Co-op Live Manchester Is Open For Bookings


Co-op Live, the new 23,500-capacity arena in Manchester, has officially opened for bookings during its pre-opening and opening season events at the end of 2023 and into 2024.

Announcements of the first wave of events are planned for summer this year and the venue’s team has already attracted enormous interest for dates in 2023, with many more event enquiries in the works for 2024, according to a press release announcing the opening of bookings.

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“First dates are expected to book quickly as discussions progress with leading music and events promoters with a myriad of different artists and music genres keen to experience the only purpose-built music venue in the UK..,” the release reads.

Co-op Live is expected to cement Manchester as one the world’s largest live entertainment markets, bringing an additional 120 events and 1.3 million visitors annually into the city’s already thriving calendar, by its own estimations, so that Manchester may rival London as the music capital of the U.K. on annual attendances at events in major music arenas.

Co-op Live, projected to open in 2023, will have a capacity of 23,500. This is a rendering of the arena bowl.

The venue is being built to serve music first, but its flexible layout can host other types of shows as well. Capacity and seating arrangements can be adapted for many types of events, from music concerts on world tours to home-grown Manchester talent, to international sporting events from globally renowned brands to the best in comedy and family entertainment shows.

To make sure nothing distracts from the performers and their art, Co-op Live’s bowl design has no branding when artists take to the stage.

The ceiling height has been lowered to 24 meters to improve acoustics and create intimacy, and the seating configuration brings fans 15 meters closer to the action, when compared to other U.K. arenas. To goal is to make a night at Co-op Live feel intimate, despite being the country’s largest arena at 23,500 capacity, with a standing floor at 7,500 capacity.

Co-op Live’s facilities include 14 dressing rooms and backstage offices and a 330-tonne rigging capacity to accommodate any size of arena show.

The team has also made its ambition clear to be the U.K.’s most sustainable arena. Rooftop solar panels; rainwater harvesting; heat source and smart building solutions; 100% electric, sustainable transport solutions; sustainable food sourcing and zero waste to landfill are all part of that equation.

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“There will be complete step free access, hearing loops, accessible toilets throughout and a dog spending room alongside a multi pray faith room and sensory room to ensure everyone feels at home,” according to today’s announcement.

Co-op Live’s name comes from a naming rights deal with the Co-op and the venue is also backed by joint venture partners Oak View Group (Pollstar’s parent company) and City Football Group, and international megastar Harry Styles as an investor.

Jessica Koravos
Jessica Koravos, co-chairperson, OVG International

Jessica Koravos, co-chairperson, OVG International, said, “Manchester is one of the hottest destinations in the U.K. for live events and Co-op Live will be the ultimate stage. The design of the venue works for the planet, for the fans and the artists. We are redefining live with the biggest capacity, paired with our low ceiling, seats closer to the action, largest standing floor and our unique black box bowl that creates a nightclub intimacy to connect the energy on stage with the crowd like nowhere else in the U.K.”

Koravos is working alongside Co-op Live’s Katie Musham, who has been supporting Co-op Live since 2020 as head of partnerships and is transitioning to director of strategic programming where she will develop strategic content partnerships that will deliver high profile content, exclusive events and residencies for Co-op Live as well as working closely with promoters.

Katie Musham
Katie Musham is currently transitioning into the role of director of strategic programming at Co-op Live

Musham added, “It’s been a privilege to work with inspiring partners and I am now really excited to officially open bookings for Co-op Live and to start programming an outstanding calendar. We’re already seeing phenomenal demand for dates from a wide range of promoters across music, sports, and family entertainment shows, and welcome enquiries to discuss opportunities. We can’t wait to announce the first events later this year when anticipation for the first unforgettable nights at Co-op Live will really ramp up.”

With bookings now open, the team behind Co-op Live has appointed Dave Hough as Programming Manager, acting as the venue’s booker focusing on arena touring content. Hough arrives from ASM Global where he led programming for seven UK venues, with a combined event count of over 900 annual dates. He is due to start at Co-op Live from May and will work closely with the rest of the team to build a world class calendar of events at the new arena.

OVG’s Vice President, Delivery and Operations, Steve Gotkine, is overseeing operations related to the arena, and has been working with the design team to ensure the venue will provide best in class facilities for promoters and artists alike.

It was announced last year that Oak View Group has agreed a deal with Ticketmaster to provide ticketing services at all its venues including Co-op Live.

Developers Oak View Group recently opened the Climate Pledge Arena and UBS Arena in the U.S. with huge acts such as Harry Styles, The Foo Fighters and Coldplay playing the opening weekends. OVG will be looking to emulate the success of its U.S. venues with its first international venue, Co-op Live.

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