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Final Virgin Money Unity Arena shows cancelled due to new Covid measures

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!”

Event organiser, Steve Davis.

In light of the official announcement that new local lockdown measures will be introduced with immediate effect in the North East due to the rapid rise of Covid-19 cases in the region, event organisers SSD Concerts have made the decision that the final shows at Virgin Money Unity Arena will sadly no longer go ahead. 

This decision has been made to comply with formal measures set to be announced across the North East.

These include Jack Savoretti (Friday 18th September), the recently announced Kaiser Chiefs (Sat 19th September), Bongo’s Bingo (the afternoon of Sat 19th September) and Declan McKenna (Sunday 20th September). The show featuring Chase & Status tonight (Thursday 17th September) will go ahead as planned. 

Virgin Money Unity Arena has made headlines throughout the world thanks to its socially distanced take on live entertainment at a time when no major live events were taking place in the United Kingdom.

Since opening its doors with two back to back sell-out shows featuring local hero Sam Fender back in August, the arena has gone on to host a swathe of heavyweight household names including Van Morrison, The Libertines, comedian Jimmy Carr, Ronan Keating and pop megastar Becky Hill.

Event organiser Steve Davis, explains:

“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.

Since opening its doors with Sam Fender on 13th August, as the world's first and only outdoor socially distanced arena, Virgin Money Unity Arena has: 

  • Entertained over 50,000 People

  • Employed a crew & staff of over 200 people giving some work to a beleaguered music industry

  • Gave a platform to new and emerging artists including Heidi, Mosa Wild, Andrew Cushin, Beth Macari and Bare Roots.

  • Provided a safe environment to enjoy live entertainment

  • Allowed artists to perform live at a time when the music industry is effectively closed.

For more information about Virgin Money Unity Arena visit

*Refunds for any cancelled shows will be available at point of purchase.

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