Live & Touring

Concerts Are Back! Inside The First Socially Distanced Venue [VIDEO]

Remember concerts? A new 2,500-capacity venue in Newcastle, England has recently opened, allowing show-goers a strange (but seemingly effective) socially distanced format for viewing live music.

Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix

A new venue in England points to a promising, but different future for live music.

On August 11, a new venue opened in Newcastle, England. The Virgin Money Unity Arena is a 2,500-capacity concert space unlike any other. It’s the world’s first socially-distant venue, and it features 500 concert pods where fans can gather to see their favorite musician perform.

That’s right. People can see live music in large groups again. The performance looks the same as always, with bright lights and loud amplifiers, but the crowd is socially-distancing by design. Some believed such a feat was impossible, or that people wouldn’t be interested, but the Virgin Money Unity Arena’s first show was a total sell-out, and more are happening soon.

Virgin Money Unity Arena has shows planned throughout August and September, but the question remains: What will we do in winter? Countries in the northern hemisphere have two to three months before consumers won’t be willing to stand outside for live music. What happens then? Will more creative venues like the one in Newcastle emerge, or will live music be placed on a seasonal hold? Will people fight for shows, even if science tells us gathering in large groups is bad?

In this Music Biz News update, host James Shotwell discusses the venue and what it may tell us about the future of live music. He also looks ahead and questions whether or not similar spaces will exist when winter inevitably arrives.

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company’s podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.

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