Manchester’s Co-Op Live have revealed a new opening date and apologised for the number of recent concert cancellations.

The UK’s “largest in-door arena” has made the statement amongst its newest wave of concert cancellations, which has pushed back its opening week once again.

The venue was supposed to open with comedian Peter Kay on April 23 and 24, but after a test event featuring Rick Astley on April 22, his gigs were pushed back to the end of April, and now later this May. Then, the arena was supposed to see The Black Keys perform on April 27; their shows have now been moved to May 15.

Yesterday (May 1), the venue failed to launch again after it was forced to pull A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s show just 10 minutes after doors opened due to a “venue-related technical issue”. This was later confirmed to be a part of the air conditioning unit falling in the venue by a spokesperson for the venue; nobody was injured. Since the discovery of the malfunctioning unit, shows for Olivia Rodrigo, Keane, and Take That have all been confirmed to have been cancelled at the Co-Op Live.


Now, the Co-Op Live has addressed these cancellations in a formal statement, writing: “Ticket holders and fans, following the events that led to the cancelled A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie show on 1 May, we have decided to take a short pause to events at Co-Op Live to fully ensure the safety and security of fans and artists visiting the venue. This time will allow for an independent inspection of all elements of the arena ceiling.”

They went on to say that they “do not expect further impact on our opening season”, adding that they were “aware our actions have frustrated and angered ticket holders”. “We know you’ve incurred significant disruption, and are finding a way to help make it right. We are taking the pause to think about the best ways to do that.”


The venue added that the Co-Op Group has “expressed the importance of ensuring that the significant impact on ticketholders is recognised and addressed,” promising “more detail to follow soon”.

Tim Leiweke, Chairman and CEO of the Oak View Group (which manages the venue), also published his own statement. “As many of you will know, it’s not been the smooth start we had planned for, and I know that has caused a huge amount of disruption and frustration to thousands of people.”

“On behalf of all of us at Oak View Group, I’d like to express my sincere apologies to all those that have been affected. We understand that there is work to be done to rebuild your trust in us. This starts now and at the request of the naming rights partner, The Co-Op Group, we will be addressing impact on affected ticket holders, details of which will be shared soon.

He added: “I’d like to reiterate my sincerest apologises to everyone that has been affected by the delays around the opening of Co-Op Live. The team here is working incredibly hard to get the building up and running, and we look forward to welcoming you to the arena from 14 May 2024.”


So far, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie has been confirmed to go ahead at AO Arena and will take place on May 4. Take That also announced they were moving their May dates for the 7th, 10th, 11th and 12th to AO Arena, with a new date change for the 8th. Their June dates remain unaffected.

Olivia Rodrigo and Keane’s dates have both been postponed, with new dates to be announced soon.

The news comes amidst controversial statements made by the venue’s former executive director, who called grassroots venues “poorly run” after discussing the potential for an optional £1 levy to be applied to the arena. The money would go towards funding grassroots venues across the UK. The executive director has since resigned after the backlash to his comments, and the venue will reportedly meet with the Music Venue Trust to discuss the levy once it has officially opened.

In response, Mark Davyd, CEO of the Music Venue Trust, told NME that he believed Roden’s comments were “disrespectful and disingenuous”, while also highlighting the irony of making such “ill-judged, unnecessary and misleading” remarks on the week that their own venue was forced to postpone their own launch, due to a number of logistical problems.

“Fun facts of the morning: the new @TheCoopLive arena has 46 music events confirmed to take place this year so far,” he wrote. “The average age of the performers is 50 years old. 21.7 per cent of all the shows will be performed by artists over retirement age. 8.6 per cent of all the shows will be performed by artists under the age of 30. 17.3 per cent of all the shows will be performed by artists over the age of 75.”

He continued: “41.3 per cent of all the shows will feature a headline performance by a British artist. The average age of the British artists performing will be 52 years old. No British artist under 30 is confirmed to perform.

The delayed launch of the venue comes after Co-Op Live and the existing, 21-000 capacity AO Arena in the city came to blows in a licensing row. ASM Global, which operates the latter venue, objected over “public safety” concerns and accused the application for a licence as being “simply unlawful”.

Despite the row, the venue officially had its licence granted last month.