The Virgin Money Unity Arena opened in Gosforth Park, Newcastle in August, touting itself as the UK's first "dedicated socially distanced music venue" and hosting shows from Supergrass, The Libertines, Two Door Cinema Club, Frank Turner, Van Morrison (who has criticized socially distant concerts), and more. A month later, however, the venue is being forced to close, because of an uptick in new coronavirus cases in the area, and new, stricter measures that are being implemented to fight them.
In a message on Instagram, they write:
In light of the announcement that new local lockdown measures will be introduced in the North East our upcoming weekend of shows can no longer go ahead.
This evening's Chase & Status show will be the last show in 2020 at the Virgin Money Unity Arena. All ticket holders for cancelled shows will be contacted regarding a refund.
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 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.
As Sky News reports, the new restrictions include a 10 PM curfew for bars and pubs, and a ban on people socializing in person with others from outside their household.
Supergrass were just getting ready to head to the US for reunion shows in April when coronavirus struck. Watch a few videos from their socially distanced Newcastle show below.