Sam Fender starts Gosforth Park socially distanced gigs

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David Wala

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Five hundred mini enclosures, each holding five people, have been set out in Gosforth Park, home of Newcastle Racecourse

The first in a series of socially distanced gigs will take place in a Newcastle park this evening.

Concert-goers at Gosforth Park will get their own viewing platforms and be able to order food and drinks to reduce the risk of the spread of coronavirus.

The 500 mini enclosures, two metres apart, each hold five people.

Brit Awards winner Sam Fender, who is from North Tyneside, is headlining the first gig, with the 2,500 tickets selling out in minutes.

Other acts lined up for August and September include Maximo Park, The Libertines and Van Morrison.

Organised by Virgin Money and SSD Concerts, the gigs will have a one-way system in place and food and drink can be pre-ordered to avoid queuing.

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Getty Images

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The 2,500 tickets for the Sam Fender gig sold out within minutes

Steve Davis from SSD Concerts said the platforms gave “a great view of the stage” but would keep people apart.

“As you can see it’s a vast site – 45,000 sq metres, the equivalent of over six football pitches, which is crazy,” he said.

“On a normal day you can get 45,000 people in here, but our capacity for the gigs will be 2,500.

“We’ve also got lots more toilets than we would usually have for normal festivals to keep people apart.

“Hopefully groups together on their platforms in their own bubbles will have a good time and still get the vibe of a really good concert experience.”

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More portable toilets have been put on site to keep gig-goers apart as much as possible, organisers say

Plans for a series of drive-in concerts across the country were were cancelled in July due to uncertainties over local lockdowns.

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