Co-op Live arena confirms Elbow gig will open venue following spate of delays

The Co-op Live arena in Manchester/ Credit: PA

The Co-op Live arena in Manchester - which faced a spate of delays in opening - confirmed it will open with a performance from rock-band Elbow.

The biggest indoor arena in the UK postponed its opening show for the third time last week after part of its ventilation and air conditioning system fell to the ground from the ceiling during a soundcheck.

In a statement on Friday, Co-op Live said it was “satisfied” after an inspection found the issue was an “isolated manufacturing default”.

Elbow, who hail from Manchester, are now set to open the £365 million venue on May 14.

The issues at the new venue began following a test event in April, which led to Co-op Live announcing it would have to reschedule dates for comedian Peter Kay’s stand-up show.

Kay, who was meant to be the “first artist in the world to perform at Manchester Co-op Live” according to promotional posters, had his shows postponed twice as the venue was still not ready to open.

The issues also led to the venue rescheduling a Black Keys gig.

The venue then planned for US rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie to open the arena on May 1, however it was called off just over an hour before his performance with fans queuing outside, due to the ventilation system becoming detached.

The issue meant scheduled performances from US pop star Olivia Rodrigo and British band Keane were postponed, while a handful of shows by Take That were moved to the AO Arena in Manchester.

A view of the Co-op Live arena in Manchester Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

The arena said it was “really disappointed to have delayed our introduction and frustrated so many in the process”, but was offering ticketholders “a free drink and a free food item of their choice when they visit us for the show”.

“Whilst we know this won’t erase the inconvenience and upset caused by the original postponements, we hope it will help everyone have the best possible time on the night,” the statement said.

The arena’s general manager, Gary Roden, announced his resignation last month following the slew of issues that led to the delays in the venue opening.

A Co-op Group spokesperson previously said: “Co-op is a sponsor and does not own or run the venue, and we have made it clear to Oak View Group, who are responsible for the building, that the impact on ticketholders must be addressed as a priority.

“We are pleased that they will shortly be putting plans in place to do so.”

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