Sat. May 18th, 2024

Olivia Rodrigo ‘So Disappointed’ After Shows at Troubled Manchester Co-Op Live Venue Postponed

By Michael May 2, 2024

Olivia Rodrigo apologized to fans on Wednesday (May 1) after learning that her planned Friday night (May 3) show at Manchester’s troubled new arena, Co-Op Live, had been postponed due to what the venue said are ongoing “technical issues”; Rodrigo’s second show on Saturday as part of the launch of the U.K. swing of her GUTS world tour has also been postponed.

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“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,” Rodrigo said on her Instagram Story on Wednesday night. The singer said her team are doing their best to reschedule the shows, adding, “I’m so bummed and I really hope to see you all soon,” she told fans.

According to NME, just two days before the first Rodrigo show the venue announced that the dates had been pushed due to ongoing technical problems at the 23,500-capacity building. The arena was slated to officially open on April 23-24 with a pair of shows by comedian Peter Kay, but they were moved back to April 29-30 due to a failed power test after a half-capacity dry-run event with singer Rick Astley.

In addition, a show by the Black Keys scheduled for April 27 was pushed to May 15 and the Kay shows were moved again (now slated for May 23-24), with Kay expressing his disappointment in an X post in which he wrote, ““My apologies once again but unfortunately the Co-op Live still isn’t ready and so, as yet, remains untested for a large-scale audience. Consequently, they are having to reschedule my two shows yet again (I know I can’t believe it either).”

The technical issues appear to be unresolved, with the venue announcing on Wednesday that a show by rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie was cancelled just 10 minutes after doors opened. “Due to a venue-related technical issue, tonight’s A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie show will no longer go ahead. We kindly ask fans to leave the area. Tickets holders will receive further information in due course,” read a statement.

Not long later, the venue announced that Rodrigo’s shows were also being pushed back. “Due to an on-going venue-related technical issue, the scheduled performances of Olivia Rodrigo’s GUTS World Tour on 3rd and 4th May are being postponed. Ticket holders can either hold onto their tickets or obtain a refund at point of purchase,” read a statement.

After the latest setback with the Rodrigo shows, Manchester Evening News reported that a Co-Op Live spokesperson said the technical issue was related to part of an air conditioning unit falling from the rafters during soundcheck before the Boogie show; nobody was hurt in the incident according to reports.

“During soundcheck, a component of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, used to direct air, separated from the ductwork,” read a statement from a spokesperson for Oak View Group, the company backing the venue. “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. 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.”

“We understand the need to reassure fans over future shows. We are working with artist management and promoters to limit the impact on the opening season schedule,” the statement continued. “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. “

Oak View Group CEO/Chairman Tim Leiweke added, “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 apologize for the impact that this has had on ticket holders and fans.”

The venue — which at press time still listed the original Rodrigo dates on its site — has shows booked with Keane, Take That, Eric Clapton, Barry Manilow, Nicki Minaj and the Eagles scheduled through the end of the month, followed by planned gigs from the Smashing Pumpkins, Liam Gallagher, the Killers, Pearl Jam, Megan Thee Stallion, Justin Timberlake and Noah Kahan through mid-August.

The venue situated next to the Manchester City football pitch is the largest indoor arena in the U.K. and it is slated to host the 2024 MTV European Music Awards in November.

See statements from the venue below.

By Michael

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