02 May 2024

Olivia Rodrigo ‘bummed’ as shows are latest casualty of Co-op Live Arena issues

02 May 2024

Olivia Rodrigo has said she is “sooooo disappointed” she is unable to perform in Manchester after “ongoing venue-related technical issues” at the Co-op Live arena.

The £365 million venue, the biggest indoor arena in the UK, had postponed its opening show for the third time just over an hour before rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie was due to perform on Wednesday, confirming there was a problem during the soundcheck.

Vampire singer Rodrigo had been due to perform at the venue on May 3 and 4 as part of her Guts world tour, but those shows have now been postponed.

She wrote on her Instagram story: “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 ongoing venue-related technical issues.

“We’re doing our best to reschedule the show.

“You can hold on to 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.”

A component of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system used to direct air had separated from the ductwork, and the installer, contractor and third-party inspector will now have to test each nozzle to confirm they are free from the defect, according to the Oak View Group, which is responsible for the building.

Two hours after cancelling A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, the venue confirmed via a statement on X, formerly Twitter, that Rodrigo would not be performing.

It said: “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.”

Three-time Grammy winner Rodrigo took her Guts tour across North America during March and April. She most recently performed at the 3Arena in Dublin, and is expected to perform at London’s O2 on May 14, 15, 17 and 18.

It comes after A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie confirmed “something happened” during his soundcheck at the venue on Wednesday that caused the cancellation of his show.

“I’m heated about the situation too, but safety first Manchester, I got you, just stay tuned for further info,” he said.

Venue bosses had posted a statement cancelling the performance 10 minutes after the doors were set to open for what was meant to be its first official event, as fans queued outside.

Oak View Group chairman and chief executive Tim Leiweke 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.”

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

“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 spokesman 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 (OVG), 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.”

The opening of the venue has already been postponed twice, with performances from comedian Peter Kay and American rock duo The Black Keys rescheduled.

However, the venue had reassured fans that A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and Rodrigo’s shows would be going ahead this week.

Bolton-born stand-up Kay was scheduled to be the first performer, but his show had to be postponed with less than 48 hours’ notice following a test event.

The rescheduled dates at the end of April were rescheduled again alongside dates for The Black Keys because the venue had to undertake “extensive protocol of testing critical procedures to ensure all areas are ready for fans”.

The new date for the US band is May 15, while Kay’s performances have shifted to May 23 and 24.

The arena’s general manager, Gary Roden, announced his resignation last week following the slew of issues that led to the delays in the venue opening.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox