Van Morrison drops legal action over live music ban


In January, Van Morrison announced a legal challenge to the “blanket ban” on live performances in Northern Ireland, as part of the country’s COVID-19 response. On August 3, following Northern Ireland’s decision to allow live music to return, the 75-year-old artist scrapped legal action plans.

According to BBC, the singer praised Stormont’s turnaround but was still frustrated with the forced cancellation of his concerts scheduled to be held in Ulster Hall, which was due to start just days ago on July 29. The ban on live music was lifted in Northern Ireland on July 5. were limits imposed on sound levels for indoor sites. Morrison said he was made aware of the decision to reopen venues with no sound limits on July 27, but the Ulster Hall concerts had already been canceled.

“For some reason which is totally unknown to me, he [the ban] has remained in force in Northern Ireland with catastrophic consequences for many artists, places and the economy as a whole, ”Morrison said in a BBC report. “As we look to the future, we need to understand the plan and strategy to support the arts and live music industry in the future, as this ultimately helps support society as a whole. It is worrying that such considerations seem to have been forgotten.

When the musician first started legal proceedings, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health said: “It is an accepted scientific fact that COVID-19 can be spread when people are gathered in indoor places. closed.

“Stopping the spread of the virus is a priority for governments around the world – to save lives and prevent health services from being overwhelmed. “

The enduring icon has strongly criticized pandemic restrictions dating back to the UK’s initial lockdown last spring. At the end of 2020, he released three songs in protest against the lockdown – “Born to be free,” “While I was going out” and “No more confinement. “

After Morrison’s anti-lockout songs were released, Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann criticized Morrison’s seemingly reckless response in a Op-Ed published in Rolling stone.

“We in Northern Ireland are very proud that one of the greatest music legends of the past 50 years has come from our part of the world. So there is a real sense of disappointment – we expected more from him, ”said Swann. “However, this goes beyond disappointment. Some of what he says is actually dangerous. This could encourage people not to take the coronavirus seriously. If you see it all as one big conspiracy, then you’re less likely to follow the vital public health advice that protects you and others. “

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