Co-op Live

More setbacks at Manchester’s new Co-op Live arena

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US singer Oliva Rodrigo has expressed her disappointment at being unable to perform at Manchester’s Co-op Live arena this weekend. She was due to launch her UK tour at the new venue, but the concerts have been rescheduled.

She is the latest artist to postpone gigs at the arena, which has had a much-publicised and troubled start.

Work continues to take place inside the building and StandOut has been told that whilst essential infrastructure inside the building is in situ, some items such as lifts have yet to be tested and commissioned. Furthermore, as events continue to be postponed, it’s estimated that damages so far stand at around £45m.

Rodrigo’s comments come after fans queuing to see rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie last night (May 1) were told that the concert would not go ahead. They were handed a piece of paper stating that the show would not go ahead due to venue-related technical issues. Fans were asked to leave the area.

In a statement, Oak View Group, operator of Co-op Live, said: “During soundcheck, a component of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, used to direct air, separated from the ductwork. There was nobody injured. Although we believe this to be an isolated incident caused by a factory defect, we were not able to verify that all similar nozzles were free of such defects. In conjunction with wider stakeholders, Oak View Group has made the necessary call to ensure the full safety of all visitors to the venue, and to postpone the performance.”

It is believed that contractors and inspectors will now test the HVAC equipment.

The statement continued: “We understand the need to reassure fans over future shows. We are working with artist management and promoters to limit the impact on the opening season schedule. Where necessary, we will identify alternate dates, and will continually reassess to provide fans with sufficient notice regarding imminent shows. Should shows be cancelled or rescheduled, fans will be contacted by their point of purchase and offered a full refund where preferred.”

Tim Leiweke, chairman and CEO, Oak View Group said: “The safety and security of all visiting and working on Co-op Live is our utmost priority, and we could not and will not run any event until it is absolutely safe to do so. Today (May 1) was a very unexpected situation but without a doubt the right decision. I deeply apologise for the impact that this has had on ticketholders and fans.”

Rebecca Kane-Burton has been appointed interim general manager of Co-op Live, following the departure of Gary Roden last week.

Peter Kay was poised to open the venue on April 23 but that show has been postponed.