• The Hey Mate Project

Sam Fender and The Future of Socially Distant Gigs

In 2020 its fair to say that there has been lot of strange, weird and wonder shit happening but, when a photo of Sam Fenders only gig of 2020 surfaced on the internet although it was in his words "bonkers" it gave music lovers a opportunity to smile at the possibility of live music returning to their lives socially distanced and all.



(Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)


2500 Fans in groups of up to five people watched the show from 500 separate raised metal platforms.


”Am absolutely buzzing for this, getting the band and crew back together for probably our only gig of the year,” he said in a statement. To be honest, it was like playing to the biggest human cattle market. It looked crazy,” he says. “There was plenty of space between each one, and ... security was just kind of keeping an eye on the odd few people who try to go crazy at the end. But it was pretty amicable and it seemed very safe and coordinated.”


Gig goers were required to wear face masks when they entered the venue and walked around. A system was also set up for guests to pre-order food and drinks to avoid long lines.





In an interview with NME said "“I’m so proud of it. I’m proud that it’s our region that’s done it and proud that it’s the Geordies that are the trailblazers. I hope that it can keep going because people are dying for live music and I’m happy to play in whatever capacity we possibly can until this all blows over. There was only 2500 people in a space that would usually fit 20,000 and it still felt enormous because people were screaming louder than they usually would and they needed it. It’s wonderful, so I hope we can keep it going.”


“I think everybody was just dying to have that communal feeling of being galvanized by live music,” he says. “And everyone just singing as one was enough to give us all a bit of euphoria in this really difficult, weird time that we live in.”


Before the coronavirus pandemic forced most of the world to shut down, Fender was about to embark on his largest arena tour in the U.K. and then record in New York City. He says he felt like he reached the “pinnacle” of his career so far and then everything stopped.

“Creatively, it was quite hard to kind of remain focused when I was just sitting in my hometown,” he says. “But we just got to look forward.”

Playing the socially distanced concert gave him new hope during a “pretty somber” time, Fender says.


“We were playing. They were singing. They were all drunk. The British weather came out and rained on us all. It felt like a gig, felt like I was at a festival, so I was really happy,” he says. “I think it's good that we've got something to at least look forward to while we're waiting for this pandemic to go away and eventually disappear, hopefully.”


Here's to getting live gigs back, any way, any how.


©2020 by The Hey Mate Project.