Olivia Rodrigo gigs called off as chaos continues at Manchester’s Co-op Live

Olivia Rodrigo gigs called off as chaos continues at Manchester’s Co-op Live

The troubled Co-op Live arena has postponed Olivia Rodrigo’s concerts as part of her Guts world tour because of a “technical issue”, hours after the last-minute cancellation of its opening concert for the third time.

Two hours after announcing that A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie would no longer be performing, the venue confirmed that Rodrigo’s concerts on 3 and 4 May had also been cancelled.

Wednesday’s show was supposed to be the first official event at the 23,500-capacity Manchester venue, after several were cancelled or postponed in the past two weeks.

The venue said there was a problem during the soundcheck, with a component of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system found to be defective.

The arena’s X: “Due to an ongoing venue-related technical issue, the scheduled performances of Olivia Rodrigo’s Guts world tour on May 3 and 4 are being postponed. Ticket-holders can either hold on to their tickets or obtain a refund at point of purchase.”

The Grammy award winner Rodrigo is expected to perform in Glasgow, Birmingham and London between 7 and 18 May.

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie confirmed that “something happened” during his soundcheck that meant his show had to be cancelled. “I’m heated about the situation too, but safety first. Manchester, I got you, just stay tuned for further info,” he said on X.

His performance was cancelled at 6.40pm, 10 minutes after doors were supposed to open at 6.30pm. Fans were queuing outside the venue.

It is the latest in a series of problems for the venue. Rick Astley performed as a surprise guest to about 11,000 arena workers, VIPs and press for the free test event on 20 April, but as many as 4,000 tickets were cancelled, some just an hour before the show, leaving ticket-holders furious.

The venue said this was because of “testing critical procedures”, which meant it had to reduce the capacity for the event.

The venue apologised, and told ticket-holders they could attend a gig by the US rock duo the Black Keys a week later instead. The venue then had to postpone that gig until 15 May.

The arena also postponed two gigs by the comedian Peter Kay, who is now due to appear on 23 and 24 May.

Gary Roden quit as general manager of the arena last week over delays to its opening the venue, and after being criticised for saying some small music venues were “poorly run”.

The venue is part of the Oak View Group. Tim Leiweke, its chair and chief executive, 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 was a very unexpected situation but without a doubt the right decision. I deeply apologise for the impact that this has had on ticket-holders and fans.”

The Co-operative Group said it was disappointed by the announcement and would seek a “full explanation” from Oak View.

“As the naming rights sponsor for Co-op Live, we are shocked at the incident which has led to late cancellation of tonight’s show at the arena,” a Co-op Group spokesperson said.

“We are relieved that no one has been injured, but we share the disappointment and frustration of ticket-holders, many of whom are Co-op members, with the continuing delay to the opening of Co-op Live and the disruption that this is causing to everyone who has been looking forward to attending events.

“We will be seeking a full explanation from Oak View Group, who are responsible for the building, to the obvious questions arising from this, together with a clear plan from the Co-op Live venue management team at OVG for opening the venue and postponed and future events.

“Safety is, of course, the number one priority and it is critical that Co-op members and other ticket-holders can enjoy events in a venue with the very highest levels of security and safety measures in place.”

Situated on the Etihad Campus next to the Manchester City football ground, the £365m venue is scheduled to host Take That, the Killers, Eric Clapton and Barry Manilow in the coming weeks, and there are plans to hold the MTV Europe music awards there in November.

Source: theguardian.com