Upcoming Specials on RTE

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2020-12-12)

Update: December 13, 2020:

RTÉ is now airing a commercial for The Late Late Show which confirm Bono and The Edge’s performance. The ad announces, “Join us this Friday night for a very special Late Late Show“ and announces the guests including Glen Hansard, Finbar Furey, and “a cast of stars”. Bono and The Edge are seen in studio performing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” so it appears the performances will be pre-taped.

Original Story:

RTÉ has announced their upcoming holiday programming and there are a couple of shows on December 18, 2020 to keep an eye on.

Up first The Busk – A Decade of Christmas on Grafton Street which is a show hosted by Glen Hansard. In years gone by Irish singers and musicians organized by Hansard took to Grafton Street and surroundings in Dublin to host an annual busk in aid of homelessness. This year with the busk not being possible in the streets of Dublin, Hansard will instead host a review of some of the most memorable moments from the first 10 years of the annual event. There will be no outdoor busking event this year.

And later the same evening on The Late Late Show the busk will happen but in a different manner. Instead of being outside, the show will “have some of the biggest superstars of rock music take their legendary Grafton Street Christmas Eve busk for the Simon Community indoors to the studio.” We have been told that Bono and The Edge will likely contribute to the special, but it is unknown if they will be in studio in Dublin, or if they will participate remotely. The rumours suggest they will be joined on the show by a number of other Irish artists. Expect confirmation later in the week if they are to play.

The Christmas eve busking has featured Bono a number of times from the start. In 2018 The Edge joined the celebrations for the first time ever, performing with Bono. Over the years Bono has performed the following songs with other artists:

  • 2009 Stand By Me, One, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
  • 2010 I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas, Happy X-Mas (War is Over), One
  • 2011 Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), Silent Night, Heyday
  • 2012 Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), I Believe in Father Christmas, Silent Night, Desire
  • 2013 Merry Xmas Everybody, Oh Come All Ye Faithful
  • 2015 When Love Comes to Town, Every Breaking Wave, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • 2018 Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way, O Holy Night, Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

The annual busk sees proceeds going to the Simon Community. The charity which helps homeless people In Ireland was founded by a group of Trinity College and University College Dublin students in 1969. Buckets are usually passed around the gathered crowd to collect offerings as the performers busk. As the event usually draws thousands of onlookers, it is impossible to hold the busk in the usual manner this year with the pandemic.

You can watch Bono and The Edge performing “Love is Bigger” during the 2018 busk below:

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