Huge Peter Kay gigs pulled just a day ahead of arena launch

Comedian Peter Kay has been forced to postpone two shows at Co-op Live in Manchester due to the brand-new arena’s power testing falling “a few days” behind schedule.

The record-breaking stand-up comedian had been due to open the new venue – which is now the UK’s biggest arena – on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

The 50-year-old Phoenix Nights star said in a statement: “I’m truly gutted as I know how disappointing this will be for everyone with tickets, but obviously it’s a brand-new venue and it’s important that everything is finished and safe for full capacity audiences.

“Fortunately, we’ve been able to reschedule the shows to next week, (I’ll have to miss my Bums & Tums class) but hopefully I’ll see you then.”

Co-op Live shared a statement on their Twitter feed, telling followers: “Following our first test event on Saturday, regretfully we have made the difficult decision to reschedule our two opening performances by Peter Kay.

“These dates will move from 23 April and 24 Wednesday to Monday 29 and Tuesday 30 April.”

The spokesperson for the venue explained that an issue around the power supply was the cause of the cancellation.

“It is critical to ensure we have a consistent total power supply to our fully electric sustainable venue, the completion of which is a few days behind.

“Rescheduling gives us the extra time we need to continue testing thoroughly. This is vital to satisfy the rigorous set of guidelines and protocols that are necessary for a venue of this size.”

The statement added: “Peter Kay has very graciously agreed to perform his record-breaking comedy at Co-op Live on 29 (rescheduled from 23) and 30 (rescheduled from 24) April 2024. All tickets remain valid and ticket holders will be contacted by their point of purchase.”

They said refunds would be available for any ticketholders who could no longer attend the event, and flagged that the date change might mean new tickets become available for fans who missed out the first time round.

The venue added: “We are very sorry for the inconvenience that this change will undoubtedly cause for some. We are thrilled to welcome Peter Kay as our grand opening act just a few days later than planned.”

Over the weekend, a preview concert starring Rick Astley was also hit by delays, with ticket capacity slashed just hours before his gig was due to begin.

Astley fans who had their tickets cancelled have instead been offered seats to see US rock band the Black Keys play next week.

Image: Co-Op Live Arena in Manchester. Pic: Cover Images/AP

Once fully open, the arena – which is next to Manchester City’s football ground – will have a capacity of 23,500, overtaking the capacity of the existing Manchester Arena which has a capacity of 21,000.

Built at an estimated cost of £365m, the arena counts former One Direction singer Harry Styles as one of its investors, with the pop star also advising on some elements of the arena’s design.

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Other stars set to play at the venue include Take That, Liam Gallagher, Olivia Rodrigo and Eric Clapton.

Peter Kay has been on a comeback tour – his first since 2010 – since December, with stops in Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds scheduled through to next year.

In 2010, Kay won the Guinness World Record for the biggest-selling stand-up tour of all time – playing to a total of 1.2 million people.

Source : Sky News