Sam Fender played the UK's first socially-distanced outdoor gig on Tuesday evening (August 11) at the new Virgin Money Unity Arena at Newcastle Racecourse.
The concert had 2,500 attendees who watched on 500 platforms which were spaced at two metres apart from one another.
Explaining the setup to BBC News, Steve Davis from SSD Concerts said: "It's a vast site – 45,000 sq metres, the equivalent of over six football pitches, which is crazy.
"On a normal day you can get 45,000 people in here, but our capacity for the gigs will be 2,500.
"We've also got lots more toilets than we would usually have for normal festivals to keep people apart.
"Hopefully groups together on their platforms in their own bubbles will have a good time and still get the vibe of a really good concert experience."
Brit nominee Fender himself said: "I think it's fantastic our region is going to lead the way on this and you know, we'll be the trailblazers for hopefully something that will continue on through the rest of the pandemic."
On social media, fans gave their verdict on the gig, with most seeming positive about the setup.
One person wrote on Twitter: "Sam Fender live in Newcastle tonight - the first socially distanced large scale concert. Very civilised. Seems to work. 600 pens with 5 family/friends per pen. Sensible loo/bar/food arrangements. It's the future! And least for the foreseeable......"
Another wrote: "Sam fender's socially distanced concert looked so nice imagine actually having room to breathe in a concert."
Sam Fender live in Newcastle tonight - the first socially distanced large scale concert. Very civilised. Seems to work. 600 pens with 5 family/friends per pen. Sensible loo/bar/food arrangements. It’s the future! And least for the foreseeable...... pic.twitter.com/WN0NJsyCXc— Brian Ham (@_BrianHam) August 11, 2020
The first socially distanced concert was absolutely surreal but really well thought out. Sam Fender was amazing 🙌🏻 pic.twitter.com/RtUeNLZhtq— alisha henry (@alishamhenry) August 11, 2020
Newcastle yesterday. Socially distant open-air gig with reserved platforms for every group. Managed bar queues, contactless only payment. If this is safely workable and sounds good to government, let's get it going before an industry collapses. pic.twitter.com/SnQwVK3WT3— Eoghan McDermott (@eoghanmcdermo) August 12, 2020
Sam fender’s socially distanced concert looked so nice imagine actually having room to breathe in a concert— wow someone actually (@__zaain) August 12, 2020
Fantastic night! Sam Fender was class! Can all concerts be like this?! Brilliantly organised! Thank you! pic.twitter.com/faWOYBJ9IU— Tracy Guthrie (@tracylguthrie) August 11, 2020
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
Open-air, socially-distanced Sam Fender gig in Newcastle. I actually don’t think this looks *that* bad as it goes pic.twitter.com/BXvcRJdGS6— Wayne (@MrWayneyB) August 11, 2020
Digital Spy has launched its first-ever digital magazine with exclusive features, interviews, and videos. Access this edition with a 1-month free trial, only on Apple News+.
Interested in Digital Spy's weekly newsletter? Sign up to get it sent straight to your inbox.
You Might Also Like