Bono’s Christmas Eve busking

Bono did not continue the annual tradition of busking on Dublin’s Grafton Street this year, but now is a good time to review the history of this delightful tradition.

The event, organized by Glen Hansard for the benefit of Ireland’s Simon Community, has been held annually for over a decade, and has seen Bono attend on several occasions.

Last year, evidently as Bono faced his “brush with mortality”, fans were disappointed that he didn’t attend. However, the event was so well attended that safety fears caused organizers to change things around for 2017, and instead hold several different busking for charity events, including a 9-hour event on Grafton Street on November 25th.

Here’s a brief history of Bonos Christmas busking in Dublin.

2009: Bono appears at the event for the first time, alongside Glen Hansard, Damien Rice and Mundy, playing “One”, “Knocking on heavens door”  and “Stand by me”. 

2010: Bono surprises the small crowd and performs “White Christmas” and “War is over/happy xmas”.  Video here

2011: A larger crowd expects Bono, and he doesn’t disappoint. First up, “Christmas, Baby please come home”, then “Silent Night” and finally “Heyday”. Video here.

2012: As crowd sizes continue to grow, Bono appears with Glen Hansard and Mundy. He once again performs “Christmas, baby please come home”, then “I believe in Father Christmas”,  “Silent night”, “Desire”, “Fade away” and “that’s all right”. Video here.

2013: The crowd is better  prepared with HD cameras and cell phones, and Bono does a shorter stint that includes “Merry Christmas everyone” and “Come all ye faithful”. Lisa Hannigan and Glen Hansard appear alongside him. Video here.

2014: Bono skips the event this year. He is recovering from a serious cycling accident in New York.

2015: Given that Bono skipped the previous years event, there was no guarantee that he would appear in 2014, but he did, alongside Hozier and Kodaline, performing “Every breaking wave”, “When love comes to town” and “Christmas, Baby please come home”.

2016: Bono doesn’t appear at the event.

2017: The event is moved to King Street in South Dublin, and Bono does not attend


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