Van Morrison’s planned concert on 15 November to mark his Freedom of the City award by Belfast City Council has been moved from the Ulster Hall to Belfast Waterfront.
Lord Mayor Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said that interest in the gig had been overwhelming and the original plan to hold it in the Ulster Hall, regarded as the pantheon of Belfast music, was overtaken by demand.
He said: “We always knew there would be huge interest in this Van Morrison concert because of his popularity in his home city and also because it the first time a musician has received the Freedom of the City and it is happening during our highly successful Belfast Music Week.
“We fully expected demand for tickets would exceed supply but felt that the Ulster Hall with all its history of legendary artists and memorable performances would be the most prestigious and appropriate venue.
“But interest has already exceeded even our wildest expectations and that is before ticketing arrangements have been finalised so we had further discussions with everyone involved and decided that we should try to accommodate as many fans as possible – not least of all because this award is the gift of the people of Belfast, not just the council.
“The time of year does not lend itself to an outdoor event so we have taken the decision to move it to the Waterfront and this allows 2,550 people to attend, 1,000 more than the Ulster Hall
“The concert promises to be one of the major highlights of my year as Lord Mayor and I believe it is the most significant musical event since MTV back in 2011 given the influence and contribution a humble Belfast boy has made to the world of popular music.”
The Lord Mayor confirmed that it will still be a free concert and that ticketing arrangements will be announced in the near future.