Are these private VIP boxes the future of live concerts?

This concert venue may have a very important solution to live music in the coronavirus era.

About 2,500 people watched Sam Fender perform from 500 individual VIP-like platforms and pens in one of the UK’s first properly social-distanced concerts.

The outdoor show on August 11 was held at the Virgin Money Unity Arena, in Gosforth Park, Newcastle, where the private platforms and pens were all spaced about 6 feet apart. Boxes like these could be the future of live music, as COVID-19 limits the gathering of large groups, potentially for years.

“We are delighted to play a part in bringing back live music events as we start to emerge from lockdown,” Helen Page, group brand and marketing director at Virgin Money, told the BBC.

Fans gather in private VIP-like boxes at the Sam Fender rock concert at the Virgin Money Unity Arena on August 11.


Each pen was spaced out about 6 feet.


The venue sold out of tickets in minutes, the BBC reported. Next up at the arena will be Sir Van Morrison and Maxïmo Park.

Other venues have looked to drive-in concerts as a potential solution for entertaining safely, including one in the Hamptons featuring the Chainsmokers that was later described as a “fiasco.”

The Virgin Money Unity Arena scene, captured on video by Kieron Donoghue, was a stark contrast to events here in the states, where ’90s Shrek-rock band Smash Mouth performed for a definitely-not-social-distanced crowd of thousands in South Dakota. Photos showed a packed, mostly mask-less crowd.

“We’re all here together tonight! F - - k that COVID shit!” Smash Mouth frontman Steve Harwell, 53, said onstage, earning cheers from the crowd at the biker-friendly festival.

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