Van Morrison attacks the ‘pseudoscience’ behind socially distanced concerts

Van Morrison
Van Morrison (Image credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic - Getty)

Van Morrison has issued a statement calling on artists to “fight the pseudoscience” behind socially distanced concerts.

Morrison will play a series of socially distanced shows in London and at Newcastle’s Gosforth Park in the coming weeks, but he’s spoken out, saying they’ve been organised not out of “acceptance of the current state of affairs” but to get his band “out of the doldrums.”

He also claims that he and Andrew Lloyd Webber are the “only people in the music business trying to get it back up and running again.”

Morrison says on his website: “As you know, we are doing socially distanced gigs at Newcastle Upon Tyne’s Gosforth Park, the Electric Ballroom and The London Palladium. This is not a sign of compliance or acceptance of the current state of affairs – this is to get my band up and running and out of the doldrums. 

“This is also not the answer going forward. We need to be playing to full capacity audiences going forward.

“I call on my fellow singers, musicians, writers, producers, promoters and others in the industry to fight with me on this. Come forward, stand up, fight the pseudoscience and speak up.”

Morrison adds: “Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and myself appear to be the only people in the music business trying to get it back up and running again. Come forward.

“It’s not economically viable to do socially distanced gigs. Come forward now, the future is now.”

Morrison wants the music industry to email him so he can “publish a list of names of all those who are supporting the industry.”

The Virgin Money Unity Arena at Newcastle’s Gosforth Park is the first dedicated socially distanced venue to open in the UK amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Since the lockdown began, several artists have also performed drive-in concerts across Europe, including Doro Pesch, while in Arkansas in May, Bishop Gunn frontman Travis McCready played the world’s first socially distanced concert in front on 229 people – around 20% of the venue’s capacity.

Earlier this month, Metallica recorded a live performance which will be screened at drive-in theatres across North American this coming Saturday.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.