The Mancunian Way: a night of chaos


At this time yesterday in the MEN office, we were settling in to cover what looked to finally be the opening night of Manchester’s Co-op Live.

Our What’s On editor Jenna Campbell was outside the arena, speaking to excited fans who had traveled from as far away as Peterborough to see American rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. Everything seemed under control.

Stewards placed printed signs outside the venue while fans were asked to leave.(Image: Sean Hansford | Manchester Evening News)

Then, suddenly, it wasn’t. Approximately 45 minutes before the Co-op Live announcement, MEN received a tip from a reliable source. The concert was going to be cancelled, he said. Seeing hundreds of people lining up outside the huge stadium on Jenna’s Facebook Live seemed far-fetched.

But at exactly 6:40 p.m., Co-op Live posted a statement on X announcing that the concert had been canceled due to “technical problems” and asking fans to “leave the arena.” There were just a few minutes left before the opening acts began. Still outside the arena, Jenna and photographer Sean captured the chaos as concertgoers were turned away at the last minute.

Shortly after, MEN revealed that the concert had been canceled after a “piece of air conditioning” fell from the ceiling during the sound check for A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. A person who was working at the site at the time told MEN that he witnessed what looked like a “steel bar falling from the ceiling into the container” at around 5:30 p.m.

Two hours after its original announcement, the venue confirmed that Friday and Saturday concerts with pop star Olivia Rodrigo would also be cancelled, sending fans into a meltdown online. “Two days before, an absolute disaster. A 12 year old daughter was crying. Plus she lost money on hotels, etc.,” one parent wrote on X.

This morning, Dianne Bourne and Adam Maidment broke the news that Manchester’s AO Arena is preparing to host some of the concerts held at the Co-op Live Arena this weekend.

Two separate sources have said that the rescheduled A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie show is believed to be currently being rescheduled for the AO Arena on Saturday. Keane’s Sunday show, originally scheduled for Co-op Live, could also be about to move venues.