Virgin Money Unity Arena line up for socially distanced live events

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As part of its launch summer programme, organisers have today confirmed that blues-folk icon Van Morrison, internationally renowned comedian Jimmy Carr and Boyzone legend Ronan Keating will join the line-up at this summer's Virgin Money Unity Arena on Tyneside.

Musical theatre fans are also in for a treat with the confirmation that Love at The Musicals – a celebration of some of the greatest musical theatre love songs of all time – featuring local boy Joe McElderry, Collabro (BGT Winners) and Sophie Evans (BBC Over The Rainbow Finalist), will roll into Newcastle on Sunday 23rd August.

Having received global attention, the UK's first socially distanced live music arena is proud to announce its second round of entertainment, with many more cross-genre dates to be added.

Today's announcement also brings a further six acts to the August bill including the world-famous tribute band The Bootleg Beatles (16th August), comedian and author Adam Kay (16th August), Rumours of Fleetwood Mac (19th August), the “Elvis” fronted Nirvana tribute band Elvana (26th August),  'Klub Kids: Summer Mania' - (28th August). KLUB KIDS PRESENTS: SUMMER MANIA - (Featuring Trixie Matell, Baga Chipz, Atomic Kitten and many more), and Bongo's Bingo on 30th August (afternoon show).

Since 2013, Klub Kids have produced the biggest Drag shows in the UK and Europe. Klub Kids fast became the most respected and sought-after company in the business. Working closely with the stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race, creating shows with fan favourites such as Alyssa Edwards, Trixie Matell, Katya, Vanessa Vanjie, Todrick Hall and Baga Chipz.

Klub Kids are thrilled to be producing it’s very first covid-safe show, featuring a line up taking things to the next level! Join: Trixie Matell, Baga Chipz, Atomic Kitten, Sam and the Womp, Kelly Lorena, Channy Thompson, Danny Beard and Ginny Lemon in an event like no other!

Today's announcement also follows the news that The Libertines have added an extra matinee show to their appearance date of Saturday 29th August.

September will see musical theatre star and the internationally acclaimed tenor Alfie Boe head to Tyneside (10th September), followed by Ronan Keating (11th September), an instalment of the much-loved spectacle that is Bongo's Bingo (12th September), and singer-songwriter Becky Hill  (13th September).

Van Morrison (OBE) - who will perform at Virgin Money Unity Arena on Thursday 3rd September – needs little introduction. 

Born in 1945 Van heard his Shipyard worker father’s collection of blues, country and gospel early in life. Feeding off musical greats such as Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Muddy Waters, Mahalia Jackson and Leadbelly he was a travelling musician at 13 and singing, playing guitar and sax, in several bands, before forming Them in 1964.

Making their name at Belfast’s Maritime Club, Them soon established Van as a major force in the British R&B scene. Morrison’s matchless vocal and songwriting talents produced instant classics such as the much-covered ‘Gloria’ and ‘Here Comes The Night’. 

Those talents found full astonishing range in Van’s solo career. After working with Them’s New York producer Bert Berns on beautiful Top 40 pop hit ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ (1967), Morrison moved to another realm with one of the albums of the century, Astral Weeks, released in 1968. Still touring, performing his hits live and releasing albums regularly, Morrison is regarded as one of the finest singer-songwriters the world has ever produced and is a worthy addition to the Virgin Money Unity Arena line-up. 

Meanwhile, the household name that is Jimmy Carr is coming to Newcastle on Monday 31st August, which will no doubt prove to be exciting news for comedy fans who are desperate for a live laugh this summer. 

Carr is bringing his 'Terribly Funny tour' to the region, having reportedly sold 400,000 tickets to his shows over the past 18 months. 

Famed for his close-to-the-bone quips and dark sense of humour, the comic and host of UK quiz show 8 Out of 10 Cats is said to be excited about finally returning to the stage. 

Virgin Money Unity Arena will officially launch at Newcastle Racecourse, Gosforth Park, on Saturday 15th August 2020 with Irish indie legends Two Door Cinema Club. 

Speaking about today's announcement, Helen Page, Group Brand and Marketing Director at Virgin Money, said: “This innovative and completely unique outdoor programme aims to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for fans. We’re thrilled to announce more fantastic talent are joining the impressive line-up of both musicians and comedians, including one of the all-time greats Van Morrison, and are looking forward to getting the events under way next month.”

Festival Organiser Steve Davis, added: “We've been blown away by the response we've had regarding Virgin Money Unity Arena throughout the world. We're proud to be hosting an event with this kind of vision and reach on Tyneside.

“With all eyes on the North East this summer, we hope this second announcement has everyone excited.

“To have acts of the calibre of Van Morrison and Jimmy Carr is amazing. And with more exciting announcements on the way, the UK's first socially distanced live arena is set to provide the very best in live music, comedy and family fun this summer.”

Tickets for the newly confirmed events at Virgin Money Unity Arena will be on sale Wednesday 29th July at 10 am.

Published on 03 August 2020 by Ben Robinson

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