Peter Kay forced to postpone Manchester dates again as Co-op Live Arena still isn't ready for opening

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Peter Kay had already been forced to push back his date due to the venue being unfinished, with more delays now announced

Comedian Peter Kay has announced that he has been forced to postpone his long-awaited return to the stage again after the venue he was due to perform in is still unfinished.

The Bolton comedian was set to make his stage comeback at the Manchester’s Co-op Live Arena on Tuesday, April 23. However, hiccups in getting the newly-built venue, which cost £365m, finished on time for opening night meant that he was forced to push it back to Friday.

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He has now told fans that it had been delayed again, with dates now moving to next month. He said in a statement to fans on X (formerly Twitter): “To everybody with tickets, my apologies once again but unfortunately the Co-op Live still isn’t ready and so, as yet, remains untested for a large-scale audience. Consequently, they are having to reschedule my two shows yet again (I know I can’t believe it either).”

He said that the Monday, April 29 show has been moved to Thursday, May 23, and the Tuesday, April 30 show has been moved to Friday, May 24. Customers with tickets were assured that all tickets will be transferred, with refunds available if new dates are unsuitable. He added: “It’s very disappointing but your safety is important, and I won't compromise that.”

It comes after the general manager of the Co-op Live Arena resigned after saying that smaller, grassroots venues were “poorly run”. Gary Roden has since been replaced by former London 02 Arena boss Rebecca Kane Burton as interim general manager.

The venue, which should hold 23,500 people once fully completed, was also due to host US rock band The Black Keys in the lower bowl of the venue for 10,000 fans on Saturday, April 28. However, this has also been postponed until May 15, meaning that the opening night of the venue is schedule to be A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie taking place on May 1.

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In an update on X, Co-op Live Arena said: “Since making the difficult decision to postpone the live shows at Co-op Live due to take place this week, we have been undertaking an extensive protocol of testing critical procedures to ensure all areas are ready for fans. To ensure that we can run all shows safely, regretfully we have now had to take the decision to reschedule the planned The Black Keys and Peter Kay shows.

They added: “Rescheduling Peter Kay and The Black Keys will give us the extra time we need to continue testing enhanced emergency communications thoroughly. This is vital to satisfy the rigorous set of guidelines and protocols that are necessary for a venue of this size to ensure that our fans, artists and staff have the safest experience possible.”

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