Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Van Morrison makes Waterfront move for Belfast gig

Legendary singer Van Morrison
Legendary singer Van Morrison

A free concert to mark legendary singer Van Morrison being awarded the Freedom of the City of Belfast has been moved to a bigger venue.

The gig on November 15 has been moved to Belfast's Waterfront Hall, which holds 2,550 – 1,000 more than the Ulster Hall, the original venue.

Lord Mayor Mairtin O Muilleoir said that interest in the gig had been overwhelming and the original plan to hold it in the Ulster Hall, regarded as the pantheon of Belfast music, was overtaken by demand.

He said: "We always knew there would be huge interest in this Van Morrison concert because of his popularity in his home city and also because it the first time a musician has received the Freedom of the City and it is happening during our highly successful Belfast Music Week.

"We fully expected demand for tickets would exceed supply but felt that the Ulster Hall with all its history of legendary artists and memorable performances would be the most prestigious and appropriate venue.

"But interest has already exceeded even our wildest expectations and that is before ticketing arrangements have been finalised so we had further discussions with everyone involved and decided that we should try to accommodate as many fans as possible – not least of all because this award is the gift of the people of Belfast, not just the council.

"The time of year does not lend itself to an outdoor event so we have taken the decision to move it to the Waterfront and this allows 2,550 people to attend, 1,000 more than the Ulster Hall. The concert promises to be one of the major highlights of my year as Lord Mayor and I believe it is the most significant musical event since MTV back in 2011 given the influence and contribution a humble Belfast boy has made to the world of music."

The Lord Mayor confirmed that it will still be a free concert and that ticketing arrangements will be announced in the near future.

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