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True horror of Manchester Co-Op Live revealed by staff who ‘couldn’t stop crying’-Danni Scott-Entertainment – Metro

‘They’re doing everything with crossed fingers.’

True horror of Manchester Co-Op Live revealed by staff who ‘couldn’t stop crying’-Danni Scott-Entertainment – Metro

Manchester’s Co-Op Live arena left staff in tears (Picture: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Co-op Live)

The disaster that is Co-Op Live arena has been a huge blow to Manchester’s music scene as numerous gigs have been cancelled.

Olivia Rodrigo’s rescheduling sparked mass ridicule of the £365million arena, which Harry Styles has invested in, as it was dubbed ‘Co-Flop’ instead.

Take That then moved their show to rival venue the AO Arena as The Black Keys rescheduled and Peter Kay cancelled his opening performance.

While music lovers watched on in disbelief — comparing the entire debacle to the infamous Fyre Fest — those working behind the scenes were facing incredible stresses.

One staff member revealed how they went home and cried after everything came to a head before A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s gig on Wednesday, May 1.

The show was cancelled an hour before it was due to start after part of the air conditioning system plummeted to the floor after ‘technical issues’.

Olivia Rodrigo performs postponed part of her sold-out GUTS World Tour (Picture: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation)

Staff said wires were hanging down and lighting was exposed (Picture: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Co-op Live)

‘Yesterday I went home and couldn’t stop crying. It’s not just me, it’s the same for a lot of the team, we’ve put in so much effort,’ the anonymous worker shared.

They noted they were relieved that the gig had been cancelled as thousands of fans were potentially walking into a venue that wasn’t ready.

Another staff member, who was hired to host the VIP ticket holders, had also told the BBC the venue just wasn’t ready for guests.

‘I think we were very sceptical: that was my first time in the arena and it did not look ready at all…’ the woman shared. ‘They’re doing everything with crossed fingers: it’s a bit chaotic.’

She explained how the VIP rooms were still filled with cardboard boxes and there were construction workers still completing checks.

‘There were wires everywhere and exposed lighting on the floor. It looked very messy. There were gaps in the stairs… it looked like a work in progress,’ the woman continued.

Co-Op Live have made assurances that everyone employed to work that day would be paid in full if they were at the venue.

Tim Leiweke, Chairman and CEO of the Oak View Group, offered apologies on behalf of the venue as fans continue to question if they will be able to see their favourite artists perform.

In a statement to previously, a spokesperson for Co-op Live said: ‘We understand the need to reassure fans over future shows. We are working with artist management and promoters to limit the impact on the opening season schedule.

‘Where necessary, we will identify alternate dates and will continually reassess to provide fans with sufficient notice regarding imminent shows. Should shows be cancelled or rescheduled, fans will be contacted by their point of purchase and offered a full refund where preferred.’

It’s unclear when the gigs will be able to go ahead (Picture: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Co-op Live)

They explained that during soundcheck, ‘a component of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, used to direct air, separated from the ductwork. 

‘There was nobody injured. Although we believe this to be an isolated incident caused by a factory defect, we were not able to verify that all similar nozzles were free of such defects.

‘In conjunction with wider stakeholders, Oak View Group has made the necessary call to ensure the full safety of all visitors to the venue, and to postpone the performance. 

‘In response, the installer, contractor and third-party inspector will now test each nozzle to confirm they are free of defect.’

Artists like Stevie NicksNicki MinajJonas Brothers, and The Kings of Leon are all due to take the stage later this year.

Sacha Lord, the night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, said they were monitoring the situation very closely.

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