Music fans in the UK may get to experience live music sooner than some health experts have predicted. The country’s first socially distanced music venue, the Virgin Money Unity Arena, will allegedly open in Newcastle this summer, reports NME.
The venue was created in a partnership between the teams behind This Is Tomorrow Festival, SSD Concerts, and Virgin Money. Using a series of mapped out “viewing areas” for individuals and small groups akin to raised platforms — each viewing area is at least two meters away from the other viewing areas surrounding it, generously abiding by social distancing measures — they were able to transform the outdoor space at Newcastle Racecourse into a music festival-style layout. Food and drinks can also be pre-ordered using a one-way system. Toilet facilities will also be available using a one-way system.
The Virgin Money Unity Arena is not officially open yet, but it sounds like it will be pretty soon. A proper lineup for upcoming events will be revealed on July 7th. The acts booked reportedly include in-person musicians, DJs, comedians, and family entertainment acts from “a selection of household names.”
“We can’t be without music during these times so our only thought has been how can we bring music back to the British public safely and responsibly,” said Steve Davis, the managing director of SSD Concerts. “Working with our brand new partner Virgin Money has been exciting and 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. Further announcements will be coming in the coming weeks, but we’re excited to say we already have several high-profile artists signed up.”
Earlier this spring, America tried its hand with an awkward indoor socially distanced show, Denmark invented the drive-in concert, and Germany opted for parking lot raves. Realistically, it looks like this socially distanced UK music venue may have figured out the best temporary solution for live music. Time will tell if they’re able to pull it off smoothly and safely, though.
Editor’s Note: Stay safe by picking up one of our custom face masks. A portion of the proceeds will benefit MusiCares’ COVID-19 Artist Relief fund supporting independent musicians.