- 11 Aug 20
26-year-old Brit Award winner Sam Fender is playing a home-town concert at Newcastle's Gosforth Park.
Newcastle's own indie-rock sensation Sam Fender is scheduled to play the UK's first dedicated socially distanced music venue concert today.
The Virgin Money Unity Arena at Gosforth Park has converted its 45,000-square-metre field into an outdoor arena with 500 socially distanced platforms to get fans back into live music events.
Adhering to government guidelines, some 2,500 fans are set to watch local musician Fender kick-start the launch at the venue - which usually hosts 40,000 attendees.
The 'Hypersonic Missiles' singer is playing the first music event of its kind since coronavirus restrictions were enforced in March, with fans in groups of up to five invited to watch the concert.
Promoters SD Concerts have assured guests that the safety of the audience will be protected, with each viewing platform having its own table, chairs and fridge.
Fender's gigs on Tuesday and Thursday have sold out.
Van Morrison, The Libertines and Maximo Park will perform throughout August and into September.
Comedians Jimmy Carr and Bill Bailey will also play at the temporary arena.
No gigs have taken place in the UK since 23 March when lockdown was imposed, leaving many venues facing permanent closure and half of the industry's 210,000 jobs at risk.
Elbow, Everything Everything and Public Service Broadcasting are among artists to support 'Passport: Back to our Roots', a new campaign to raise money for grassroots music venues at risk of closure.
The artists will play one-off, intimate shows at small venues when it is safe to perform with no social distancing.
Indoor venues were informed they could resume gigs on 1 August as long as strict social distancing was in place, but this decision was later reversed.