VAN MORRISON has found himself at the centre of controversy after he called for people to 'fight back' against Covid-19 restrictions, calling the measures 'psuedo-science'.
The Belfast musician released a statement in which he called for fellow musicians and the public to "come forward, stand up, fight against the psuedo-science and speak up".
In the statement, which he posted on his website, Morrison said he and his band were doing socially distanced gigs in Newcastle and London, but "this is not a sign of compliance or acceptance of the current state of affairs".
"This is to get my band up ad running and out of the doldrums."
The Brown Eyed Girl singer called for socially distanced gigs to be scrapped, saying "this is not the answer... we need to be playing to full capacity audiences going forward".
In Ireland, the number of people allowed to gather indoors has been reduced to no more than six people from three separate households, following a sustained rise in new cases.
Audiences have been banned from attending sports events, and there is no word on when gigs will get the go-ahead to return.
Despite the disruption to people's lives, many accept that the measures are crucial in preventing people from contracting or dying from the disease, and fans of the musician replied to his post to voice their concerns.
One woman, a lifelong fan, said: "As a regular at Van's gigs since the early 80's and someone who listens to his music daily and has spent a fortune on tickets... I am not however putting my life on the line any time soon."
FIGHT FOR LIVE https://bit.ly/3hjtDsH
Posted by Van Morrison (Official) on Friday, 21 August 2020
Another wrote: "Stick to music and don't sprout personal opinions about medical science for which you have minimal experience and knowledge. As a poet of wisdom you know better."
Another man, who is himself a musician, said "When it's safe for everyone on either side of the stage to resume live performance of any kind, I'll be first in line.
"I'm a part-time musician in Canada, and I'm also a father, a husband and a full time retail employee. I have a responsibility to my family as well as to a customer or audience member to act responsibly to prevent unnecessary transmission of the current virus."
Morrison did garner some support, however, with one man writing: "I am a composer/ musician, I sing my songs and I agree 100%.
"We can't live like this for very long. It ISN'T viable."
Van Morrison is calling for musicians and music fans to add their name to a list "of all those who are supporting the industry".
To read the statement in full, you can visit the Van Morrison website here.