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Van Morrison to donate profits from anti-lockdown songs to hard-up musicians

By | Published on Thursday 24 September 2020

Van Morrison

Van Morrison has announced that he will donate proceeds from his three anti-lockdown singles to musicians facing hardship as a result of the pandemic. Well, as a result of the lockdown. Morrison doesn’t think that COVID-19 is actually that big an issue.

The musician, of course, announced plans to release three new songs – in which he claims that lockdown is a fascist agenda to enslave us and that COVID-19 isn’t actually dangerous at all – over the course of the next month. The first, ‘Born To Be Free’, is due out tomorrow.

He has previously said that the songs are part of his own #SaveLiveMusic campaign, although it wasn’t entirely clear how until now. Money raised from the release of the new singles will be donated to artists who have been hit financially as a result of being unable to perform live over the last six months.

There are various funds offering such support, of course. Although given the level of criticism that these conspiracy theory championing songs have received, you might wonder what charity would be willing to take the money. It seems, however, that he has already found one: the Van Morrison Rhythm And Blues Foundation. Whether Morrison’s own charity plans to distribute grants itself, or attempt to pass on the money to other charities, is not clear.

“Lockdown is taking away people’s jobs and freedoms across all sectors of society”, says Morrison in a statement. “I believe live music is essential, and I worry that without positive action it will not survive. Without live music the world would be a much poorer place. It makes a huge contribution to the economy and you cannot put a price on what music does for people’s wellbeing”.

“Pilot events have shown there are ways in which venues can re-open safely at full capacity”, he claims. “It’s essential for their survival that the government allows them to do so. Surely, there is a debate to be had around whether lockdown is doing more harm than good”.

There are certainly arguments that the UK government’s handling of this public health crisis has been poor, with a string of failures leading to more deaths and greater economic harm than there might have been. Though there is nevertheless scientific justification for at least some of the social distancing rules currently in force that prevent full capacity shows and concerts from returning.

Maybe the government could explain that science when having this lockdown debate with Morrison. Though ministers are probably too busy trying to blame the public for causing a new COVID surge by staying in the pub an extra hour to be debating their policies with pop star conspiracy theorists.

Elsewhere in pop anti-lockdown news, Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown continues his regular tweeting on the matter. In recent days he has informed followers that there is no pandemic, and that the events of this year were in fact “planned designed and executed to make us digital slaves”.

Brown’s efforts also seem to be at least partly inspired by the continued shutdown of the live music industry, with him using the hashtag #NoWorkForSingers at one point. He does have a new single out though, so that’s something.