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Co-Op Live gigs reportedly set to move to Manchester’s AO Arena

The city's new arena – the largest in the UK – has had its opening delayed multiple times due to a host of technical issues.

By Will Richards

Co-Op Live
Manchester's Co-Op Live Arena (Picture: Getty Images)

A number of gigs set for Manchester’s troubled Co-Op Live are reportedly set to move to the city’s other large venue, the AO Arena.

The venue was set to open with a test event featuring Rick Astley last month, but that gig was cancelled less than 24 hours ahead of time. Subsequent shows from Peter Kay and The Black Keys were also shelved, before venue boss Gary Roden stepped down from his role.

This week, it appeared that the venue would finally be opening with a gig from rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, but that gig was also cancelled as doors were opening, with a “venue-related technical issue” cited as the reason. Two upcoming shows from Olivia Rodrigo were then also postponed.

Now, the Manchester Evening News are reporting that at least two planned shows at Co-Op Live are set to move to the AO Arena, though the specific gigs in question aren’t named.

The next planned show at Co-Op Live is by Keane on Sunday (May 5), with no announcement yet made on whether it will go ahead as planned.

Olivia Rodrigo
Olivia Rodrigo has had two gigs at the Co-Op Live set for this week postponed. (Picture: Chris Polk)

In a statement on her Instagram Stories, Rodrigo said of the news of her gigs’ cancellation: “I’ve been having such a great time in Europe so far and I’m sooooo disappointed that we’re unable to perform in Manchester due to on-going venue-related technical issues.

“We’re doing our best to reschedule the show. you can hold onto your tickets for further info or request a refund at your point of purchase. More info will be sent directly to ticket holders. I’m so bummed and I really hope to see you all soon”.

Before he quit his role, venue boss Roden had been under fire for comments he made about grassroots venues, criticising a planned £1 ticket levy on arena gigs to help support struggling small venues.