Singer-songwriter Van Morrison, who has previously questioned Covid lockdown restrictions in a series of protest songs, is now set to challenge the Northern Irish government’s “blanket ban” on live music performances, according to his solicitor Joe Rice. “We will be seeking leave for judicial review to challenge the blanket ban on live music in licensed premises in Northern Ireland,” Rice said. “We’re not aware of any credible scientific or medical evidence to justify this particular blanket ban … and we’re going to challenge this in the high court.” Rice added that live music had not been defined in Northern Ireland’s Covid regulations, resulting in this blanket ban, and that the situation differed from that in England, where live music was allowed in the tiering system pre-lockdown. Van Morrison, who is originally from Belfast, had performed at the London Palladium last September. Rice said that his client would argue that the Northern Ireland ban is unsustainable in law and not supported by scientific or medical evidence. Rice has issued pre-action correspondence to Stormont’s Executive Office and the Department of Health, demanding that ministers produce scientific or medical evidence to justify the regulation. If that doesn’t result in a lifting of the pan, the next step will be appealing to the High Court in Belfast. Rice commented: “Many people in the music and arts world in Northern Ireland have been devastated financially, socially and artistically by this complete ban. This differs from the law in England and Wales and the evidence behind such a negative decision in this jurisdiction is far from obvious.” Rice said he expected the case to be heard at the High Court within “weeks”. However, Van Morrison’s objections come at a time when the UK has just hit its highest daily Covid death toll, of 1,610, while in Northern Ireland, there were 713 further cases reported and 24 deaths. Currently, hospitality and entertainment venues are closed in Northern Ireland as part of a six-week lockdown. Van Morrison released his three protest songs in September 2020, entitled Born To Be Free, As I Walked Out and No More Lockdown.