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Socially distanced Unity Arena announces opening line-up

UK promoter SSD Concerts has announced the opening line-up for its new Unity Arena near Newcastle.

The 2,500-capacity venue – the first of its kind – ensures social distancing with a “parking-to-platform” system that sees concertgoers arrive by car and then proceed to a dedicated viewing platform located at least 2m from other viewing areas.

Unity Arena will open on 14 August with a DJ set by broadcaster Craig Charles, with the first live concert performance coming courtesy of Two Door Cinema Club the following night.

They are followed Supergrass on Saturday 22 August, Tom Grennan on Thursday 27 August, the Libertines on Saturday 29 August and Maximo Park on Saturday 5 September.

“We’re excited to be working with artists who have the same desire to make something happen during difficult times”

The first slate of programming also includes three comedy performances, from Jason Manford on 30 August and Bill Bailey on both 1 and 2 September.

Steve Davis of SSD Concerts, which – backed by sponsor Virgin Money and production company Engine No 4, is the driving force behind the arena – comments: “We’re excited to be working with artists who have the same desire to make something happen during difficult times for the industry and the general public.

“The rock’n’roll, can-do attitude of the artists performing and the team behind Virgin Money Unity Arena will make these shows ones to remember for the rest of our lives.

“We were determined to make this special, and hopefully today’s line-up is a strong statement of intent. We’re not finished yet and we’ll be announcing yet more acts soon.”

 


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Tramlines names Nulty stage in honour of late director

The main stage at Sheffield’s Tramlines festival will be renamed ‘Nulty’s Main Stage’ to honour the festival’s late co-founder and director, Sarah Nulty.

Nulty helped to found Tramlines in 2009 and became festival director in 2013. She died aged 36, just three weeks before the festival’s tenth anniversary, following a short illness.

“Sarah was the driving force behind the festival, so it felt completely fitting to rename the main stage in her honour and as a memorial for everything she’s done for us,” comments festival organiser, Danielle Gigg.

“We will continue to raise money for Weston Park Cancer Charity and Cavendish Cancer Care who both helped her so much.”

“Sarah was the driving force behind the festival, so it felt completely fitting to rename the main stage in her honour”

Last year, Tramlines raised £30,000 for the cancer charities through the sale of ‘Be More Nulty’ merchandise. The festival will continue to pay tribute to its co-founder this year through the merchandise, as well as the return of ‘Nulty’s Bar’.

Since her passing, Nulty has received several prizes for her contribution to the industry including an Outstanding Contribution Award from the Association of Independent Festivals and a Civic Award from the Lord Mayor of Sheffield. A memorial plaque was also unveiled on the original site of the Tramlines main stage.

The UK Festival Awards honoured Nulty with an Outstanding Contribution to Festivals Award and created a new category, the ‘Sarah Nulty Women in Festivals Award’.

Tramlines 2019 takes place from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 July. Headliners include Two Door Cinema Club, the Courteeners and Nile Rodgers and Chic. The festival moved to 40,000 capacity Hillsborough Park last year.

 


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