Van Morrison to toast 70th with homecoming show on Cyprus Avenue
Tree-lined east Belfast street featured on Astral Weeks
It will be the hottest ticket in town. It's been confirmed that legendary east Belfast entertainer Van Morrison will be performing this summer on the city's Cyprus Avenue, known the world over for featuring on his classic 1968 album Astral Weeks.
As part of the EastSide Arts Festival Van will take to a stage on the tree-lined street on August 31 for residents and those lucky enough to secure tickets, which go on sale next month.
A statement from organisers said: "Van Morrison will celebrate his 70th birthday by appearing at this most iconic of venues - a most beautiful location made famous across the world through the song from his ground-breaking and widely acclaimed Astral Weeks album, first released in 1968.
"This will be a unique, once in a lifetime experience, not to be missed. Quite simply, you will want to say you were here."
Since the Belfast Telegraph revealed last month Van was in talks with festival organisers to make the unique event a reality the team has been inundated with requests from his fans for details of how they can get their hands on tickets.
East Belfast Partnership chief executive Maurice Kinkead told this newspaper last night the festival team was thrilled to be staging such an exciting gig and fans from across the world have expressed interest in journeying to Belfast to be part of music history.
"The Cyprus Avenue gig has caught the imagination of his fans like no other of his gigs we have staged over the last four or five years," he said.
EastSide Arts Festival will also showcase a range of local artists such as Kaz Hawkins, Anthony Toner and Gareth Dunlop.
Festival organisers say Cyprus Avenue residents have welcomed the Van the Man gig.
"Residents are excited," Mr Kinkead said. "The feedback has been universally positive. There was a really good feel at the public meeting and we are working on finalising details with residents and the council.
"It will be a party atmosphere, a warm, sunny, dry, positive day for east Belfast."
- Tickets go on sale on March 2 at 9am. Prices to be confirmed. For information visit http://www.eastsidearts.net/cyprusavenue