Olivia Rodrigo’s Manchester Co-op Live gigs cancelled as venue faces fresh chaos

Olivia Rodrigo’s Manchester Co-op Live gigs cancelled as venue faces fresh chaos
  • PublishedMay 2, 2024

The new venue will be the UK’s largest arena when it is fully open, but it’s so far suffered numerous setbacks with Olivia Rodrigo’s weekend gigs the latest among multiple last-minute cancellations to leave fans disappointed.

The new Co-op Live in Manchester has been hit by further problems before it’s even fully opened – with tonight’s gig cancelled and two events this weekend postponed.

Concertgoers were supposed to have been allowed into the arena at 6.30pm tonight and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie was due to perform at 8pm, according to the venue’s website.

However, a post on the venue’s social media at 6.40pm told fans the gig had been cancelled, after fans had started to gather.

Those planning to go to Olivia Rodrigo‘s dates at the arena this weekend immediately shared concerns over whether they would go ahead and, within hours, their fears were confirmed.

Co-Op Live Arena in Manchester
Pic: Cover Images/AP
Image:Co-op Live Arena in Manchester. Pic: Cover Images/AP

“Due to an ongoing venue-related technical issue, the scheduled performances of Olivia Rodrigo’s Guts World Tour on May 3 and 4 May are being postponed,” the venue said in a statement on X.

“Ticket holders can either hold onto their tickets or obtain a refund at point of purchase.”

Her Co-op Live gigs were two of the 10 UK dates on her European and US tour. The new dates are yet to be announced.

Olivia Rodrigo poses on the red carpet as she attends the 66th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 4, 2024. Pic: Reuters
Image:Olivia Rodrigo at the Grammys in February. Pic: Reuters

In an Instagram post after A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s last-minute cancellation, the US rapper said issues were down to “something [that] happened with the venue while I was at soundcheck”.

“We are working on rescheduling in the next few days,” he added. “I’m heated about the situation too, but safety first.

“Manchester, I got you. Just stay tuned for further info.”

Venue bosses said the issue arose during a soundcheck when a component of the venue’s heating and ventilation system separated from the ductwork.

“There was nobody injured. Although we believe this to be an isolated incident caused by a factory defect, we were not able to verify that all similar nozzles were free of such defects,” Oak View Group said in a statement.

“In conjunction with wider stakeholders, Oak View Group has made the necessary call to ensure the full safety of all visitors to the venue, and to postpone the performance.”

They said independent inspectors would now test all similar nozzles and that organisers would work with music managers and promoters to “limit the impact on the opening season schedule”.

“Where necessary, we will identify alternate dates, and will continually reassess to provide fans with sufficient notice regarding imminent shows.

“Should shows be cancelled or rescheduled, fans will be contacted by their point of purchase and offered a full refund where preferred.”

Tim Leiweke, Chairman and CEO, Oak View Group, who developed Co-Op Live in partnership with the City Football Group, said they could not run any event until it was “absolutely safe to do so”.

“It was a very unexpected situation but without a doubt the right decision. I deeply apologise for the impact that this has had on ticket holders and fans,” Mr Leiweke said.

Co-Op Live bosses had sought to reassure fans that tonight’s show would go ahead and shared instructions for attendees just hours before the cancellation.

With a capacity of 23,500, the Co-op Live will be the UK’s largest arena when it’s fully open and was built at an estimated cost of £365m.

Headaches for the venue became clear last month when the capacity at a test event was reduced with just hours’ notice.

Rick Astley had been due to perform to 11,000 arena workers and VIPs on 21 April but at the last minute, thousands of people saw their tickets cancelled.

File pic: PA
File photo dated 23/04/22 of Peter Kay who has announced his return to stand-up comedy with his first live tour in 12 years. Kay fans faced huge online queues as they attempted to secure tickets for his first tour in 12 years. Many reported seeing messages on the Ticketmaster website telling them there were more than 200,000 people ahead of them in the virtual line. Issue date: Saturday November 12, 2022.
Image:Peter Kay was supposed to be Co-op Live’s opening act before his stand-up shows were postponed last month. File pic: PA

The venue was due to fully open with Peter Kay stand-up shows on 23 and 24 April, but these dates were pushed back too amid behind-schedule tests and safety concerns.

Kay’s fans were initially told the shows would take place just days later – but they were then postponed again, for a month’s time.

US rock duo The Black Keys were among the acts due to take to the stage during Co-op Live’s opening week. Their gig was previously pushed back to 15 May.

Co-op Live’s general manager Gary Roden announced his resignation last week following the initial setbacks.


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