AN impressive line-up of bands, DJs and comedians has been unveiled for the UK's first socially distanced live music arena which opens in the North-East this summer.

Following last week's announcement that the innovative Virgin Money Unity Arena will officially launch at Newcastle Racecourse, Gosforth Park, in August, organisers have revealed the first wave of acts to perform- and tickets go on sale at 10am this Friday, July 10.

Two Door Cinema Club will be the first heavyweight headliner to perform at the new arena on Saturday, August 15, after funk and soul DJ maestro Craig Charles kickstarts the party on Friday, August 14.

Before that, the legendary actor, host and broadcaster Craig Charles, one of the UK’s most beloved Funk and Soul DJs will get things underway on the Friday. From Robot Wars to Red Dwarf, Craig has now grounded himself as a Funk and Soul icon after ten years of broadcasting on BBC 6 Music with their primetime Saturday night show.

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 today by festival organisers SSD Concerts, with a strong emphasis on providing entertainment that has a breadth of variety.

This includes a performance from indie icons Supergrass on Saturday, 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 Thursday, August 27.

In a major coup for the venue, London rockers The Libertines, led by Pete Doherty and his sidekick Carl Barât will take centre stage on Saturday, August 29.

This will be followed by award-winning comedy from Jason Manford on Sunday, August 30 August and Bill Bailey on Tuesday, September 1 and Wednesday, September 2.

North-East indie stars Maxïmo Park, renowned for blistering festival performances by frontman Paul Smith, will make a welcome return to the region on Saturday, September 5.

Festival organiser Steve Davis 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.”

Tickets for Virgin Money Unity Arena are available via this link from 10am on Friday, July 10