Sam Fender has held the “world’s first” socially distanced concert, which saw audience members assigned designated areas to ensure they followed COVID guidelines.
The concert took place at the Virgin Money Unity Arena in Newcastle on Tuesday, with only five people allowed in each penned off area throughout the performance.
The socially distanced areas were set-up two metres apart from each other with metal barriers, and each area included a table, chairs and a mini fridge for the comfort of the concert-goers.
Sam Fender live in Newcastle tonight – the first socially distanced large scale concert. Very civilised. Seems to work. 600 pens with 5 family/friends per pen. Sensible loo/bar/food arrangements. It’s the future! And least for the foreseeable…… pic.twitter.com/WN0NJsyCXc
— Brian Ham (@_BrianHam) August 11, 2020
A one way system was also in place, which saw attendees guided to their areas in a safe manner.
Speaking ahead of the concert, Sam reminded his fans of the rules ahead of the “first event of its’ kind.”
Taking to Instagram, the singer wrote: “Super excited for our shows this week!! The first events of their kind, we hope everybody is ready to enjoy responsibly.”
“There are a few rules to follow to keep everyone safe. No moving between platforms/areas and please keep a safe distance when moving around to go to the toilet (bring a mask too).”
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Super excited for our shows this week!! The first events of their kind, we hope everybody is ready to enjoy responsibly. There are a few rules to follow to keep everyone safe. No moving between platforms/areas and please keep a safe distance when moving around to go to the toilet (bring a mask too). You can pre-order booze on the venue website and there will be hand sanitiser on points of entry. You’ll all be sent arrival times so please check your emails and get down nice n early. Doors 6pm Last entry 8pm @heidi_music_ 8pm @sam_fender 9pm See you soon x
He added: “You can pre-order booze on the venue website and there will be hand sanitiser on points of entry. You’ll all be sent arrival times so please check your emails and get down nice n early.”
Explaining the set up of the venue to The Mirror, SSD Concerts’ Steve Davis said, “As you can see it’s a vast site – 45,000 sq metres, the equivalent of over six football pitches, which is crazy.”
“On a normal day you can get 45,000 people in here, but our capacity for the gigs will be 2,500,” he added.
“We’ve also got lots more toilets than we would usually have for normal festivals to keep people apart. Hopefully groups together on their platforms in their own bubbles will have a good time and still get the vibe of a really good concert experience.”
Sam Fender in Newcastle tonight. It all looks very strange but fair play to the organisers for finding a way to get live music out there again. pic.twitter.com/cofezOiLyp
— Sarah (@StageySarah) August 11, 2020
— KeiranB0we (@K3iranB0we) August 12, 2020
Speaking to Metro UK, group brand and marketing director at Virgin Money Helen Paige 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.”
Two Door Cinema Club are the next act set to headline the arena, with Ronan Keating also hitting the venue next month.
— Virgin Money Unity Arena (@VMUnityArena) August 12, 2020
On the latest episode of Goss Chats, Goss.ie Founder & CEO Ali Ryan sits down with beauty guru Mark Rogers.
From his upcoming wedding to surrogacy plans, Mark opens up about a hectic few months ahead.
#GossChats is sponsored by top Irish aesthetic clinic Haus of JeJuve.
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On the latest episode of Goss Chats, @itsalirose sits down with @m.rbeauty who opens up about his upcoming wedding and his surrogacy plans. Plus the beauty guru gives us the best tips for dolling yourself up from home. #GossChats is sponsored by top Irish aesthetic clinic @haus_of_jejuve