Co-op Live promises May opening date as more artists move shows to rival AO Arena Manchester

The arena has postponed its opening three times after technical difficulties. Credit: ITV News

Bosses at the Co-op Live Arena have assured music fans it will open on 14 May - after postponing the opening three times following technical problems.

American musician Olivia Rodrigo‘s sold-out concerts were cancelled, while Take That announced they are moving their shows from Co-op Live to the rival AO Arena in Manchester.

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie concert was postponed just over an hour before the rapper was set to perform and will now be held at AO Arena, while Peter Kay, The Black Keys and Keane’s shows have also been affected.

Meanwhile, Barry Manilow has announced he has reserved the AO Arena on Sunday 19 May - the same day he is due to play at the Co-op Live - as a 'back-up' plan, in case further problems arise.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, the singer's husband Garry Kief said they "shared the concerns" of fans over the situation, but they can rest assured that the star will perform in Manchester one way or another on 19 May.

Manilow's announcement comes as the bosses of Co-op Live - Oak View Group - said it would be taking a "short pause" to "fully ensure the safety and security of fans and artists".

The Oak View Group said it did not "expect further impact on our opening season" and that it was aware it had "angered and frustrated" ticket holders.

The statement went on to say that the naming rights partner the Co-op Group, had "expressed the importance of ensuring that the significant impact on ticket holders is recognised and addressed".

Organisers say the venue will open on 14 May with a performance from Elbow.

The "embarrassing" fiasco has led to questions and criticism of how the arena’s opening has been handled.

The main contractor for the arena, the construction firm BAM said: “The safety of fans and staff is our number one priority.

“Unfortunately, in the run-up to last night’s concert (Wednesday 1 May), 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.”

What are the latest cancellations and who will be playing at AO Arena?

  • A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie has moved his show from Co-op Live on Wednesday, to the AO Arena this Saturday, 4 May.

  • Two hours after cancelling A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, the venue confirmed Olivia Rodrigo would not be performing on 3 and 4 May. No details have been given for the promised rescheduled dates.

  • British band Keane announced they would no longer be performing on Sunday 5 May, posting on Instagram they were "gutted" and doing "all they can to reschedule".

  • Take That announced most of their May shows scheduled to take place at Co-op Live would be moved to the AO Arena. The band's June dates at Co-op Live currently remain unaffected.

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