Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 May 2015

Van's king of the Castle

Superstar singer set to bring his musical magic to Dunluce

Dunluce Castle is being eyed as a spectacular venue for the gig
Dunluce Castle is being eyed as a spectacular venue for the gig

A spectacular medieval castle dating back 700 years is set to provide a stunning backdrop for a Van Morrison concert this summer.

Plans are under way for a one-off show at Dunluce Castle on the north coast, one of Northern Ireland's most famous landmarks, with the music legend billed as the star performer.

The 67-year-old Brown Eyed Girl singer is said to be excited at the prospect of performing at the castle, which has been the scene of countless bloody battles and sieges throughout its colourful history.

The site first attracted the Vikings due to its steep cliffs and down the centuries the castle was home to some of Ireland's most important rulers.

It is considered one of the top tourist attractions in Northern Ireland, with the distinct structure famous across the world.

Despite featuring in numerous films in the past, it has never been used as a venue for a concert – but if given the go-ahead, a new chapter will be written in its illustrious history this May.

Promoters visited the castle last month to check its suitability for a concert and were delighted with what they saw – the dramatic castle and surrounding scenery deemed perfect for the gig.

They met for talks with Coleraine Borough Council about the staging of the show.

A spokesman said the council was "not in a position to comment at this time".

The castle was put into State control in 1928 and is currently run by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. The agency declined to comment yesterday.

However, DUP MLA Adrian McQuillan said: "If it comes off it would be a huge plus for the borough, bringing a lot of people in and showcasing it to not only the rest of Northern Ireland, but the world."

Earlier this month it was revealed Morrison will play an open air gig at a National Trust property in Co Down, Castle Ward.

The singer was unavailable for comment on the Dunluce concert yesterday.


The singer-songwriter was born in east Belfast in 1945.

Known to his fans as 'Van the Man', he achieved world-wide 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.


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