Virgin Money Unity Arena brings early end to shows in light of new lockdown rules in North East

17 September 2020, 14:32 | Updated: 17 September 2020, 14:39

Sam Fender Performs At Virgin Money Unity Arena
Sam Fender played the first show at the Virgin Money Unity Arena . Picture: Thomas M Jackson/Redferns/Getty Images

The home of the UK's first socially distanced venue will close its doors early due to new local lockdown measures in the North East.

The Virgin Money Unity Arena has announced an early end to their string of shows amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The UK's first socially distanced arena - which was launched in August by Sam Fender and played host to the likes of Van Morrison, Becky Hill and The Libertines at Newcastle's Gosforth Park - will now cut short its remaining performance schedule.

The decision was made to comply with formal measures set to be announced across the North East.

The shows which will now no longer go ahead include Jack Savoretti (Friday 18 September), the recently announced Kaiser Chiefs (Sat 19 September), Bongo’s Bingo (the afternoon of Sat 19th September) and Declan McKenna (Sunday 20 September).

Tonight’s show featuring Chase & Status will go ahead as planned.

READ MORE: Sam Fender debuts new music at the Virgin Money Unity Arena, the UK's first socially distanced gig

Watch what happened when Sam Fender opened the shows in August:

Event organiser Steve Davis, explained: "It is extremely disappointing to have to cancel these final shows at the end of what has been an incredible six week run of successfully socially-distanced concerts.  We're honoured to have been able to provide a little happiness and joy to thousands of music and comedy fans throughout the region and the UK in what has been such a tough 2020 for everyone.

“We have complied with all government guidance to ensure the safety and enjoyment of our audience, artists and crew throughout. We’d like to thank all who attended these genuinely heart warming and uplifting events. For the last six weeks, Newcastle has been the leading light for the live music industry and for that, we should all be very proud.

“Unfortunately, due to the rise of infection in the North East, we must comply with the council’s and the government’s latest advice. This should not take away from the fact that the people of the North East and from all over the world have embraced this pioneering run of shows.

"On behalf of everyone involved – our sponsors Virgin Money, Newcastle City Council, the dedicated crew and staff who have worked so hard to make this a success – again I thank you so much. Sadly, the new lockdown measures will bring an end to our run, but the safety and the wellbeing of the people of the North East is our prime and utmost concern."

READ MORE: What the UK's first socially distanced gig looks like