02 May 2024

Take That jump ship to AO Arena as Co-op Live postpones another gig

02 May 2024

Take That said they will be moving their May shows from the Co-op Live to the AO Arena due to “ongoing technical issues”.

It comes shortly after Keane announced that their Sunday gig at the venue has been postponed due to issues, which they said are “entirely beyond our control”.

The new music venue, which has postponed its opening numerous times, said it will be taking “a short pause to events” before welcoming members of the public to the arena from May 14.

A statement from Co-op Live said this is to “fully ensure the safety and security of fans and artists” and allow for an “independent inspection of all elements of the arena ceiling” following an issue with the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system.

On Instagram, Take That said: “Given the ongoing technical issues around the opening of Co-op Live we have taken the difficult decision to move our May shows to the AO Arena where we have enjoyed many great nights over the years.

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but we wanted to give our fans as much notice as possible.

“We’re mindful many of you will already have travel and accommodation plans in place, so we have chosen this option to minimise inconvenience to as many people as possible.

“Our dates in June in Manchester remain unaffected.”

All of their shows have been transferred and are the same dates as before except for May 8 which has been changed to May 9.

On Thursday, British pop rock group Keane, who have been celebrating 20 years of their debut album Hopes And Fears, said they were “really disappointed” as they revealed the postponement of their upcoming gig.

On Instagram, they said: “We’re absolutely gutted not to be able to celebrate 20 years of Hopes And Fears with you at the Co-op Live on Sunday.

“This is due to ongoing technical issues at the venue and is entirely beyond our control.”

The statement added: “We are really disappointed that this has happened and are doing all we can to reschedule the show.”

In a statement posted to X, Co-op Live said: “Following the events that led to the cancelled A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie show on 1 May, we have decided to take a short pause to events at Co-op Live to fully ensure the safety and security of fans and artists visiting the venue.

“This time will allow for an independent inspection of all elements of the arena ceiling.”

It added: “At this time, we do not expect further impact on our opening season.

“We are aware our actions have frustrated and angered ticket holders.

“We know you’ve incurred significant disruption, and are finding a way to help make it right.

“We are taking the pause to think about the best ways to do that.”

Tim Leiweke, chairman and chief executive of US-based venue operator Oak View Group, apologised for the delays and to “all those that have been affected”.

He said: “As many of you will know, it’s not been the smooth start we had planned for, and I know that has caused a huge amount of disruption and frustration to thousands of people.

“On behalf of all of us at Oak View Group, I’d like to express my sincere apologies to all those that have been affected.

“We understand that there is work to be done to rebuild your trust in us.

“This starts now and at the request of the naming rights partner, The Co-op Group, we will be addressing impact on affected ticket holders, details of which will be shared soon.

“I’d like to reiterate my sincerest apologies to everyone that has been affected by the delays around the opening of Co-op Live.

“The team here is working incredibly hard to get the building up and running, and we look forward to welcoming you to the arena from 14 May 2024.”

Vampire singer Olivia 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 been postponed.

On Wednesday, the £365 million venue postponed its opening show just over an hour before rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie was due to perform, confirming there was a problem during the soundcheck.

It is understood a nozzle from the ventilation and air conditioning system fell to the ground from the ceiling shortly before the event.

The American rapper’s gig is now scheduled to take place on May 4 at the AO Arena.

On X, the music artist said: “Yesterday’s cancelled Manchester show has been rescheduled for this Saturday at AO Arena! We won’t give up that easy let’s go!”

Bolton-born stand-up Peter 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 Eagles, Janet Jackson and Billie Eilish are due to play the arena, but so far only a test event by Rick Astley has gone ahead.

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 said: “As naming rights sponsor for Co-op Live we are disappointed with these further schedule changes.

“We fully appreciate and understand the impact and upset the delays have caused to ticket holders and our Co-op members.

“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.

“We also understand that the necessary safety checks following yesterday’s incident are being completed and independently verified so that Co-op members and other ticket holders can be reassured that the venue has the very highest levels of security and safety measures.”

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