Showsec Provides Services to UK’s First Dedicated Socially Distanced Music Venue- Unity Arena

21 August 2020

August saw the start of a series of events at Virgin Money Unity Arena in Newcastle, the UKs first purpose built outdoor temporary arena venue, which is holding the largest scale public events so far in 2020.

The 2500 capacity Arena is located at Newcastle Racecourse in Gosforth Park and is innovatively set up with 500 viewing platforms.

Social distancing is at the core of the production from arrival, where customers are allocated arrival times to ensure there is adequate distancing on the walk from the carpark, to the entrance where they queue through an innovative chevron barrier configuration. They are then guided to their platform which holds up to five customers and each being separated by a two-metre distance.

Working alongside one of the largest independent live events promoters SSD Concerts, Showsec’s involvement started in early June and included involvement in the design process, looking at distancing aspects, site visits, and participation in SAG meetings to ensure the site was in line with government guidance and providing expertise so the events can go ahead safely.

Showsec is responsible for search, along with crowd management and customer service including directing customers to their personal viewing platforms and helping with social distancing.

Steve Davis, Managing Director for SSD commented, “It’s been a pleasure to work with Showsec on what is the world’s first socially distanced dedicated live music venue. The parameters are different to what we are used to, but the team have responded well to everything that has been thrown at them. We look forward to continue to make this the safe environment and success story we all needed it to be from the outset.”

Engine No 4 have been appointed by SSD to provide technical production, site and operation management. EN4 Operations Manager, Kate Doyle, said, “The Showsec team have been incredibly valuable to the planning and ongoing safe running of the Virgin Money Unity Arena. They have been involved from the outset and their experience and expertise has been crucial in bringing ours and SSD’s vision to life. Showsec are a trusted delivery partner to Engine No 4 and we look forward to continuing to work with them.”

Tom Bailey, Regional Manager for the North East, Tony Hume, Area Manager for Newcastle and Scott Lowerson, Operations Executive for Newcastle are leading Showsec’s management for the events. Tom added, “This is a great opportunity to be involved in this step towards the reopening of the live events industry. Nothing of this scale has taken off so far and we are proud to be a part of something that could pave the way to reopening the industry.”

With overwhelmingly positive feedback for the events, local artist Sam Fender opened the venue with two sold out shows on the 11th and 13th August followed by Two Door Cinema Club who played two shows on Saturday 15th, and 4 more weeks of music, comedy and more are scheduled!

For more information about Unity Arena please visit their website: