Bono revives his Xmas Eve busking for charity with an all-star line up


As I was attempting to find out exactly how many calories a person can consume in one sitting on Christmas Eve, a few more productive members of society were doing something really beautiful. Since 2009, U2 singer Bono has taken to Grafton Street in Dublin to busk for donations for The Simon Community, a homeless charity. He had to miss last year due to his unfortunate bike accident but this year he was back along with Glen Hasard, a mainstay for this annual revelry. Bono’s grand return brought out an impressive assemblage of sidewalk troubadours: Hozier, Ronan Keating, Kodaline*, Imelda May, The Script, Hudson Taylor, Roisin O and more to ring in the holidays properly. Bonus – free Santa hats for the onlookers!

Bono has been participating in an annual busking tradition in Dublin on Christmas Eve to support The Simon Community, a local homeless charity. While the U2 frontman missed last year due to a bike accident, he came back in full force accompanied by Hozier, Irish singer-songwriter Glen Hansard, Kodaline, and more.

The assembled talent busked on Dublin’s Grafton Street featuring renditions of U2’s “Every Breaking Wave” and “When Love Comes to Town,” as well as Hozier’s “Take Me to Church.”
The Script, who were also in attendance, tweeted prior to the event, “Anyone around Grafton Street at 5:30? Gonna Periscope something cool.”

[From Entertainment Weekly]

Even Bono’s good friend Shane MacGowan of The Pogues, who is having a rough recovery from a broken pelvis, arrived on crutches and joined in. Could you imagine? What if you had procrastinated on your gift shopping and dragged your partner out to the shops at the last minute. As he/she is telling you how you ruined yet another holiday, you happened upon this scene? I would pretend I planned the whole thing and act smug well into the New Year.

Below are shots from the event; the artists are having as good a time as the audience. It is fairly important that we acknowledge, once again, how glorious Hozier’s hair is. Bono looks good too, I guess he just decided to stop aging at 42? That was clever of him. I don’t have a shot of Ronan Keating at the event, unfortunately, but I do have a shot of him from The Global Gift Gala in London because OMG, we should all strive to to start our day with a pic of Ronan Keating.

This is Bono’s second busking stop this year as he and the rest of U2 performed incognito in a New York Subway for Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show last May. PS – you can donate to The Simon Community here.

*ETA – Thanks to Marnie for the correction on Kodaline’s name.

Bono, Glen Hasard and Hozier
Celebs Busk on Grafton Street
Hozier and Glen Hasard
Annual charity Christmas Eve busking for homeless aid on Grafton Street
Bono and Glen Hasard
photo credit: WENN

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25 Responses to “Bono revives his Xmas Eve busking for charity with an all-star line up”

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  1. cubfan34 says:

    Bono’s died blond hair is awful.

  2. Marnie says:

    Kodaline*. Not Kodlaine. they’re an amazing Irish band everyone should listen to because they’re songs are amazing. Fangirl moment over.

  3. Laura says:

    How wonderful. Good to see him out and about & for a good cause. I hope they raised a lot of money.

  4. Kath says:

    I would’ve thought that this massive hypocrite could have helped the poor and homeless of Ireland a lot more if he just paid his bleedin’ taxes.

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      Paying his taxes like the rest of us would not get him publicity. Satire site Waterford Whispers has a great write up on this calling it an “Orange Bono Alert In Place For Grafton Street”

      • Kath says:

        I’m just surprised that the good people of Ireland haven’t tarred and feathered this guy and run him out of town after DECADES of favourable tax concessions… And the second those ended – in a crippling recession – Bono and his merry band of poseurs move all their business offshore.

        So, yeah, posturing and asking for other people’s charity gets him a lot more attention than paying his fair share like everyone else.

    • Prairiegirl says:


  5. Arlene says:

    So, over Christmas a family member showed me a tweet suggesting Bono and Ben Stiller’s dad, Jerry, have finally morphed into one being. Having seen the photo, I can now no longer unsee it. Festivus for the rest of us!

  6. Babadook says:

    Ugh I’m still raging about this! I’m not a U2 fan (like all Irish people by gov’t stature I’m forced to believed that Bono is a pox) but my boyfriend is French and he loves them. We happened to be in town that night but I delayed heading to Grafton St until later because I thought that was when they’d appear and could surprise him with some festive cheer. When we got there it was just abandoned and I was like…”any minute now” bad call on my part!

  7. t.fanty says:

    Mr.Fanty has been go see U2 in concert more than I have had hot dinners. He always tells a story about one time that Bono was in the middle of one of his lectures, and he said “every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies.” And a voice from the audience shouted “then stop clapping your f*cking hands!”

    I don’t know of it really connects to anything, but I do love that story.

    • Esmom says:

      Ha, love it.

      I can’t hate on U2 since my teenage son and his band cover a couple of their songs. I can think of worse musical inspirations.

  8. antipodean says:

    Just what the world needs, tiny Bono, sitting on his piles of cash, telling the world how to be charitable. The gospel according to St Bono.

  9. Norman Bates's Mother says:

    I love Glen Hansard! He does it every single year since the 90’s and as far as I know, he was the one who first came up with the idea of Christmas busking for the homeless and as he became more (but still way too little for his level of talent and charisma) famous, he was able to invite more and more known musicians each year.

    • delphi says:

      +infinity. I adore Glen Hansard, too. Normally I’m not a fan of tenor voices, but lord when he lets that voice rip, it is a thing of beauty.

      And Hozier…yum.

  10. rosie says:

    It’s nice to see all these people doing something for charity. Bono, however I just don’t know how to feel about him. I think he is a good, kind man but, the tax issue is quiet hypocritical of him and the band.

  11. kri says:

    He’s looking well-that accident seemed pretty bad. And I don’t know who Ronan is, but I’m about to look him up. GODD LORD. why must the Irish be so beautiful.

  12. S says:

    What a wonderful tradition. I’m a huge fan of Glen Hansard and love that he and the others have developed such a creative way to raise money (while also honoring a busking tradition).
    It’s so annoying when people criticize Bono for not giving every cent he has to charity, when he does way more charity work than any of the posters here probably do. I give thousands of dollars annually to charities and serve on the boards of two non-profits but I carry nice handbags and take my legal tax deductions so I guess I’m an asshole too.

  13. teacakes says:

    Ronan Keating omg, talk about a blast from the past…. my 12 year old self had the hugest crush on him in his early Boyzone years.

  14. EscapedConvent says:

    Mmmm…..Hozier. Although I think he is exquisitely beautiful and when I see his hair I start babbling, I cannot listen to that song, as it is stuck in my head on continuous play. I don’t even have to hear the song now. I have only to see the title somewhere and ka-pow! I’m in church.

  15. Miss M says:

    Love Glen Hansard!

  16. MollyO says:

    I’m a child of the 80s and cannot understand all the hating on Bono. This tax issue is news to me. Sorry: I’ve always loved him and always will.