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 (opens in new tab): “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.