It’s been so long since we’ve been able to attend concerts that it’s hard to picture ever going back to the pre-coronavirus days of sweaty mosh pits and shoulder-to-shoulder crowds. It’s likely going to be a while before we get back to that carefree state — if ever.
The U.K. held an outdoor “socially distanced” concert on Tuesday, the country’s first since COVID-19 spread around the world. Approximately 2,500 fans gathered at Virgin Money Unity Arena in Gosforth Park, Newcastle, with a show by English singer-songwriter Sam Fender.
Images and video of the concert quickly went viral; instead of people standing side by side in a large mass, it featured 500 separate viewing areas, most on raised metal platforms. The areas are roughly six feet apart and can accommodate up to five people, all of whom must arrive in the same vehicle.
The venue’s website lists a number of rules about food and drink — that must be pre-ordered on phones — and a physically distanced queuing system for entering the arena after parking.
Guests are also not permitted to leave the platforms unless they’re going to use the bathrooms, which can be found at the end of each row of viewing areas.
Social media users seemed to embrace the idea, saying the concept of distanced concerts is appealing.
am i that much of an old man that i think this looks preferable to an actual festival? https://t.co/sLQAs0oQCS
— hermione (@thorlokid) August 12, 2020
oh no everybody at the concert can see the stage and has a clear path to the bathroom and is pretty much in VIP this is horrible! https://t.co/x6Hzp0m1WF
— maurice (@tallmaurice) August 12, 2020
I know I just said I miss being in a disgusting pit of strangers a few days ago but I changed my mind, I want this to be the new normal for no reason other than easy pizza and alcohol delivery https://t.co/FEaKuLzqgw
— ✨✨✨ (@glitter_gIue) August 11, 2020
As of this writing, there are no venues in Canada currently offering this option, though some concerts have been held at drive-in theatres to great success.
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