Fans enter Manchester’s Co-Op Live for the first time to see Elbow perform after weeks of chaos

Fans entered Manchester’s £365m Live Co-Op Arena for the first time to see Elbow take to the stage after weeks of technical chaos and show cancellations.

Elbow fans arrive at the Co-Op Live Arena

Manchester’s Co-Op Live arena has opened for the first time after weeks of chaos and show cancellations.

Manchester’s £365m arena has postponed its opening show several times after part of the ventilation and air-conditioning system fell from the ceiling to the ground during a pitch in early May. Before tonight, the 23,500-capacity venue had only seen one Rick Astley Test event.

Peter Kay’s fans have been left furious after his opening night was canceled just hours before. He was meant to be “the first artist in the world to play Manchester Co-op Live”, according to promotional posters Similar scenes followed as A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, The Black Keys and Olivia Rodrigo concerts were also canceled and postponed. Managing director Gary Roden resigned following the problems, and his departure also followed a backlash against him, which claimed the BBC that popular music venues were often “badly managed”.

Keane’s concerts were also postponed, while Take That’s May dates saw a change of venue. Co-Op Live’s doors opened to Elbow fans on Tuesday night after the venue announced it was “satisfied” the issue was an “isolated production issue” following an inspection. The band, who are from Manchester, shared an image of what appeared to be the scene inside the venue ahead of their scheduled show.

Fans entered the arena for the first time Tuesday night(BYE)

They said on X: “Ready for tomorrow at @TheCoopLive Arena. See you there.” Last week, the venue confirmed that Elbow would open the arena and added a headline performance by American rapper Travis Scott – who will bring his Circus Maximus tour on July 13.

Elbow fans expressed their nerves ahead of the event as Samantha, 51, from Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, said she had booked tickets to see the band to celebrate her birthday. “I hope to go tonight, everything seems to be going ahead, but I won’t feel completely sure until I sit there and watch the concert,” Samantha told the PA news agency.

“I’ve seen (Elbow) about 20 times so I’m used to seeing the band, but I’m reluctant to see them somewhere they haven’t been fully tested, that’s a bit of a concern. I’m a little concerned when you go anywhere you want to know about the structural integrity of where you’re going.”

While Craig, 38, from Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, added: “Hopefully it will go ahead but we have been joking between ourselves about when it will be cancelled. I was supposed to go to the Take That concert on the 7th of May and I was supposed to go to the Keane concert on the 5th of May, so after they’ve both gone, there’s a feeling of wondering if it’s going to happen again.”