Sam Fender to open Newcastle's Virgin Money Unity Arena in August 2020

29 July 2020, 17:47 | Updated: 10 August 2020, 19:24

Sam Fender is set to open the Virgin Money Unity Arena
Sam Fender is set to open the Virgin Money Unity Arena. Picture: Press

The Hypersonic Missiles singer will be the first act to play the UK's first socially distanced venue this August 2020.

Sam Fender has been confirmed as the opening act for the Virgin Money Unity Arena.

The Geordie singer-songwriter will be the first artist to perform at the UK's first socially distanced venue, taking to Newcastle's Gosforth Park on Tuesday 11 August and Thursday 13 August.

The Hypersonic Missiles singer will treat the fans to a full set at the venue this summer, which also promises to feature never heard before material from his eagerly anticipated second album.

Fender - who was nominated for an Ivor Novello award this month for his Dead Boys track - said of the news: "Absolutely buzzing for this, getting the band and crew back together for probably our only gig of the year. Apparently this is the first socially distanced show of its kind and it’s amazing to see the north east leading the way, it’s huge for the area. There’s a few hundred platforms with 5 people on each. Grab a few mates and let’s have a platform party!! We’re going to play a couple of brand new tunes too. Tickets on sale Friday!!!”

Get the full line-up here

Reacting to today's surprise announcement, festival organiser Steve Davis, said: "We are delighted to have a Geordie open the world's first socially distanced music venue.

"As well as promoting Sam we are massive fans of his music and it's been amazing to see him grow over the last few years. These shows will be special for everyone involved and we hope to get to hear some of the tracks he will have undoubtedly written during lockdown."

Louise Hodges, Head of Consumer Communications at Virgin Money, added: “It is incredibly fitting to have Sam Fender, a homegrown hero, open the Virgin Money Unity Arena – the UK’s first socially distanced venue. Sam is a welcome addition to an already extraordinary line-up of acts. What a way to start this amazing and innovative event, which aims to bring fans and the Newcastle community together over the shared love of music and entertainment this summer.”

See the Virgin Money Unity Arena line-up for August - September 2020

Tuesday 11 August - Sam Fender

Thurs 13 August - Sam Fender

Sat 15 August - Two Door Cinema Club

Sun 16 August - The Bootleg Beatles (afternoon show)

Sun 16 August - Adam Kay (evening show)

Wed 19 August - Rumours of Fleetwood Mac

Sat 22 August 2020 - Supergrass

Sun 23 August - Love at the Musicals feat. Collabro, Joe McElderry & Sophie Evans

Wed 26 Aug - Elvana

Thurs 27 August - Tom Grennan

Fri 28 August - Klub Kids: Summer Mania

Sat 29 August - The Libertines (afternoon and evening)

Sun 30 August - Bongo's Bingo (afternoon show)

Sun 30 August - Jason Manford

Mon 31 August – Jimmy Carr

Tues 1 September - Bill Bailey

Thursday 3 September – Van Morrison

Sat 5 September - Maximo Park

Wed 9 September – Craig Charles (*please note this date has changed from Friday 14th August)

Thursday 10 Sept– Alfie Boe

Friday 11 September – Ronan Keating

Sat 12 September – Bongo's Bingo

Sun 13 September – Becky Hill