Saturday 24 June 2017

Van fans to 'get up close and personal'

Just two weeks ago he announced his first concerts in Dublin and Belfast in over a decade.

Well, Van Morrison fans snapping up the last few ticket for the shows, starting from €56, are getting something of a bargain.

The Diary can reveal that other fans of the 66-year-old music legend will pay £1,980 (€2,313) a table to see him perform three "intimate shows" in January.

Worth an estimated €57m, the multimillionaire has decided to add to his considerable fortune by playing a series of low-key warm-up gigs at the five-star Culloden Hotel outside Belfast before his big concerts.

But these are no ordinary shows. With seating limited to just 300 each night, Van fans attending will have a rare chance to get "up close and personal" with the music legend.

Running on January 7/8/9, VIP guests will enjoy a champagne reception and three-course meal before settling down for a 90-minute set from the Belfast-born music star and his band.

Despite the hefty cover charge, the hotel confirmed to The Diary this week that both Saturday and Sunday shows are already sold out, with only a few tables left for Monday night, but bookings can only be made on a per-table basis, costing £1,980 for 10 people.

"We've been amazed at the demand for tables. Saturday and Sunday night events went so quickly, we had to add the Monday night and the tables for that night have almost gone," said a spokesperson for the Culloden when we rang.

Performing rarely in Ireland during the past few years, Morrison is said to have agreed to host the mini-concerts at the hotel where David Beckham once stayed, because he is a regular visitor to the Culloden Hotel and Spa, being photographed boarding a helicopter outside the hotel last summer on one of his many trips back and forth to Dublin.

Morrison's last appearance in Ireland was at the Midlands Music Festival in 2006. Promoters say that he will be performing a selection of greatest hits and songs that have a particular resonance to his Irish roots at the much-anticipated concerts, which include the O2 in Dublin on February 4.

The holder of six Grammy awards, Morrison compositions 'Brown Eyed Girl', 'Madame George' and 'Moondance' were included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 'Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll' in 2003.

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