The UK’s First Socially Distanced Music Venue Is Opening This Summer
While we’ve already got drive-in gigs on the way in the UK this summer, now the country’s first dedicated socially distanced music venue has been revealed: the Virgin Money Unity Arena in Newcastle.
The 2,500-capacity venue is set to open this August at Newcastle Racecourse, with a line-up featuring “several high-profile artists” being unveiled on Tuesday, July 7.
As well as putting on gigs, the Virgin Money Unity Arena will host DJ sets, family entertainment and comedy, with food and drink also available on site (though it must be pre-ordered in advanced and then delivered to your own private spot while you’re there).
Not only will fans in attendance be kept two metres apart, but they will be asked to arrive by car – with parking spots in keeping with social distancing rules, too. There will also be a one-way system for toilets, hand sanitisers outside each cubicle, and staff wearing masks at all times.
“Since all of our scheduled concerts have been postponed to later in the year and all venues in the city closed, the staff at SSD had a willingness to continue,” reveals Steve Davis, the managing director of SSD Concerts.
“We can’t be without music during these times so our only thought has been how can we bring music back to the British public safely and responsibly. We have been hosting loads of live sessions and DJ sets across our social media, supporting local artists and raising money for the NHS. Now, we’re taking it one step further as the UK slowly comes out of lockdown.”
He continues: “Working with our brand new partner Virgin Money has been exciting and we think even in these hard times the people of the north east will come out in their thousands to see the artists they love.”
“The city has a great reputation for hosting music and cultural events,” adds Newcastle City Council Cabinet member for Employment and Culture, Ged Bell. “While this pandemic has hit the sector particularly hard, the concert planned at the Racecourse is a brilliant innovation where people will be able to enjoy top bands in a safe, responsible and socially-distanced way. It is fantastic to see such a creative response to enable us to experience live performances once again.”
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