Rival venue steps in to host boyband's homecoming gigs

Take That have announced their upcoming gigs scheduled for Co-op Live have been moved across town to AO Arena. 

The rival venue stepped in following what has been a bad week for Co-op Live after being forced to postpone its opening events several times due to "ongoing technical difficulties". 

First came the test event on 20 April, where capacity was reduced from 11,000 to 4,000 with just hours' notice. Then Peter Kay's scheduled gigs were moved first to 29 and 30 April, then again to 23 and 24 May amid the resignation of General Manager Gary Roden. 

Opening events continued to be blighted by issues, with Boogie Wit Da Hoodie postponed an hour before his set after an air duct fell from the ceiling during soundcheck. Olivia Rodrigo's planned gigs on 3 and 4 May were then also postponed. 

With rumours now circulating of planned gigs by the likes of Barry Manilow being moved to the AO, Take That's decision will no doubt come as good news to fans concerned their five dates would also be postponed.

2024 05 03 Take That Co Op Ao Statement
The statement from Take That (1/2) Image: @takethat / Instagram
2024 05 03 Take That Co Op Ao Statement 2
The statement from Take That (2/2) Image: @takethat / Instagram

Despite the change in venue all but one of the planned five gigs will go ahead on the same date, with the Wednesday 8 May concert now taking place the following day (Thursday 9 May).

In a statement on Instagram, Take That wrote: "Given the ongoing technical issues around the opening of the Co-Op Live Arena we have taken the difficult decision to move our May shows to the AO Arena where we have enjoyed many great nights over the years. This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but we wanted to give our fans as much notice as possible.

"We’re mindful many of you will already have travel and accommodation plans in place, so we have chosen this option to minimise inconvenience to as many people as possible.

"Our dates in June in Manchester remain unaffected."

The statement continued: "All bookings will be transferred to the new venue as below and, except for Wednesday 8th May, we are pleased to say that all the dates remain the same.

Tuesday 7th May now at AO Arena

Wednesday 8th May date change to Thursday 9th May AO Arena

Friday 10th May now at AO Arena

Saturday 11th May now at AO Arena

Sunday 12th May now at AO Arena

"Ticket providers will be in touch directly to manage ticket changes and queries.

"We thank you for your understanding and we’ll see you all soon!"

2024 05 03 Take That Co Op Ao
The now-amended tour poster for Take That Image: @takethat / Instagram

Co-op Live has now issued a statement saying it is taking a 'short pause' to insure the safety of the venue for fans and artists. 

In a statement published on X, the venue said: “Following the events that led to the cancelled A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie show on 1 May, we have decided to take a short pause to events at Co-op Live to fully ensure the safety and security of fans and artists visiting the venue. This time will allow for an independent inspection of all elements of the arena ceiling.

“At this time, we do not expect further impact on our opening season. We are aware our actions have frustrated and angered ticket-holders. We know you’ve incurred significant disruption, and are finding a way to help make it right.”

As Editor-at-Large Jonathan Schofield said in his piece on the ongoing Co-op Live saga, "there have been problems, but the venue will get there". 

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