Peter Kay has expressed his “disappointment” at having his shows at the new Co-Op Arena in Manchester postponed for the second time.

The 23,500-capacity venue, which is now the largest arena in the UK, was supposed to open with performances from the comedian on April 23 and 24. However, in recent days it has seen multiple gigs cancelled following numerous rows, controversy and teething problems in the build-up to the launch.

Kay’s shows – which were set to be the first official gigs held at the venue – were pushed back following a test gig with Rick Astley last weekend, with the organisers citing the arena’s power testing falling “a few days” behind schedule.

It was then confirmed earlier this morning (April 26) that an upcoming gig from The Black Keys – set for tomorrow – had been postponed as well, and the rescheduled Kay dates would be moved once again.


Kay’s gigs were set to be held on April 29 and 30 following the delay. They will now be taking place on May 23 and 24. The Black Keys’ show was pushed back from April 27 to May 15. All tickets remain valid for the new dates, and refunds will be issued to those who are no longer able to attend.

Following the news, Kay shared an update with fans, and expressed his disappointment at the news.

“My apologies once again but unfortunately the Co-op Live still isn’t ready and so, as yet, remains untested for a large-scale audience,” he wrote on X/Twitter. “Consequently, they are having to reschedule my two shows yet again (I know I can’t believe it either).”


In a statement from the venue, organisers said: “We have been undertaking an extensive protocol of testing critical procedures to ensure all areas are ready for fans. To ensure that we can run all shows safely, regretfully we have now had to take the decision to reschedule the planned The Black Keys and Peter Kay shows.”

It added: “We deeply appreciate the impact this will have on excited fans, and sincerely apologise for the inconvenience that this change will undoubtedly cause. Rescheduling Peter Kay and The Black Keys will give us the extra time we need to continue testing enhanced emergency communications and measures thoroughly.

“This is vital to satisfy the rigorous set of guidelines and protocols that are necessary for a venue of this size to ensure that our fans, artists and staff have the safest experience possible.”


The performances from Boogie Wit Da Hoodie (May 1) and Olivia Rodrigo (May 3, 4) are set to go ahead as planned.

Earlier this week, following the initial postponement of the comedian’s shows, organisers insisted they were “not embarrassed” by the postponements, saying they were now focused on “ensuring a consistent total power supply”.

That being said, yesterday (April 25) it was confirmed that Gary Roden, the boss of the new Co-Op Live Arena, had resigned following the ongoing issues.

Co-op Live on April 20, 2024 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Co-op Live)

Roden had come under fire in recent days for his comments about grassroots music venues, arguing that some smaller venues in the UK are “poorly run” and dismissed calls for a £1 ticket levy on all gigs arena-sized and above.

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 its launch, due to several logistical problems.

The struggle to open the venue also came to a head when 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.

Liam Gallagher, Take That, Nicki Minaj, Olivia Rodrigo and Keane are among the acts who have been announced to perform at the new venue in the coming months. It’ll also stage the 2024 MTV European Music Awards later this year.