I flew from Belfast to see Peter Kay at Manchester's Co-op Live for my birthday and now I'm £700 out of pocket

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“I haven’t been well for a while now. I developed a heart condition. But, I love Peter Kay.”

A woman who flew in from Belfast to watch Peter Kay for her birthday says she is £700 out of pocket after Co-op Live’s abrupt cancellation.

The opening event at Manchester’s brand new 23,500 seater area was due to be Kay performing on April 23 and 24 to thousands of fans who had snapped up tickets. But with just over 24 hours to go until the first gig- Co-op Live announced they had postponed both. A spokesperson for the venue attributed this to a power supply problem within the arena following a Rick Astley test event on Saturday.

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As the news was confirmed, fans shared their frustration at the last-minute change of date. Many, including Kerstie Forsyth, have now lost hundreds of pounds and will be unable to attend for the new dates, which are April 29 and 30.  

Kerstie and her husband Darren Topping, who live in Belfast, travelled to Manchester specifically to see Peter Kay with a special few days planned in the city for her birthday.

Kerstie Forsyth can no longer see Peter Kay now that the dates have changed Kerstie Forsyth can no longer see Peter Kay now that the dates have changed
Kerstie Forsyth can no longer see Peter Kay now that the dates have changed | Kerstie Forsyth

After the dates were changed for the first time, Kerstie said: ‘I haven’t been well for a while now. I developed a heart condition in 2019. But, I love Peter Kay. Whenever I need cheering up, I watch video clips of his shows. He’s a very funny man!

“So to celebrate my 55th birthday, which is on April 23, my husband and I saved up and splashed out on Peter Kay tickets, flights to Manchester and a hotel for a few nights. All in all, the trip cost us around £700.

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“We were already in Manchester and on the train from Manchester Airport on Monday when my husband saw something online about the show being postponed. We’re absolutely gutted as even though our tickets were transferred to the new date, we can’t afford to stay on to see the show.

“It seems very strange that essential tests for power at the Co-op Live venue were left so close to the wire. We feel let down that we didn’t receive notification until the day before the show. Surely given the tests, they could have given people more notice. I would love to see Peter Kay in a show. Maybe one day. We wish him all the best for his shows.”

Co-op Live has issued an apology for postponing Peter Kay’s opening gigCo-op Live has issued an apology for postponing Peter Kay’s opening gig
Co-op Live has issued an apology for postponing Peter Kay’s opening gig | Getty

Despite the bad news, Kerstie remains upbeat and is determined to still enjoy her stay in Manchester. 

She said: “We were so excited for the show. We only managed to get tickets as I’m a Co-op member and had a bit of advance notice for tickets sales. We’ll still enjoy our stay in Manchester, but now have to tell all our family and friends, who were so excited for us, that we didn’t get to see Peter Kay after all.”

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After the dust had settled, Kerstie thought she might have been given a second chance to see the comedian. However, this was before Co-op Live postponed the two dates again- this time for a month. After the second time the dates were pushed back, Kerstie gave ManchesterWorld an update on her situation.

“My friend, who lives in Hull, said I could stay with her for a few days and she actually bought two tickets for the rescheduled Peter Kay show for her and I for Monday. My husband had to go home.

“So, I used the refund money to buy a train ticket to Hull and to buy a new flight home from Manchester to Belfast next Tuesday. I just can’t believe that they have now moved the date again. So I’m now in Hull, with a flight back from Manchester and still not going to see Peter Kay.”

Another fan who has been left frustrated and let down by the change of date is Jason Whitehurst who is from Leek, North Staffordshire. He spent £74 on the Peter Kay ticket, £16.50 on a train ticket and £167 for a hotel. The first he heard about the change of dates was through a news article on April 22. 

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Jason said: “If I am to go next Tuesday (April 30) it's another £16.50 on trains and £74 at least on a hotel for the night. The notice given to fans is disgraceful. The Co-op should be made to compensate fans for transport and accommodation losses at least.

“As for the change of dates, normally it is a few months later not within a week of each other, more expense in an already struggling cost of living crisis. I feel totally let down.”

Co-op Live issued a lengthy statement on Monday to announce the changes to Peter Kay’s performance dates with tickets valid for the following week and refunds available. They issued a further, short statement on social media on Tuesday.

This latest statement reads: “We are focusing on ensuring a consistent total power supply to our venue, and testing thoroughly. We are preparing to welcome The Black Keys to Co-op Live on Saturday, and Peter Kay on Monday and Tuesday next week.”

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