Co-op Live: Barry Manilow may bring the show to rival Manchester stadium

Screenshot, Manilow said in his statement that he shared fans’ concerns about the current state of Co-op Live.

  • Author, By Rachael Lázaro and Angela Ferguson
  • Role, BBC News, Manchester

Barry Manilow has said he has booked another venue as a “backup plan” for his upcoming Co-op Live stadium gig amid ongoing “technical issues”.

The singer said his team had booked the same date they were due to play at Manchester’s new £365m venue, May 19, at nearby rival venue the AO Arena.

Take That and rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie previously announced a switch to AO for their canceled concerts.

Oak View Group, owner of the Co-op Live stadium, has blamed defects in parts of its ventilation system for the recent cancellations.

‘We do not know’

The venue said the delays were to allow “an independent inspection of all elements of the stadium roof”.

Barry Manilow said in his statement to “dear friends” that he shared fans’ concerns about the current state of Co-op Live Arena.

“However, contrary to some opinions, we do not have any double-secret privileged information about the state of the building,” he said.

The singer assured his fans that if the concert were moved to AO there would be “plenty of room for everyone” because “we limit the capacity to 12,500 guests.”

“Right now, that’s a big IF. And we don’t know,” he added.

Screenshot, The Co-op Live stadium is part of a development around Manchester City’s Etihad stadium.

On Thursday, Take That announced a move to AO, saying on X: “This is not a decision we have made lightly, but we wanted to give our fans as much notice as possible.”

The band Keane, due to play on Sunday, was also affected by the crisis: the British group, led by frontman Tom Chaplin, said they were “absolutely devastated” by the cancellation.

The cancellation was the latest in a series of problems, which began when Co-op Live announced it would not be ready to host comedian Peter Kay’s concerts last week, which were due to officially open the new stadium.

The Co-operative Group, which is the sponsor of the venue’s naming rights, said it was “disappointed” by further time changes and wanted people to be adequately compensated, such as compensation for hotels.

“The Co-op is a sponsor and does not own or manage the venue, and we have made it clear to Oak View Group, who are responsible for the building, that the impact on ticket holders must be addressed as a priority,” a spokesperson said. .

‘Very annoying’

Members of the Manchester Arena Support Network, a group helping people affected by the 2017 terror attack, have urged Co-op Live to postpone concerts until the building is ready.

Twenty-two people were killed and hundreds more injured after suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated a homemade device at an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Ruth Leney, who was at the Manchester Arena with her daughter on the night of the attack, said: “If they can’t control what they are doing when it comes to the buildings, how can they control safety? “

She said she was “very upset” about the Take That concert moving to the AO, and said she and other members “can’t go back to the arena” and would have to miss a “massive concert”.

Oak View Group boss Tim Leiweke said Co-Op Live was working to rebuild trust after a “huge amount of disruption and frustration”.

He reiterated his “sincere apologies to everyone affected” and said the company was working “incredibly hard” to have the building ready by May 14.