Manchester's Co-op Live announces Travis Scott gig amid ongoing opening crisis

Travis Scott performing at Wireless Festival 2019. Credit: PA Images

The troubled Co-op Live has announced the latest artist due to perform at the arena despite ongoing issues which have seen the venue postpone its opening multiple times.

The Manchester-based arena, which will become the largest in the UK when it finally opens its doors - seating 23,500 people, revealed American rapper Travis Scott, will be performing in just eight weeks time.

It comes after the venue was forced to postpone its opening three times following technical problems, which saw one gig cancelled as fans queued outside.

Many bands who were due to perform have moved to the rival AO Arena including Take That, who have rescheduled five tour dates.

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, also moved his gig after his Co-op Live show was postponed just over an hour before the rapper was set to perform after part of an air conditioning unit falling from a ceiling.

On 2 May, the venue provided an update after it postponed a number of gigs and said it would be taking "a short pause to events at Co-op Live to fully ensure the safety and security of fans and artists visiting the venue".

Bosses have assured music fans the venue will open on 14 May, and on its social media, announced the latest act to sign-up for the venue.

It wrote: "Just announced: @trvisXX

"Travis Scott’s Utopia – Circus Maximus Tour is set to continue this summer with a headline performance here at Co-op Live on 13 July 2024."

Tim Leiweke, Chairman and Chief Executive of US-based venue operator Oak View Group, apologised for the delays and to “all those that have been affected”.

He said: “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.”

“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″, he added.

British rock band Elbow are the next artists scheduled to perform at the indoor arena and they will be the venue’s opening act if the performance goes ahead as planned.

The issues began following a test event in April which led to Co-op Live announcing it would have to reschedule dates for 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 moved to 29 and 30 April before they moved again to 23 and 24 May, as the venue was still not ready to open.

Co-op Live also announced it would move The Black Keys gig to 15 May and said it had been “undertaking an extensive protocol of testing critical procedures to ensure all areas are ready for fans”.

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

Olivia Rodrigo’s 3 and 4 May dates were postponed and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s 1 May performance took place on 4 May after it was moved to the AO Arena.

On 2 May, a Keane gig scheduled for 5 May was postponed while Take That’s slew of concerts were moved to the AO Arena.

The Eagles, Nicki Minaj, Pet Shop Boys, Stevie Nicks and Eric Clapton are all due to play the arena, but so far only a test event by Rick Astley has gone ahead.

Co-op Live, the UK's largest indoor arena, has cost £365m to build. Credit: PA Images

The arena’s general manager, Gary Roden, announced his resignation in April 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.”

They added that safety checks would be independently verified so Co-op members and other ticket holders “can be reassured that the venue has the very highest levels of security and safety measures”.

In 2021, American rapper Scott, 33, performed at the Astroworld music festival in Houston, Texas which saw 10 people die after fans surged towards the stage.

The artist has just announced a European tour which includes a date in London scheduled for 11 July, alongside the Manchester gig.