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Socially Distant Concerts Look Pretty Fun, TBH

(Photo above by Pien Muller via Unsplash)

If you’re like me, you’ve been dying to go to a concert as of late and being denied the chance to attend any all summer has been agonizing. It’s not like I was even one of those people that attends concerts and music festivals all the time or anything. But I haven’t been to one in almost two years, and spending four hours listening to my favorite music and not thinking about anything other than how well I can see the stage seems really fun to me right now.

Maybe you’ve seen this picture floating around social media this week.

It’s from a Sam Fender concert in Newcastle, England. The concert, held in the Virgin Money Unity Arena, is widely credited as the world’s first socially distant concert. The venue held 2,500 attendees, seating groups of five or fewer on their own individual platforms, spaced apart from other groups.

Besides offering a fun respite to the never ending monotony of COVID life, let me break down why this setup seems so enticing. First, the people are all sitting. I’m short and get frustrated when I’m seated behind a tall person only to be looking at their back for the whole night. And in this arrangement, you don’t have to worry about getting tired from standing and jumping for hours on end.

Secondly, since you’re sectioned off into groups, you’ll never have to be uncomfortably close to a stranger. (This is a perk of the entire pandemic — I’m loving having my personal space ensured whenever I’m in public.) At this type of concert, you’ll only be close to the people you came with. The ideal setup, honestly.

Finally, the platforms allow your group to sit in a circle instead of in a straight line of stadium seats. You can more easily talk to everyone in your group instead of shouting over everyone else when you have something to say to your friend three seats down from you. This also makes for better group photos.

I’m not sure venues in the U.S. could do something like this anytime soon, since we seem to do everything other countries are doing except worse when it comes to COVID safety. We especially shouldn’t be trusted after that horribly-conceived Chainsmokers concert in the Hamptons. So for now I will look wistfully at the photos from the U.K. concert and daydream about living in a world where I can go to one of those.

  • Would you go to a socially distant concert?

    • Of course!
    • No, looks lame
    • Maybe – if it’s not in the US

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Written by Abby Sacks

Student at the University of Virginia studying Psychology and Media Studies. When not writing or hanging out with my cat, can be found watching too much bad TV and being too old for TikTok but enjoying it anyway.

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