The U.K.’s first socially distanced outdoor concert venue has hosted its debut show, as the Virgin Money Unity Arena in Newcastle, England, welcomed 2,500 music fans for a performance by rising rocker Sam Fender yesterday.

The venue’s creation was announced in July, with promoters promising a safe concert option in these COVID times.

"The arena is designed to keep you safe, with organized parking and a socially distanced queuing system into the arena where you will be directed to your personal area," SSD Concerts wrote on Facebook. The parent company also unveiled a concept illustration at the time, showing a stage facing a large open lawn, with numerous raised platforms containing room for small groups to watch the show.

New pictures posted to social media show the real-life execution was very similar to that initial mock-up. A total of 500 platforms were spread throughout the viewing area, with each one allowing a maximum of five people.

The angle of each platform was also taken into account, with those closer to the stage lying flat, while those further away were placed at an angle. This design allowed fans clear lines of sight to the stage, regardless of which platform they were assigned.

Additional safety precautions included hand-sanitizer stations placed throughout the area and staggered entry times to assure groups would not assemble prior to entering the location. Attendees were also able to pre-order drinks via the venue’s website, eliminating the need to line up for concessions.

Based on the feedback posted to social media, the event was a resounding success. Check out pictures and videos from the concert below.


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