Sam Fender performs UK's first socially distanced gig with fans penned in

Albertina Lloyd
·Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
·2 min read
Sam Fender on stage at the Virgin Money Unity Arena, a pop-up venue in Gosforth Park, Newcastle. Fans in groups of up to five people are watching the show from 500 separate raised metal platforms at what the promoters say is the world's first socially-distanced gig.
Sam Fender on stage at the UK's first socially distanced gig at Gosforth Park, Newcastle. (PA)

Sam Fender has played the UK’s first ever socially distanced live gig, entertaining fans who were fenced in to keep them two metres apart.

The Play God singer performed for 2,500 fans at the sold-out Virgin Money Unity Arena pop-up outdoor venue in Newcastle’s Gosforth Park racecourse on Tuesday.

Fender, 26, tweeted after the show: “Thanks for tonight you f***ing legends.”

Read more: How British singer-songwriter Sam Fender saved a suicidal fan's life

Fans in separate pens to social distance, ahead of the Sam Fender concert at the Virgin Money Unity Arena, a pop-up venue in Gosforth Park, Newcastle. Fans in groups of up to five people are watching the show from 500 separate raised metal platforms at what the promoters say is the world's first socially-distanced gig.
Fans in separate pens prepare to watch Sam Fender perform at Gosforth Park. (PA)

Fans were seated across 500 penned-in viewing platforms, laid out two metres apart, with five family and friends permitted per pen.

Concertgoers could preorder food and drink to cut down queuing and a one-way system was in place to allow for social distancing at all times. Ticket-holders at the event, organised by Virgin Money and SSD Concerts, were asked to bring their own masks.

Fans in separate pens to social distance, ahead of the Sam Fender concert at the Virgin Money Unity Arena, a pop-up venue in Gosforth Park, Newcastle. Fans in groups of up to five people are watching the show from 500 separate raised metal platforms at what the promoters say is the world's first socially-distanced gig.
Fans wear masks while arriving to watch Sam Fender perform at Gosforth Park. (PA)

Fender wrote on Instagram: “Super excited for our shows this week!! The first events of their kind, we hope everybody is ready to enjoy responsibly.

“There are a few rules to follow to keep everyone safe. No moving between platforms/areas and please keep a safe distance when moving around to go to the toilet (bring a mask too). You can pre-order booze on the venue website and there will be hand sanitiser on points of entry.

“You’ll all be sent arrival times so please check your emails and get down nice n early.”

Sam Fender on stage at the Virgin Money Unity Arena, a pop-up venue in Gosforth Park, Newcastle. Fans in groups of up to five people are watching the show from 500 separate raised metal platforms at what the promoters say is the world's first socially-distanced gig.
The 2,500-capacity outdoor venue was sold out. (PA)

The social distancing measures were in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Read more: Glastonbury's Michael Eavis admits festival may not return until 2022

The Borders singer will perform a second gig at the venue on Thursday 13 August.

Other musical acts including Van Morrison, The Libertines and Maximo Park are scheduled to play at the racecourse throughout August and September, as well as comedians Jimmy Carr and Bill Bailey.

Gosforth Park’s usual capacity as an outdoor concert venue is 45,000.