UK racecourse to become first ‘socially distanced dedicated venue’

While the coronavirus has halted large-scale live music events like summer music festivals and stadium tours, a UK race track is becoming the first “socially distanced dedicated venue”.

The Virgin Money Unity Arena in Newcastle, England, will modify the city’s racecourse to accommodate 500 observation decks, with a maximum of 2,500 people allowed. Each observation station, positioned to face the stage, will be approximately six feet away.

The venue will announce its initial lineup of artists, entertainers, and comedians on Tuesday, July 7, and the shows will begin in August.

The venue, conceived by SSD Concerts, also promises to fulfill all mandates of social distancing, from the parking lot to the restrooms and the observation area.

All staff will receive advance training on safety procedures to maintain hygiene, including handwashing, the use of gloves when serving and delivering food. Support staff and administrators will be required to wear masks at all times, ”states the site’s website.

Ged Bell of Newcastle City Hall said the Guardian that the Virgin Money Unity Arena is “a brilliant innovation where people can enjoy the best bands in a safe, responsible and socially distant way”.

SSD Concerts’ Steve Davis added: “We believe that even in these tough times, people from the northeast will go out in the thousands to see the artists they love.”

The venue also promised to donate a limited number of free tickets to each show to National Health Service workers.