Bono’s Annual Christmas Eve Busk

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2021-12-19)

We’ve seen a number of people wondering if the Christmas Eve busk in Dublin will happen this year, and if Bono will participate.

Like last year, the busk will happen, and will be shown on YouTube and Facebook on Christmas Eve. Like last year, the event will be pre-taped in a closed location due to COVID-19 restrictions. This year, Bono was filmed at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and will perform one song on the broadcast. Bono’s song was filmed this evening at the Cathedral.


The event like other years is organized by Glen Hansard. Hansard started organizing Christmas Eve busking events in and around Grafton Street with fellow musicians each year. Money is raised during the busk for Simon Community to help the homeless in Dublin.

Bono has participated in a number of years.

In 2009 he participated singing “Stand By Me,” “One,” and “Knockin’ on Heavens Door.” 2010 saw Bono singing “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas,” “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” and “One.” In 2011 Bono was involved for “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”, “Silent Night,” and “Heyday.” 2012 saw Bono singing on “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”, “I Believe in Father Christmas”, “Silent Night”, and “Desire” and in 2013 Bono was part of “Merry Christmas Everybody” and “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful.”

In 2014 after five straight years of participating, Bono missed busking due to his bicycle accident.

He returned in 2015 for “When Love Comes to Town”, “Every Breaking Wave” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” In 2018, The Edge came along, as things moved from Grafton Street to outside the Gaiety Theatre, just around the corner, and Bono and The Edge performed on “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way”, “O Holy Night” and “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”.

In 2020 with COVID-19, the annual busk was moved indoors and turned into a telethon. Bono and The Edge were filmed at RTE studios performing “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” and “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” with other artists, and also gave a quiet performance of “Walk On”. The busk aired on The Late, Late Show without a studio audience. The show aired on RTE on December 18, 2020, and also streamed live at the same time. During the show over €1 million was raised by donation for The Simon Community. Donations were still being taken after the show.


This year Bono will be performing “Running to Stand Still.” Other artists in attendance include Shane MacGowan and Glen Hansard, Damien Rice, Nialler9, The Frames, Lisa O’Neill and Liam Ó Maonlaí, Emily 7 and many others. The busk will be livestreamed across the Dublin Simon YouTube, Facebook and Instagram channel at 9pm (Irish time) on Christmas Eve. The livestream will feature a series of interviews alongside musical and spoken word performances recorded in the iconic St Patrick’s Cathedral.

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