Van Morrison Launches Legal Challenge Against NI Live Music Ban

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Van Morrison has launched a legal bid in Northern Ireland, challenging the pandemic ban on live music.

Morrison is to begin judicial review proceedings against Stormount regulations stopping live music in both indoor and outdoor venues which sell food or drink in Northern Ireland.

Sir Van has also been in touch with Joe Rice of John J Rice & Co Solicitors to begin these legal proceedings.

Morrison has been left frustrated recently, after he saw his four gigs which were booked for Belfast’s Europa Hotel cancelled at the last minute.

The hotel had hope that these gigs would be used as pilot events, but they were advised to cancel them by the Executive Office.

Morrison also sparked huge controversey when he then took to the stage at the Europa Hotel, to launch an attack on Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Robin Swann. Morrison also branded the MP “dangerous”. More on that here.

Ministers have delayed the return of live music to July 5, due to concerns over the Delta Variant.

Van Morrison on the “blanket ban”

“I played at the London Palladium in front of a live audience earlier this month. I can’t play in my hometown to a limited audience”, said a frustrated Morrison.

“Where is the scientific or medical evidence to support this blanket ban on live music?”, he continued. “After over a year, they still haven’t provided the evidence”. 

Van Morrison has also said he has engaged with government departments over his protests against Covid restrictions regarding live music. He added that he has been “constructive” in doing this.

Van also said that he has set up a third “Hardship Fund” for local musicians, providing grants to those that have been “abandoned by the government”.

One such musician is Conal Montgomery. Montgomery claimed that the industry has been “discarded” by the government.

“The one thing that shines a light in any bad situation is live music, it takes you away from your traumas and helps you heal”, he said.

“Live music is being performed successfully elsewhere in this world in countries encountering the same problems as ourselves”, he also added. “I fail to see why our Assembly continues to prevent us from doing so as well”. 

Van Morrison also drew support from Eric Clapton. Clapton also had his say on the Covid-19 restrictions and vaccines. Find out what he said here.