We have seen hundreds of posts floating around social media with a picture of a socially distant gig. But, no one knew what it really was, where it was or even anything about it. They just know, it happened!
Sam Fender performed the UK’s first socially distanced outdoor show this evening – and fans have taken to social media to give their verdict.
The ‘Hypersonic Missiles’ artist headlined the new Virgin Money Unity Arena at Newcastle Racecourse tonight (August 11), with 2,500 attendees watching on from 500 platforms which were spaced two metres apart from one another.
Below is a tweet from Sam Fender Updates!
Commenting on a photo of the arena, a second wrote: “My hatred for human contact with people I don’t know really, realllyyy approves of this.”
Meanwhile, audience member Tracy said she had a “fantastic night” and that the event was “brilliantly organised”. Captioning an image of the stage from her platform, Alisha posted: “The first socially distanced concert was absolutely surreal but really well thought out.”
Others, however, weren’t so sure about the post-lockdown concert format. “Love Sam Fender but if that’s what the future is, count me out,” wrote Ashley Smith. “That’s not what gigs are for me. It’s the atmosphere of being surrounded by others captivated by what’s going on on the stage loving life.”
Another fan, Vicky, said: “It’s a huge venue so it’s possible to social distance but. Y’all it’s not time.” Elsewhere, Twitter user Sarah wrote: “It all looks very strange but fair play to the organisers for finding a way to get live music out there again.”
You can see those posts and more reactions below.
Big up Newcastle, big up Sam Fender!!!! We have just got home, I’ve drove over 8 hours today and it was all worth it! I didn’t think I’d get to see the big man himself this year after my tickets for Birmingham were sold without me knowing and then Covid19 🤷♂️ Today was just epic!! pic.twitter.com/fK4ve5P5oo— Jonathan Morgan (@jonathanamorgan) August 12, 2020
Also scheduled to perform at Virgin Money Unity Arena throughout the month are the likes of The Libertines, Two Door Cinema Club and Supergrass.
Headed up by the team behind Newcastle’s This Is Tomorrow Festival and SSD Concerts, the new outdoor venue has a one-way system in place, allowing for the safe and full use of toilet facilities.
Steve Davis, the managing director of SSD Concerts, said of the gig series: “Since all of our scheduled concerts have been postponed to later in the year and all venues in the city closed, the staff at SSD had a willingness to continue.
“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.”
This comes after the first government-backed socially distanced show took place last month, which saw Frank Turner performing to just 200 fans at the 1250-capacity Clapham Grand.