Photos + Video: U.K.’s First Social Distanced Outdoor Concert Venue
One of the biggest issues returning to live music amid a pandemic is being able to adhere to social distancing guidelines and finding venues that cater to that. Enter the new Virgin Money Unity Arena in Newcastle upon Tyne in England, which hosted 2,500 music fans for the first outdoor socially-distanced show on Aug. 11.
Rising U.K. musician Sam Fender headlined the first show at the venue Tuesday night, marking the first major outdoor concert in the U.K. since the touring industry shut down in March. As you can see in the tweets and video below, the stage is set up in the middle of a field with fenced areas designating where people can stand to view the show and still be the proper distance away from other concertgoers.
The venue also has elevated platforms the further you are from the stage to help ensure that a clear view may be had by those in the back. According to Liveforlivemusic.com, there were a total of 500 platforms spread throughout the viewing area. A maximum of five people were allowed per each private viewing area.
The venue also allowed for the pre-ordering of liquor via the venue website and hand sanitizer was available at various points of entry. Fans were also sent arrival times in order to "stagger" the crowd entry into the venue.
For the most part, the response on social media was positive though some did not care for the "penned in" feeling of the viewing areas. See video and tweets from the show below.
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