UK's first socially-distanced arena gig sees 2500 fans party in separate pods

Stunning photos of the UK's first attempt at a socially-distanced arena concert punters enjoying the show from individual pods of no more than five people each. 

Singer/songwriter Sam Fender played to a sold-out crowd of 2500 fans in Newcastle amid the COVID-19 pandemic, all of whom occupied the 500 elevated platforms spaced 2 metres apart. 

Concert-goers were asked to wear masks during the event and avoid moving between sections, with many taking to social media to praise the organisation of the event. 

Rock artist Fender told the BBC before the show that he would "miss the moshpits," but was sure they would be back, and in the meantime, thought it was "fantastic" the Newcastle area was leading the way in making live events possible during the coronavirus pandemic. 

"It’s not going to be the same as a gig you would normally have, but we've got to do what we can do," he said. 

The make-shift open-air venue is called the Virgin Money Unity Arena, and is situated on the grounds of a racing track with plenty of wide-open space. Vulture said the amphitheatre "sure looked better than nothing", while social media users noted the private seating arrangements would benefit those with anxiety disorders and lessen incidents of sexual harassment at gigs. 

Fender's show is the first of a series of events that will see Van Morrison, Maximo Park and comedians Jimmy Carr and Bill Bailey take the stage at the new venue.