A new and dedicatedly socially distanced music venue in Newcastle, UK, called the Virgin Money Unity Arena hosted its first official socially distanced concert earlier this week.
The first official concert at the venue saw English singer, songwriter Sam Fender performing to a sold-out crowd of 2,500. Fans were stationed on 500 elevated platforms in their own pods with each pod spaced two meters apart and with a capacity of 5 people maximum per pod. Chairs were available for those who would rather sit down and enjoy in their own respective pods.
Attendees were also able to safely pre-ordered food and drinks using the arena’s one-way system.
The UK’s first socially distanced gig is happening now in Newcastle with @samfendermusic headlining, and where attendees have their own private viewing area with 2m of space between them. Here’s what it looks like #samfender #unityarena pic.twitter.com/YBdxpAjYyi
— Kieron Donoghue (@kierondonoghue) August 11, 2020
Speaking about the event Helen Page, group brand and marketing director at Virgin Money, said, “We are delighted to play a part in bringing back live music events as we start to emerge from lockdown. This feels like a unique opportunity to celebrate music and all the wonderful emotions that come with experiencing it live alongside other music fans.”
While the event triggered mixed emotions from attendees, it definitely seems like a safer and more controlled way to host events as compared to drive-in events. Virgin Money Unity Arena will continue to host events through the next few months with artists such as Van Morrison, Two Door Cinema, and The Libertines on the lineup for the months of August and September.