Co-op group issues statement after yet more cancellations plunge arena into further chaos

The £365m venue has faced repeated delays
The £365m venue has faced repeated delays -Credit:Sean Hansford | Manchester Evening News

The Co-op group has issued a fresh statement after yet more event cancellations plunged the £365m music venue into further chaos.

On Thursday (May 2) bosses announced a further delay to its opening season, offering "sincere apologies" to all ticketholders who have faced disruption so far.

The planned opening show from A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie was cancelled just 20 minutes before it was due to start on Wednesday (May 1). Devastated fans were left in tears outside - and the gig has now been rescheduled to take place at the AO Arena in Manchester on Saturday, May 4 instead.

READ MORE Co-op Live announces opening delayed again, more gigs pulled and issues 'sincere apology' to fans

It was followed by news that the Olivia Rodrigo gigs on Friday, May 3 and Saturday May 4 were being pulled, while the Keane show on Sunday, May 5 was also postponed. A stream of Take That gigs next week were also pulled, but were moved to the AO Arena instead.

Co-op Live was first unveiled to the public with a test event on April 20 with performances from Rick Astley and Danny Jones from McFly. But some attendees at the event were told they could no longer attend due to power supply issues and the show only opened to half capacity.

And following the show, the venue rescheduled two shows from Peter Kay, which were then rescheduled again for May 23 and 24. The Black Keys, originally set for April 27, were also rescheduled to May 15. Co-op Live's general manager Gary Roden then sensationally quit following comments he made about grassroots music venues, which sparked fury from music fans.

The Co-op Live venue has had to reschedule or cancel a number of events
The Co-op Live venue has had to reschedule or cancel a number of events -Credit:Manchester Evening News

The Co-op Group, the naming rights sponsor for the venue has now issued a new statement, saying it is "disappointed" with the scheduled changes and that they have "made it clear" to Oak View Group, the buildreds of the project, that the impact to concert goers "must be addressed".

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."

A statement from Co-op Live on Thursday (May 2) 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.

"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. Our naming rights partner, the Co-op Group, has also expressed the importance of ensuring that the significant impact on ticketholders is recognised and addressed, with more detail to follow soon."