Co-op Live finally opens at fourth attempt as home favourites Elbow play Manchester's new arena

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It’s been a nightmare start - but the £365million venue is up and running.

Co-op Live has finally officially opened its doors at the fourth time of asking as home favourites Elbow headline on Tuesday night. 

Doors opened at 6.30pm for a 7.30pm start with the Bury rockers being supported by The Waeve.

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Manchester’s new £365million arena next door to City’s Etihad Stadium has endured a nightmare start after its huge build-up. Gigs have been cancelled, postponed and even moved to the nearby AO Arena in an alarming opening few weeks for the landmark venue. 

Since a Rick Astley test event back on April 20, the grand opening of what is now Europe’s largest indoor arena with a 23,500 capacity has unravelled spectacularly. 

Co-op Live has been beset by problems over the last few weeks.Co-op Live has been beset by problems over the last few weeks.
Co-op Live has been beset by problems over the last few weeks.

Ticket-holders were turned away from that gig on the day after a last minute reduction in capacity while Peter Kay’s planned opening gigs have been put back twice.

With Black Keys’ event on April 27 also put back to May 15 it was seemingly going to be rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie who opened the venue on May 1. However with people queueing outside it was revealed an air conditioning unit had fallen from the ceiling during the rapper’s soundcheck. With people turned away, his gig, and those of Take That, moved down to the road to the AO Arena. 

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All that means it is Bury favourites Elbow who play the first official gig at the venue with Erik Clapton, Barry Manilow and Nicki Minaj among those also slated to play this month.  Other major events pencilled in for 2024 include UFC in July and the MTV Europe Music Awards in November. 

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