Co op Live arena to open with Elbow gig

Co-op Live arena to open with Elbow gig

The troubled Co-op Live arena in Manchester said it has completed an inspection and will open with a performance from Elbow after a string of delays.

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”.

Rock band 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 slew of shows by Take That were moved to the AO Arena in Manchester.

On Friday, Keane announced their postponed gig has been rescheduled for October 19, while new dates are yet to be announced for Rodrigo.

At the time, Co-op Live said an inspection would need to take place to ensure it was a one-time default.

“Following the incident in the bowl on May 1 2024, an inspection and verification report was undertaken by SES subcontractors,” a Co-op Live statement said on Friday.

“In consultation with Manchester City Council, responsible authorities, and wider stakeholders, we are satisfied with the process and outcome of the investigation identifying the HVAC nozzle as an isolated manufacturing default.

“This is a standard process of review in any venue when such an incident occurs.

“We now look forward to welcoming fans to Elbow’s opening performance on May 14 2024.”

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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