Take That move shows from Manchester’s Co-op Live venue over ‘ongoing technical issues’

Take That move shows from Manchester’s Co-op Live venue over ‘ongoing technical issues’
  • PublishedMay 3, 2024

It is the latest setback for the £365m, 23,500-capacity venue, which is now taking “a short pause” after being forced to postpone its opening numerous times and which has so far only managed to stage a test event featuring Rick Astley.

Take That say they are switching their Manchester shows this month from the new Co-op Live venue to a different arena in the city.

The British pop group wrote on X: “Given the ongoing technical issues around the opening of Co-op Live we have taken the difficult decision to move our May shows to the AO Arena.”This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but we wanted to give our fans as much notice as possible.”

All of their Manchester shows this month have been moved and are on the same dates as before apart from 8 May which has been switched to 9 May.

Two planned shows at the 23,500-capacity Co-op Live in June were unaffected, the group said.

On Thursday, British rock band Keane, who were due to play there on Sunday, said they were “absolutely gutted” to cancel the gig because of “ongoing technical issues beyond our control. We are doing all we can to reschedule the show.”

PABest A view of the Co-op Live arena in Manchester. The £365 million venue, the biggest indoor arena in the UK, has postponed its opening numerous times after rescheduling performances from Peter Kay, The Black Keys, and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, as well as shows by Olivia Rodrigo scheduled for this Friday and Saturday. Picture date: Thursday May 2, 2024.
Image:The Co-op Live arena in Manchester. Pic: PA

The £365m music venue, which has postponed its opening numerous times, said it will be taking “a short pause to events” before welcoming members of the public to the arena from 14 May.

In a statement, Co-op Live put the latest delay down to an issue with the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system.

It said the pause would “fully ensure the safety and security of fans and artists” and allow for an “independent inspection of all elements of the arena ceiling”.

“At this time, we do not expect further impact on our opening season. We are aware our actions have frustrated and angered ticket holders.”

It comes after the UK’s biggest indoor arena was hit by problems before it had even opened – with scheduled gigs, including performances this Friday and Saturday by US singer Olivia Rodrigo – cancelled at short notice.

The three-time Grammy winner said in an Instagram story she was upset at the cancellations, adding: “We’re doing our best to reschedule the show.”

US rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie was scheduled to perform there on Wednesday, before his gig was cancelled with fans already starting to gather outside, leaving many furious.

He said on X on Thursday that his show had also been moved to the AO Arena on Saturday. He said: “We won’t give up that easy let’s go!”

It is understood a nozzle from the ventilation and air conditioning system fell to the ground from the ceiling shortly before he was due on stage.

No one was injured but the venue management decided to cancel the Bronx rapper’s show.

The main contractor for the arena, the construction firm BAM, said: “Unfortunately, in the run-up to last night’s concert, an issue arose that meant the difficult decision was made to cancel the event.

“We apologise for the inconvenience that this has caused for many. Our team continues to work diligently on completing works to the arena.”

Tim Leiweke, chairman and chief executive of US-based venue operator, Oak View Group (OVG), said: “We could not and will not run any event until it is absolutely safe to do so. I deeply apologise for the impact that this has had on ticket holders and fans.”

The Co-operative Group, which has reportedly paid up to £100m in a 15-year deal to have its name on the ill-fated arena, said it will seek a “full explanation” from OVG.

On Friday, Peter Kay, who was scheduled to be the first performer at the venue, said he had been forced to postpone his two shows for a second time.

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. File pic: PA

The comedian was originally due to perform on 23 and 24 April, but the gigs, which were first pushed back to 29 and 30 April – have since been delayed until 23 and 24 May.

The first gigs had to be postponed with less than 48 hours’ notice following a test event.

The Eagles, Janet Jackson and Eric Clapton are due to perform at the arena, but so far only a test event by Rick Astley has gone ahead.


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