Scots Nicki Minaj fan gutted as gig cancelled - after spending £2500 to see show

A Scots woman was left gutted after shelling out thousands of pounds to see Nicki Minaj perform in Manchester - for it then to be axed hours after crowds arrived to the venue.

Eileen Allardyce, from Edinburgh, spent around £2,5000 on tickets, travel and hotel costs to see the US pop star in Manchester at the Co-Op arena. But the 41-year-old rapper and singer ended up cancelling her concert after she was arrested in Amsterdam over an alleged incident which involved "soft drugs", hours before her performance.

Eileen and thousands of other fans had already piled into the arena on Saturday night at around 7pm before being told at 9.40pm that the gig would be postponed, with Minaj being detained in Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport up until 9pm on Saturday.

The 32-year-old hotel manager from Edinburgh has hit-out at the venue, after admitting she won't be able to make the rescheduled date.

Eileen said: "Obviously, it's not Co-op's fault what happened in Amsterdam, and it's not Nicki's fault either, like, obviously, no blame for her at all.

"But as I say, I just feel like the way they (the venue) handled it was just absolutely ridiculous. They have no clue, absolutely no clue. I don't think they were prepared for anything, to be honest."

File photo dated 02/05/24 of the Co-op Live arena in Manchester. Nicki Minaj addressed fans outside her Manchester hotel after her gig in the city was axed following her arrest. Issue date: Sunday May 26, 2024.
Minaj had been due to perform at the Co-op Live Arena on Saturday night -Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Eileen told the PA news agency that since Co-op Live announced its first delay to its live events in April, when comedian Peter Kay was due to perform, she had been "on eggshells" with her friends who also had tickets for Minaj.

Dutch police confirmed that a woman, aged 41, was arrested on Saturday after allegedly trying to take what it described as "soft drugs" from Schiphol Airport to another country.

An update from the force at around 9pm said it had released the "suspect and she can now move on" after paying a fine.

Minaj wrote on X: "Manchester I appreciate you. Class act. Give me until (tomorrow) for the update on our new date (please).

"It will be sometime in June or July like I mentioned last night."

She also promised an "added surprise bonus" for fans and said she was "looking forward" to returning to Manchester for an already scheduled second night at Co-op Live on Thursday.

Minaj followed by saying that Birmingham's Resorts World Arena date on Sunday would be a "magical beautiful happy fun unforgettable night".

She had invited her fans, known as Barbz, to her hotel in the centre of Manchester and spoke to the crowds outside including Alvin Christie, from Liverpool, who defended her.

The 29-year-old told the PA news agency that fans want her to be "in a good place" and "were just more concerned that she was OK", placing the blame on the venue, which he was waiting outside from 9am to attend the concert.

He said: "I would say it was very poorly managed. When we arrived into the event, they were actively telling fans that she had arrived and that everyone was going to dance tonight."

Mr Christie claimed there were no toilets outside the arena for fans to use while queuing, and said more facilities are needed at the venue. He contrasted his experience at Co-op Live with Manchester's AO Arena, where he said there are "general public facilities and coffee shops".

Minaj wrote on X that she had arrived at her hotel in Manchester early on Sunday after spending "five to six hours" in a cell and a delay to her flight from Amsterdam.

She said the venue was "willing to go past 11pm", and she pointed the finger at unidentified figures who had "succeeded at their plan to not let me get on that stage tonight".

A statement from Live Nation said on Saturday: "Despite Nicki's best efforts to explore every possible avenue to make tonight's show happen, the events of today have made it impossible. We are deeply disappointed by the inconvenience this has caused."

Trinidad-born Minaj, who grew up in the US and is known for the songs Starships, Super Bass and Anaconda, livestreamed being arrested and claimed that drugs were found in her luggage which did not belong to her.

This is the latest postponed gig at Co-op Live, which has been plagued by issues since trying to open in April, and having to reschedule its first official gig several times.

US rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie moved his performance to the AO Arena over the delays, and Co-op Live began live music shows on May 14 when British rock band Elbow took to the stage.

Co-op Live, Minaj and Live Nation have all been contacted for additional comment.

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