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(Credit: Virgin Money Utilita Arena)


Sam Fender performs at the UK's first socially distanced concert


Live music has finally returned as Sam Fender headlined the inaugural evening at the Virgin Money Unity Arena in his hometown of Newcastle.

The venue is situated at Newcastle Racecourse in Gosforth Park and will now be open for business until September. It features 500 individual viewing platforms for each household of ticketholders overlooking an outdoor stage, allowing for a maximum of 2,500 attendees. Each platform is spaced two metres apart from the next.

Using a series of mapped out viewing areas for individuals and small groups, viewers are placed on raised platforms with each viewing area sitting at least two meters away from the other, viewing areas surrounding it which made them able to completely transform the outdoor space at Newcastle Racecourse into a socially distanced ‘festival’.

There were some complaints that on top of the ticket fee which was £32.50, there was a surcharge of £20 for the viewing platform and the £20 drinks package only entitled you to six 330ml Heineken cans.

A video from the concert has gone viral on social media for all the wrong reasons during the support slot as the crowd looks disperse and uninterested, however, that is just like any opening slot which is made even more difficult by these strange socially distanced conditions.

Sam Fender’s gig looked like a mass singalong in his hometown which of course isn’t the same as the real thing but it’ll do for the time being. The Libertines, Supergrass, Tom Grennan and many more are also set to perform in Newcastle in the next few weeks.