Chloe Shakesby

World's first socially distanced arena to open at Newcastle Racecourse

The world’s first socially distanced arena will be opening its doors in Newcastle this evening.

The outdoor Virgin Money Unity Arena in Newcastle is the world’s first entertainment venue designed to embrace social distancing.

The arena, at Newcastle Racecourse, will host 29 events on 26 days over the next month, with acts including Sam Fender, Supergrass, Jason Manford, Bill Bailey, Maximo Park, Alfie Boe and Ronan Keating taking to the stage.

Councillor Ged Bell, Newcastle City Council’s cabinet member for employment and culture, commented: “Right now times are exceptionally tough for our vibrant community of world-class creative professionals in Newcastle, but we know that culture will play a key role in helping our city to heal from the effects of this pandemic.

“While we are doing all we can for them for Newcastle to rebuild itself as the leading cultural destination we all love we need independent festivals like this to support the recovery of the sector and provide our people with a diverse programme of events.”

This evening will be a #WeMakeEvents production, which is a series of events arranged by the Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA) to support the industry as it recovers from the effects of lockdown.

A statement from PLASA said: “The technology side of the industry is in desperate need of financial support from the government, otherwise it will not exist anymore and there will be no gigs, no festivals, no shows of any kind.

“Everything you love to go to simply will not be able to happen anymore.

“The #WeMakeEvents - Red Alert day of action is raising the alarm for the live events and entertainment sector.

“Thousands of event professionals including sound engineers, lighting designers, manufacturers, distributors, production companies, riggers, stage crew, musicians, venue staff, stage managers are joining forces across London and the UK to stand up for the live events sector.

“So please show your support for the amazing people behind the scenes and help us let the government know the entertainment technology industry needs its help, for all our sakes.”

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