I was brought up and it was a very different scene," he said.

"To me it was a very mystical place. It was a whole avenue lined with trees and I found it a place where I could think."

Last night a festival spokeswoman told the Belfast Telegraph the team was in negotiation with the Madame George and Ballerina singer to make the exciting proposal an event to remember.

"We are currently in discussions with Mr Morrison's management team in relation to the event but at this stage nothing has been confirmed," she said.

"We are also in discussions with all relevant and appropriate parties to ensure the event can be staged safely, in a co-operative manner and, above all, with the least disruption possible to everyone, especially residents in the immediate area.

"As and when we have any further information, we will share on our website and social media platforms." Last summer Morrison's song lyrics were immortalised in a new book spanning his work over 50 years in the music business.

Publisher Faber and Faber published Lit Up Inside, which was edited by Morrison and Eamonn Hughes, who also wrote the introduction.

Morrison, who has tended to play more intimate venues in recent years, was on stage last night at the Island Arts Centre in Lisburn.

For more about the festival, visit eastsidearts.net

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