Monday, August 31, 2020

Van Morrison Calls Out COVID “Pseudoscience,” Demands Concerts Return In Full | Hypebot

Van Morrison Calls Out COVID “Pseudoscience,” Demands Concerts Return In Full

Aging rock icon Van Morrison has taken a decidedly controversial stance on the current global pandemic, proclaiming publicly that “pseudoscience” regarding COVID-19 is holding the music industry back, and requesting other musicians join him in demanding the return of full-capacity concerts. However, most of them don’t seem interested in hopping on this particular band wagon.

Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix Daily

The “Brown Eyed Girl” songwriter is having a hard time convincing other musicians to join his efforts, but he persists.

Van Morrison is claiming COVID-19 “pseudoscience” is holding back the music industry and wants other musicians to join him in demanding an immediate return to concerts with full capacity audience.

The aging rock icon made his beliefs clear with a recently launched campaign on his official website that claims socially-distanced gigs are not economically viable.  “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 pseudo-science and speak up,” he said.

News of Morrison’s position on live music restrictions comes just weeks before he is set to play a series of socially-distanced gigs in France. “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,” he wrote. “This is also not the answer going forward. We need to be playing to full capacity audiences going forward.”

Social distancing helps limit opportunities to come in contact with contaminated surfaces and infected people outside the home. Although the risk of severe illness may be different for everyone, anyone can get and spread COVID-19.

The music industry has spent the last six months trying to adjust to the new normal, with many claiming that socially-distant events are not a sustainable business plan. However, since posting his thoughts last Friday, Morrison has not received outspoken support from virtually anyone in the industry.

Even Morrison’s fans are on the fence. After sharing his comments on Facebook, supporters of Morrison were quick to reply. “The science is real,” one wrote. “We love you, Van, but calling pandemic management protocols ‘pseudo-science’ is probably the dumbest and certainly the most dangerous idea you’ve ever put your name to,” wrote another.

Meanwhile, at least one venue in the UK is adapting to the new normal. The Virgin Money Unity Arena opened in August with elevated platforms that allow for fans to enjoy live music while maintaining a safe distance from other concert goers.

Analysts believe live music won’t return in a traditional sense until summer 2021 at the earliest. Live Nation, one of the world’s largest promoters of concerts and entertainment, has canceled the rest of its 2020 performance schedule in the United States. Experts predict Q1 of next year may be canceled as well.

If you hate this news as much as the Van Morrison and everyone else, there are actions to take. You can wear a mask, practice social distancing, and urge others to do the same. You can refrain from gathering in large groups and risking exposure until a vaccine exists. You can protect yourself and others. If that happens, then maybe the music will return sooner than expected.

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company’s podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.


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