A New Socially Distanced Music Venue Will Open This Summer
Concert promoters and venues have been experimenting with all sorts of ideas for how live music can return during the pandemic, from drive-in concerts to requiring attendees to walk through disinfectant mists to all sorts of other health and safety measures.
Add another to that list: new venues with completely reimagined layouts to conform with social distancing protocol.
The image at the top of this post is an officially-sanctioned artist rendering of the new Virgin Money Unity Arena in Newcastle, England, a 2,500 capacity venue that is currently being built with socially distanced fan pods throughout. The venue is set to open this August at Newcastle Racecourse, with a line-up featuring “several high-profile artists” being unveiled next Tuesday, July 7. The venue will host live music, DJ sets, family entertainment and comedy, and will have food and drink available for patrons to order directly to their seats.
Fans will be asked to arrive by car and leave their vehicles in a lot with properly socially distanced parking spots, there will be a one-way system for toilets, hand sanitizer will be available everywhere, and so on and so forth.
Will the experience be any less awkward than a drive-in? That remains to be seen, but I’d imagine being fully outside instead of trapped inside a car will certainly make the concert feel more like those in pre-pandemic times. Unfortunately the venue will only be able to operate during warm (and moderate) weather months, but hey, it’s something.