Sam Fender shares hopes for live music as he opens Virgin Money Unity Arena: "It will come back"

12 August 2020, 15:33 | Updated: 12 August 2020, 17:12

Sam Fender plays his first night at the At Virgin Money Unity Arena on Tuesday 11 August
Sam Fender is proud the first socially distanced UK venue is in his hometown. Picture: Thomas M Jackson/Redferns

The Geordie singer-songwriter spoke to Radio X ahead of his gig at the Virgin Money Unity Arena - the UK's first socially distanced venue - and shared his thoughts on the future of live music.

Sam Fender has shared his hope for gigs and live music, stressing that "we will get back to our lives".

The Hypersonic Missiles singer opened the Virgin Money Unity Arena this Tuesday 11 August - marking the first ever show at the UK's first socially distanced venue.

Speaking to Radio X ahead of the event, which took place in Newcastle's Gosforth Park, he said: "I just think the most important thing about today and about this time is reassuring people that this is going to end. 

“We will get back to our lives. We will be in fields, absolutely steaming, drinking lukewarm cider in the boiling sun, listening to some rock band”.

He added: “It will come back”.

READ MORE Sam Fender debuts new music at the Virgin Money Unity Arena

Sam Fender opened the Virgin Money Unity Arena on Tuesday 11 August
Sam Fender opened the Virgin Money Unity Arena on Tuesday 11 August. Picture: Thomas M Jackson/Redferns/Getty Images

PHOTOS: Inside the Virgin Money Unity Arena - The UK's first socially distanced venue

Talking about the setup of the open-air gig itself, he explained: We’ve got loads of platforms. There’s pens at the front and there’s five to six people per pen and obviously you go within your bubble."

Fender - who played a selection of hits and even treated fans to some new music - also shared his pride that he kicked off the first gigs of this kind, and that they took place on his home turf.

"I’m buzzing that we’ve been given the go-ahead by the government and I’m also buzzing that this is the first time it’s happening and it’s our region. It’s the North East, it’s Newcastle that’s doing it. I’m proud that the Geordies are being the trailblazers on this one.”

Sam Fender plays a second night at the open-air venue on Thursday 13 August.

Get the setlist for Sam Fender's gig at the Virgin Money Unity Arena on Tuesday 11 August:

1. Will We Talk?

2. Millennial

3. All Is on My Side

4. The Borders

5. 17 Going Under (New song)

6. Hold Out

7. Dead Boys

8. Spice

9. (Unknown) (New song)

10. Play God

11. Leave Fast (Solo)

12. Poundshop Kardashians (Solo to full band)

13. Saturday

14. The Kitchen (New song)

15. That Sound

16. Hypersonic Missiles

READ MORE: What inspired Sam Fender to write Hypersonic Missiles?

Latest On Radio X

British towns and the artists that came from them: Adele, Snow Patrol, Primal Scream and Catatonia

Britain's most musical towns and cities

Album cover landscapes... but which albums?

Can you identify these album cover landscapes?

Snow Patrol

Snow Patrol to headline Sounds of the City 2021

Leicester's Noisily Festival will return in 2021

Which small and boutique festivals are going ahead in 2021?

Mick Jagger in 1969, Kurt Cobain in 1992, David Bowie in 2000 and Prince in 1987

The best concert movies

The stars of 1994: Beastie Boys, Blur, Green Day and Soundgarden

Only a genius can get 10/10 on this 1994 lyric quiz