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Fender kicks off UK’s first gigs since lockdown in March

Music | Published:

Socially-distanced concerts are being held at a pop-up venue in Newcastle through August and September.

The venue has been tailored to cope with the pandemic (Handout/PA)

An audience of 2,500 fans will cheer for their hero Sam Fender at what the promoters say will be the world’s first socially-distanced gig on Tuesday evening.

The 26-year-old number one singer songwriter is playing a home-town concert at Newcastle’s Gosforth Park, the UK’s first music event of its kind since coronavirus restrictions were introduced in March.

The pop-up venue, named the Virgin Money Unity Arena, will see fans in groups of up to five watch the concert on 500 separate raised metal platforms.

Fender’s gigs on Tuesday and Thursday have sold out.

Other acts, music legend Van Morrison, The Libertines and Maximo Park will follow throughout August and into September.

Comedians Jimmy Carr and Bill Bailey will also play at the temporary arena.

Helen Page, group brand and marketing director at Virgin Money, commented: “We are delighted to play a part in bringing back live music events as we start to emerge from lockdown.

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Sam Fender performing during the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks 6 Television Centre, Wood Lane, London (Isabel Infantes/PA)
Sam Fender performing during the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks 6 Television Centre, Wood Lane, London (Isabel Infantes/PA)

“This feels like a unique opportunity to celebrate music and all the wonderful emotions that come with experiencing it live alongside other music fans.”

Promoters SD Concerts said the safety of the audience will be protected, with each viewing platform having its own table, chairs and fridge.

People from the same household will arrive at the venue, park up them enjoy the concert from their own private area.

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