Olivia Rodrigo's Manchester Co-op Live gigs cancelled as venue faces fresh chaos

The UK's biggest indoor arena has been hit by further problems before it has even opened - with scheduled gigs, including performances from US singer Olivia Rodrigo - cancelled at short notice.

The new Co-op Live venue in Manchester was due to welcome fans at 6.30pm last night. A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie was due to perform at 8pm, according to the venue's website.

But a "venue-related technical issue" meant fans were told - via a post on the venue's social media at 6.40pm - that the gig had been cancelled.

Fans had already started to gather to enter the £365m arena, leaving many furious.

Following last night's cancellation, those planning to go to Rodrigo's dates at the arena this weekend immediately shared concerns over whether they would go ahead and, within hours, their fears were confirmed.

"Due to an ongoing venue-related technical issue, the scheduled performances of Olivia Rodrigo's Guts World Tour on May 3 and 4 May are being postponed," the venue said in a statement on X.

"Ticket holders can either hold onto their tickets or obtain a refund at point of purchase."

Her Co-op Live gigs were two of the 10 UK dates on her European and US tour. The new dates are yet to be announced.

The three-time Grammy-winner said in an Instagram story she was upset two of her shows have been postponed.

"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," she said.

"We're doing our best to reschedule the show."

In an Instagram post after A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie's last-minute cancellation, the US rapper said issues were down to "something [that] happened with the venue while I was at soundcheck".

"We are working on rescheduling in the next few days," he added. "I'm heated about the situation too, but safety first.

"Manchester, I got you. Just stay tuned for further info."

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Venue bosses said the issue arose during a soundcheck when a component of the venue's heating and ventilation system separated from the ductwork.

"There was nobody injured. Although we believe this to be an isolated incident caused by a factory defect, we were not able to verify that all similar nozzles were free of such defects," Oak View Group said in a statement.

"In conjunction with wider stakeholders, Oak View Group has made the necessary call to ensure the full safety of all visitors to the venue, and to postpone the performance."

They said independent inspectors would now test all similar nozzles and that organisers would work with music managers and promoters to "limit the impact on the opening season schedule".

"Where necessary, we will identify alternate dates, and will continually reassess to provide fans with sufficient notice regarding imminent shows.

"Should shows be cancelled or rescheduled, fans will be contacted by their point of purchase and offered a full refund where preferred."

Tim Leiweke, chairman and CEO of Oak View Group who developed Co-Op Live in partnership with the City Football Group, said they could not run any event until it was "absolutely safe to do so".

"It 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," Mr Leiweke said.

Co-Op Live bosses had sought to reassure fans that last night's show would go ahead and shared instructions for attendees just hours before the cancellation.

With a capacity of 23,500, the Co-op Live will be the UK's largest indoor arena when it's fully open.

Headaches for the venue became clear last month when the capacity at a test event was reduced with just hours' notice.

Rick Astley had been due to perform to 11,000 arena workers and VIPs on 21 April but at the last minute, thousands of people saw their tickets cancelled.

The venue was due to fully open with Peter Kay stand-up shows on 23 and 24 April, but these dates were pushed back too amid behind-schedule tests and safety concerns.

Kay's fans were initially told the shows would take place just days later - but they were then postponed again, for a month's time.

US rock duo The Black Keys were among the acts due to take to the stage during Co-op Live's opening week. Their gig was previously pushed back to 15 May.

Co-op Live's general manager Gary Roden announced his resignation last week following the initial setbacks.