Peter Kay cancels sold-out Co-op Live Manchester gig with just 24 hours to go

Comedian said he was ‘truly gutted’ to be moving dates

Ellie Muir
Monday 22 April 2024 16:54 BST
Peter Kay surprises fans with appearance at Car Share screening

Peter Kay has been forced to reschedule two sold-out Manchester dates due to technical complications at the venue.

It was planned that the comedian would be the first performer to grace the stage of the new 23,500 capacity Manchester arena Co-op Live, but after the venue faced complications at a Rick Astley test event on Saturday, it issued an apology saying that Kay’s performances have been pushed back.

Kay’s two dates have been moved from Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 April, to Monday 29 and Tuesday 30 April.

The comedian said in a statement: “I’m truly gutted as I know how disappointing this will be for everyone with tickets, but obviously it’s a brand-new venue and it’s important that everything is finished and safe for full-capacity audiences.”

“Fortunately, we’ve been able to reschedule the shows to next week, (I’ll have to miss my Bums & Tums class) but hopefully I’ll see you then."

A spokesperson for the venue said: "Following our first test event on Saturday, regretfully we have made the difficult decision to reschedule our two opening performances by Peter Kay. These dates will move from 23 April and 24 Wednesday to Monday 29 and Tuesday 30 April.”

The venue is fully electric but faced difficulties in keeping its power supply consistent in time for its opening.

“It is critical to ensure we have a consistent total power supply to our fully electric sustainable venue, the completion of which is a few days behind. Rescheduling gives us the extra time we need to continue testing thoroughly. This is vital to satisfy the rigorous set of guidelines and protocols that are necessary for a venue of this size,” said the spokesperson.

Kay will perform one week later instead
Kay will perform one week later instead (Getty )

“Peter Kay has very graciously agreed to perform his record-breaking comedy at Co-op Live on 29 (rescheduled from 23) and 30 (rescheduled from 24) April 2024. All tickets remain valid and ticket holders will be contacted by their point of purchase. Refunds will be available for those who can no longer attend.

“We are very sorry for the inconvenience that this change will undoubtedly cause for some. We are thrilled to welcome Peter Kay as our grand opening act just a few days later than planned.”

The venue, which cost £365m in total, has been built by City Football Group – owned by billionaire UAE royal and deputy prime minister Sheikh Mansour – and Oakview Music Group, co-founded by US music mogul Irving Azoff.

Co-op Live Manchester was scheduled to open on Tuesday
Co-op Live Manchester was scheduled to open on Tuesday (Co-op Live Manchester)

Harry Styles invested in the stadium and advised on some elements of its design. Local artist Liam Gallagher, the former Oasis frontman, Olivia Rodrigo, Take That and Eric Clapton are among some of the other musicians scheduled to play there.

A BBC report of Astley’s show said the arena still has some “ironing out” to do before Kay’s event.

“Some areas weren’t ready, most of the seating wasn’t open, some of the hand-dryers in the toilets weren’t working, food was running out… and the queues for food and drink were slightly chaotic,” arts and entertainment correspondent Ian Youngs said.

Co-op claims that the east Manchester arena will be the UK’s “largest and most socially responsible live entertainment venue”.

It boasts 32 bars, restaurants and lounges and will have the largest floor space of any indoor venue in Manchester.

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