The team behind Newcastle’s This Is Tomorrow festival, SSD Concerts is creating a 2,500-capacity outdoor venue designed to accommodate social distancing.
The Virgin Money Unity Arena will be situated in Newcastle Racecourse, Gosforth Park, close to Newcastle City Centre. The venue will open in August, with a lineup of performing artists announced on 7 July.
The outdoor venue will provide ‘personal platforms’ for groups in social distancing bubbles to enjoy live music and performance. Visitors will require a car to enter the venue, but can then park their cars at a 2m distance and use a one-way system to reach their platform.
Visitors will be allocated an arrival time when purchasing a ticket. They can pre-order food and drink and collect it on arrival, or use the Unity Arena app to order to their platform during the show.
SSD says the venue will open in August and be in place until the end of summer, although an exact end date is not provided.
Managing Director of SSD, Steve Davis, explains: “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.
“We have been hosting loads of live sessions and DJ sets across our social media, supporting local artists and raising money for the NHS. Now, we’re taking it one step further as the UK slowly comes out of lockdown. 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.”