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Manchester’s Co-Op Live expecting Elbow opening gig to go ahead after spate of delays

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Manchester’s troubled Co-Op Live Arena has said that Elbow’s upcoming show will now serve as the venue’s much-postponed opening night.

Guy Garvey and co. are scheduled to play the arena, which is set to be the UK’s largest indoor venue with a capacity of 23,500, on May 14 as part of their current UK tour.

The arena have had a disastrous few weeks, after a series of events prevented it from being able to open its doors on time.

But the venue have now confirmed to Manchester Evening News that, “At this time, we do not expect further impact on our opening season.”

The same report suggests that Co-Op Live are also still working on rescheduling Olivia Rodrigo’s postponed shows, with an announcement expected in due course.

The BBC also note that the arena has completed an inspection which found that the fault that forced the A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie delay on May 1 was “isolated” and that the venue is now “satisfied” that the opening can go ahead on May 14.

The inspection is said to have been carried out by the same subcontractor, SES, that was also responsible for installing the arena’s air handling units. It was a piece of the ventilation system falling from the ceiling that caused the A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie gig to be pulled at the last minute.

“In consultation with Manchester City Council, responsible authorities, and wider stakeholders, we are satisfied with the process and outcome of the investigation identifying the HVAC nozzle as an isolated manufacturing default,” read a statement from Co-Op Live.

“This is a standard process of review in any venue when such an incident occurs. We now look forward to welcoming fans to Elbow’s opening performance on 14 May 2024.”

Co-Op Live was supposed to debut with comedian Peter Kay on April 23 and 24. However, following a test event featuring Rick Astley on April 22, his gigs were pushed back to the end of April with the venue citing technical issues.

Later, a gig from The Black Keys that was scheduled for April 27 had to be moved to May 15, and the Peter Kay shows were moved for the second time. They are now expected to be held on May 23 and 24. Following the second postponement, Kay shared a statement with fans, explaining that he was left “disappointed” by the news.

Initially, organisers ensured those with tickets that all other shows scheduled for the new venue would be going ahead as planned. However, they announced on Wednesday (May 1), just 10 minutes after doors had opened, that A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie‘s show had been cancelled due to a “venue-related technical issue”. Shortly afterwards, they also axed Olivia Rodrigo’s upcoming gigs – which left her “so disappointed” – as well as shows by Keane and Take That, with the latter relocating their dates to the rival AO Arena.

Elbow are currently in the middle of a run of UK headline dates, with the band set to play Birmingham on Friday (May 10), and shows in Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Nottingham to come in the next week. Find all the dates here and pick up any remaining tickets here.

In March 22, the band released their tenth studio album ‘Audio Vertigo’. In a four-star reviewNME wrote: “This is a record to be enjoyed in its fullest form with all its hefty meat, mirrorball flashes and grizzly peaks. ‘Audio Vertigo’ is their best record in years, and one to blow the cobwebs off some sleepy arenas this summer.”

Speaking to NME last October, Garvey described it as a “big fat record” that has “got some dirt under its fingernails for sure”.

“It deals with some pretty inky stuff,” the frontman explained. “There are a couple of wholesome tunes on there, but by and large there’s everything from a maniacal rant from the point of view of a frontman who’s lost his mind, to really awful portraits of toxic relationships failing – all set to a very thick, guitar, drum and groove-based thing.”

He continued: “As always, it’s produced by Craig Potter – who’s getting more and more into his hip-hop –  and Al our drummer has been writing more on this record. We all share a love of bands like The Meters, so it’s kind of garage-y in a way with Vox organs and a lot of alt-American country sounds.

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