This Is What A Socially-Distanced Concert Looks Like And Yes, Please

by Leah Groth
Originally Published: 
This Is What A Socially-Distanced Concert Looks Like And Yes, Please
Virgin Money Unity Arena/Instagram

The world’s first socially distanced concert happened this week in the UK, and we are totally onboard

According to a recent Nielsen poll over 50 percent of Americans attend at least one live music event every year, including indoor and outdoor concerts as well as music festivals. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, live music has been virtually obsolete since mid-March, and as a result, the music industry has suffered. Recently some countries who have effectively slowed the spread of the highly infectious and potentially deadly virus have started easing restrictions, which has motivated music industry insiders to rethink the live music experience, coming up with creative ways to make concerts safer. This week, one of the first socially distanced concerts took place in the UK, and all we have to say is, bring on the music.

At Virgin Money Unity Arena, a pop-up venue in Gosforth Park, Newcastle, northern England, 2,500 fans gathered for what appears to be the most amazing concert concept for anyone who doesn’t enjoy being sardined into a space with a bunch of sweaty, dancing, singing, and sometimes drunk concertgoers.

Thomas M Jackson/Redferns


On Tuesday night, Sam Fender performed for the crowd, divided into 500 groups of 5 and partitioned off to ensure proper social distancing.

“I will miss the mosh pits,” Fender, who posted a video from the stage on his Instagram account, said in a pre-show interview with the BBC per Variety, “but they will come. They’ll eventually come back when we’re allowed to do it again. I think it’s fantastic that our region is going to lead the way on this, and we’ll be the trailblazers for something that will hopefully continue on through the rest of the pandemic. It’s not going to be the same as a gig you would normally have, but we’ve got to do what we can do.”

Other musicians and comedians are planning to perform socially distanced concerts later this year at the venue as well, including Van Morrison, Jimmy Carr and Bill Bailey.

Here’s exactly what it is like to attend a show. As soon as you arrive with your group of 5, distancing is enforced — even when it comes to parking your car. Then, you will be guided (wearing a mask, of course!) to your own “platformed” private viewing area. And get this — instead of having to wait in a long line to retrieve food and drinks, you simply order beforehand or use an app to place your order, which you then pick up from a kiosk, or is delivered directly to you.

Thomas M Jackson/Redferns


“We are delighted to play a part in bringing back live music events as we start to emerge from lockdown,” Helen Page, group brand and marketing director at Virgin Money, said according to PA Media news agency. “This feels like a unique opportunity to celebrate music and all the wonderful emotions that come with experiencing it live alongside other music fans.”

This article was originally published on