15 Nov 2022
Blues-rock legend Van Morrison has announced a return to Belfast’s Europa Hotel for two Christmas shows in his home city.
The Christmas performances, entitled “Life Ain’t No Dress Rehearsal”, will take place on 4 and 5 December at the world-famous hotel, which is part of the Hastings Hotels group.
The intimate ‘jazz club’ cabaret-style shows will see the legendary singer-songwriter perform a back catalogue of past hits like Brown Eyed Girl and Days Like This as well as songs from his later albums and collaborations.
Show goers can take the opportunity to stay overnight at the Europa Hotel, one of the largest and most luxurious hotels in Northern Ireland, renowned for its cosmopolitan buzz, city centre location and superb facilities.
The hotel has hosted many prestigious events and international celebrities including musicians Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello and Lionel Richie, as well as President Bill Clinton.
Known as “Van the Man”, Morrison is arguably the biggest star to emerge from Belfast. Through his music, Cyprus Avenue, Orangefield, Hyndford Street and many more Belfast streets are familiar to fans all over the world.
Christmas at the Europa Hotel, Belfast.
Fans attending the Christmas shows shouldn’t miss the chance to follow the self-guided walking trail in east Belfast to visit these and other places that inspired Morrison’s songs.
Beginning at Elmgrove Primary School, where Morrison went to school and which features in the video for his song The Healing Game, the 3.5km trail journeys through the east Belfast of Van the Man’s youth.
At every stop the trail map explains the connection between the place and the song or songs it inspired.
Stops include The Hollow, which features in his most famous hit, Brown Eyed Girl, and Hyndford St where he was born in 1945 in the shadow of the famous Harland and Wolff shipyard where the Titanic was built.
Orangefield Park, which forms the backdrop to the hit love song of the same name, is also on the trail, as is Cyprus Avenue.
Tickets for the Van Morrison Christmas shows are available from ticketmaster.ie and include a champagne drinks reception and dinner.
In 2021 Belfast was named a UNESCO City of Music, the first on the island of Ireland. The city is planning a number of major events including hosting a Global Music Convention on Sustainability and is also developing experiences to share the city’s music story with visitors.
Recently launched is the Belfast UNESCO City of Music Walking Tour, a guided tour led by a local music expert. It visits places in the city that are part of its musical heritage and shares stories and anecdotes about musicians who have performed there and the music that influenced Belfast’s culture.
Harland & Wolff Cranes, Belfast, Co. Antrim.
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