New Co-op Live arena throws curtains wide for first time

Elbow play Co-op Live Arena

The first official ticketed concert at Manchester’s much derided Co-op Live arena took place tonight with a homecoming concert by Manchester band Elbow.

Guy Garvey, front man of the Bury-formed five piece told the estimated 12,000 crowd: “Everybody that’s been working on this building has been so excited today, so nervous but so excited. There was already electricity in the air before you lot got in today and now it’s thoroughly amped up. I hope you can feel it.”

Before the gig OVG’s chief executive Tim Leiweke told the BBC the total cost of Co-op Live, which is due to be the UK’s biggest indoor arena with a 23,500 capacity, was now approaching £450m.

Take That were amongst many artists who cancelled their shows, in their case relocating to the rival AO Arena across the city.

This Saturday (18 May 2024) The Co-operative Group holds its AGM at Co-op Live.

Relations between the £100m sponsor and operator have appeared tense in recent weeks, with the Co-op brand associated with the chaos around the delayed opening. 

Following the cancellation of Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s show on 1 May 2024, due to safety issues, Co-op Group expressed disappointment and frustration and demanded Oak View Group come with “a clear plan” and an explanation for the ongoing chaos.