Following last week’s announcement that the UK’s first socially distanced live music arena would be launching on Tyneside, its organiser has confirmed its opening line-up.

Virgin Money Unity Arena will officially launch at Newcastle Racecourse, Gosforth Park, on August 14 and 15.

Two Door Cinema Club will be the first heavyweight headliner to perform at the new arena on August 15, with funk and soul DJ Craig Charles kickstarting events on August 14.

Speaking about the announcement, Helen Page, group brand and marketing director at Virgin Money, said: “We are thrilled to announce such a strong line-up of both musicians and comedians performing at the Virgin Money Unity Arena. We are excited to bring this innovative music event to the public for what we believe will be the best live experience this summer.”

Hot on the heels of the Virgin Money Unity Arena opening weekend, a further six dates have also been released by festival organiser SSD Concerts, with a strong emphasis on providing entertainment that has a breadth of variety.

This includes a performance from indie icons Supergrass (August 22) and, looking ahead towards the end of August 2020 and the beginning of September, solo vocal star Tom Grennan will roll into Tyneside on August 27.

London rockers The Libertines, led by Pete Doherty and his sidekick Carl Barât will take centre stage on August 29 followed by a blast of award-winning comedy from Jason Manford (August 30) and Bill Bailey on September 1 and 2. Maxïmo Park will play on September 5.

Steve Davis, festival organiser, said: “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.”