ENGLAND - Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, U.K. concert organizers found a way to safely bring back the music with what they said was the first ever socially distanced outdoor concert.
The Virgin Money Unity Arena is a new pop-up venue in England that is dedicated to providing a safe concert-going experience during COVID-19 times.
The company organized an outdoor concert for 2,500 people at the arena in Gosforth Park, Newcastle, on Aug. 11. Groups of up to five people were seated at one of 500 viewing spaces to watch musician Sam Fender perform.
Social distancing will be continue to be enforced upon guests’ arrival, the company said. Cars will be parked with a 2 meter distance from each other, and the concert attendees will be guided to their personal viewing areas — also distanced 2 meters apart — by staff.
“Our managers will be making sure that our teams are delivering the highest quality service at all times,” read the official website for the venue. “We take safety first and will be providing a comfortable and clean experience for all that attend the events.”
The organizers also expressed their thanks to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) staff and front-line workers, and announced that they will be giving away a limited number of free tickets for key care workers.
This is certainly not the first development within the entertainment industry to accommodate COVID-19 prevention measures.
Artists have been finding new ways to reach their audiences online amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On Aug. 7, the Weeknd performed a live, interactive virtual concert on TikTok, which pulled in more than 2 million unique viewers. Back in April, K-pop group BTS organized a series of all-online events that was meant to take the place of a canceled world tour. Over 50 million fans tuned in for one weekend.
Drive-in theaters have also become more popular entertainment venues as movie theaters remained closed. In July, Walmart announced it would convert 160 of its parking lots across the nation into makeshift drive-in theaters for screenings during the months of August through October.