Olivia Rodrigo show postponed in Co-Op Live fiasco

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Rodrigo kicked off the European leg of her tour on Tuesday night in Dublin
By Jacqueline Howard & Zahra Fatima
BBC News

US pop star Olivia Rodrigo has been forced to postpone the first UK shows of her world tour due to issues at Manchester’s new Co-op Live Arena.

The Good 4 U singer is latest to fall foul of the venue’s struggles.

On Wednesday it cancelled its opening night for a third time, this time while fans were already queuing.

Rodrigo was scheduled to perform on Friday and Saturday but Co-op Live said ongoing technical issues were to blame for the postponements.

The singer opened the European section of her GUTS tour in Dublin on Tuesday.

The announcement of the latest postponements came with just three days’ notice.

The venue said ticket holders they could either hold on to their tickets, or obtain a refund.

On social media, the venue acknowledged the “significant inconvenience” of postponing the show, but this was little comfort to fans travelling far and wide to see the globally-acclaimed artist.

Sommer Sweet and her brother flew into Manchester from Belfast on Wednesday morning ahead of the Friday night concert.

Ms Sweet, who is 18 weeks pregnant, told the BBC the pair had spent hundreds of pounds on the trip and taken time off work, now all “for nothing”.

“We have no other reason for being here,” she said.

Scott Tostevin, from Guernsey, booked flights and a hotel for himself and two friends to see the star on Friday night.

He told the BBC the group had spent several hundred pounds on the trip.

“I can either use my flights and hotel to now sit and watch a film in Manchester or lose the money and just cancel it all with no refunds,” he said.

Others on X (formerly Twitter), bemoaned the late notice and feared the concert would be cancelled altogether.

It is more notice than was given to fans of US rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, who learned that his Wednesday night concert had been cancelled as they were queuing outside the venue.

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, whose real name is Julius Dubose, said an issue during the soundcheck before the show had led to the cancellation, but vowed that he was working to reschedule within days.

The Oak View Group, which is responsible for the building, said part of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system had separated from the ductwork but added no one had been hurt.

It said checks were taking place to make sure there were no more such defects. “We appreciate the inconvenience this will cause for many, and are deeply sorry for all those impacted,” it said.

Peter Kay had been scheduled to be the first performer at the Co-Op Live venue in April, but the show had to be postponed because the venue was not finished.

Co-op Live manager Gary Roden resigned last week, following the delays to opening and a backlash over comments he had made about some smaller live music venues being “poorly run”.

The arena distanced itself from his comments, saying it did not “share the sentiment”.

Take That and Eric Clapton both are due to perform shows at the Co-Op Live arena later in May, with no word yet on the fate of their shows.

Rodrigo’s GUTS tour made headlines during its run in the US after contraceptives and morning-after pills were handed out at the concert in Missouri, where abortion is banned.

1 hour ago3 days ago5 days ago14 March

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