Co-op Live postpones opening

Featured Image: Co-op Live

Co-op Live bosses have decided to postpone the opening of the new Manchester venue, following a weekend test event that saw fans left frustrated after having tickets cancelled.

The new venue was scheduled to officially open tomorrow (Tuesday) with a show from comedian Peter Kay, but this has now been postponed. The shows will instead take place on April 29 and 30.

In a statement on the postponement of the Peter Kay gigs, Co-op Live said: “Following our first test event on Saturday, regretfully we have made the difficult decision to reschedule our two opening performances by Peter Kay. These dates will move from 23 April and 24 April to Monday 29 and Tuesday 30 April.

“It is critical to ensure we have a consistent total power supply to our fully electric sustainable venue, the completion of which is a few days behind. Rescheduling gives us the extra time we need to continue testing thoroughly. This is vital to satisfy the rigorous set of guidelines and protocols that are necessary for a venue of this size.”

Ahead of the postponed official opening, the venue hosted a preview concert from artist Rick Astley on Saturday. However, organisers said they had to cut the capacity of the event in order to test the venue “effectively”.

Venue bosses also said that they were busy “putting the finishing touches” on the venue, and were in the “midst of an extensive protocol of testing critical procedures”.

A seperate statement from Co-op Live read: “We are looking forward to Co-op Live becoming the pre-eminent arena in the UK upon opening.

“As part of the opening process, we are in the midst of an extensive protocol of testing critical procedures. To enable us to test the spaces effectively, we have made the difficult decision to reduce overall capacity for the test event.”

The statement added that affected guests have been invited to watch a concert from US band The Black Keys next weekend, who are still set to perform despite the postponed opening.

According to a report from the BBC, around 11,000 guests were expected to attend the Rick Astley concert before the cancellations. The BBC added that there were a few teething problems, with some areas not quite ready and seating still closed, hand dryers in toilets not quite working and food running out.

With a capacity of 23,500, it is set to be the UK’s largest arena.

Once officially open, Co-op Live has a packed schedule of acts including Olivia Rodrigo, Pet Shops Boys, The Killers, Liam Gallagher and The Jonas Brothers, who were originally set to play in June but have rearranged for September.

The £365m (€423m/$450m) venue is a joint venture between Oak View Group and City Football Group, the parent company of Manchester City. It is located on the Etihad Campus, which also houses the English Premier League club’s 53,400-capacity Etihad Stadium.

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