Singer/guitarist Sam Fender has announced that his only show of 2020 will be the opening of the UK’s first socially distanced venue in August.
We first reported on the Virgin Money Unity Arena earlier this month, with the announcement of the first wave of bands to play, which included Maximo Park, Supergrass, Two Door Cinema Club and The Libertines.
Fender was forced to postpone his 2020 tour due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He will headline on 13 August 2020, and will be the first to take the stage at the purpose-built venue. He said in a statement, “Am absolutely buzzing for this, getting the band and crew back together for probably our only gig of the year,” he said in a statement. “Apparently this is the first socially distanced show of its kind and it’s amazing to see the northeast leading the way, it’s huge for the area. There’s a few hundred platforms with 5 people on each. Grab a few mates and let’s have a platform party!!”
The audience will each have a separate raised platform per group of ticketholders, spaced out far enough to respect social distancing guidelines.
The venue is the work of SSD Concerts, a promotions company that manages Newcastle festivals This is Tomorrow and Hit the North, as well as four venues in the city. “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,” said SSD Concerts’ managing director Steve Davis.
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