Manchester Co-op Arena cancels opening gig with US rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie due to “technical issue”

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Manchester Co-Op Arena cancelled A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s concert an hour before the show

The opening of the Manchester Co-op Arena continues to hit a snag as it was forced to cancel its official concert just an hour before the scheduled show. The venue said A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s concert would not go ahead as planned due to a “technical issue” - in what appears to be the latest major setback since the resignation of its general manager Gary Roden.

A statement from the venue on X said: “Due to a venue-related technical issue, tonight’s A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie show will no longer go ahead. We kindly ask fans to leave the area. Ticket holders will receive further information in due course. We deeply apologise for the significant inconvenience this will cause for many.”

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It comes after the venue reassured fans that performances from A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, real name Julius Dubose, and US singer Olivia Rodrigo’s performances would be going ahead this week. It is not yet known if this will affect Rodrigo’s scheduled appearances on May 3 and 4.

Previously, the venue was forced to postpone its opening and two Peter Kay gigs last month as well as rescheduling the from The Black Keys, despite the venue's assurance that the rapper's show would take place this week.

Roden left his role days after tour dates by Bolton comedian Peter Kay were cancelled due to the new venue being incomplete. It comes after he made comments to the BBC in which he said that small, grassroots venues are often “poorly run”.

Manchester Co-Op Arena cancelled A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s concert an hour before the showManchester Co-Op Arena cancelled A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s concert an hour before the show
Manchester Co-Op Arena cancelled A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s concert an hour before the show | SWNS

The Music Venue Trust hit out at his comments, telling NME: “Obviously, the irony of making ill-judged, unnecessary and misleading comments about grassroots music venues on the day that the launch of their new arena has unfortunately fallen into such difficulties is not lost on anyone in the music industry, on artists, or on audiences.”

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A statement from the venue shared to the BBC said that it does not “share the sentiment” of Mr Roden, adding: “Co-op Live remains committed to grassroots music in Manchester and beyond”. The arena, which has now appointed ex London 02 boss Rebecca Kane Burton as interim general manager, also thanked the former general manager for his “help bringing the UK’s newest arena to live entertainment fans and wish him the best for the future”.

Other acts scheduled to make appearances at the venue over the coming year include Olivia Rodrigo, Take That, Nicki Minaj and Justin Timberlake. The arena was given planning permission in 2020 and was also boasted by an investment from musician Harry Styles. The venue itself was built by developer the Oak View Group.

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