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Van Morrison divides fans with attack on coronavirus gig rules

Van Morrison

Legendary Belfast singer Sir Van Morrison has sparked a massive controversy with his angry attack on the 'pseudo-science' of coronavirus that has curtailed audiences at live concerts during the lockdown.

On Friday, the singer's official website carried a statement calling on other singers and musicians to join him in his "fight to save live music" and help overturn Covid-19 restrictions on the size of audiences at gigs.

He urged performers, producers and promoters to stand up, speak up and fight against what he called "the pseudo science".

Sir Van, who is 75 later this month, is due to play a number of socially distanced concerts in England in September. However, he said: "This is not a sign of compliance or acceptance of the current state of affairs."

Sir Van said he was playing the gigs to get his band up and running and "out of the doldrums".

He said that it wasn't economically viable to do socially distanced concerts. And he insisted that full capacity shows were needed going forward.

Dozens of people from all over the world, including self-avowed Morrison fans, responded to his statement on his official Facebook site with many disagreeing with his coronavirus views.

Urging Morrison to "stick to music", Ian Skinner from New South Wales in Australia said the singer had minimal knowledge and experience of science.

Musician and composer Scott Bango Arce however agreed with Morrison.

He wrote: "We can't live like this for very long. It isn't viable."

Canadian musician Tim Kelly said that Morrison had a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of others while Dan Gannon, a Van fan from Arizona, said his comments were "madness".

"The science is real," he added.

Aaron Heisler, a university professor from Canada, said: "We love you Van" but he added that calling pandemic management protocols 'pseudo-science' was dumb and dangerous.

Another fan, Nadine Gallagher, however warned that concerts could be lost forever if people accepted too easily what "the government tells us to do without question".

Richard Martin from Los Angeles said that hundreds of thousands of people had died from the virus and that no live concert in the world was worth the risk.

Heather Notter, who's also from the States, said: "I'm with you 100% Van."

An email from the Belfast Telegraph to Sir Van's management company requesting information about artists who had backed the singer's rallying call hasn't elicited any response. On September 3, Sir Van will take to the stage at Newcastle's Gosforth Park, where fans will watch and listen in groups of up to five on 500 separate raised metal platforms.

Belfast Telegraph