First wave of bands to play at ‘socially distanced’ UK venue announced

The venue consists of separated raised platforms looking on at an outdoor stage.

The Virgin Money Unity Arena

Image: Virgin Money Unity Arena

When you purchase through affiliate links on Guitar.com, you may contribute to our site through commissions. Learn more.

The UK’s first large-scale, drive-in venue has announced the lineup for its upcoming launch weekend, after revealing its plan to open earlier this month.

The Newcastle venue is called the Virgin Money Unity Arena, and will hold host to a number of rock bands, comedians and DJs after its opening in August until mid-September. Bands include Maximo Park, Supergrass, Two Door Cinema Club and The Libertines

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.

The venue’s audience will each have a separate raised platform per group of ticketholders, spaced out far enough to respect social distancing guidelines.

The announcement of the lineup follows the UK government’s launch of a huge arts lifeline fund, hoping to see venues big and small through the current pandemic.

Ged Bell of Newcastle city council called the arena “a brilliant innovation where people will be able to enjoy top bands in a safe, responsible and socially distanced way”.

Get the full schedule over at virginmoneyunityarena.com. For more music news, click here.


The world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar.

© 2024 Guitar.com is part of NME Networks.