Co-op Live opens for bookings

25 April 2022

  • Co-op Live, the new world-class arena in Manchester backed by global superstar Harry Styles, has opened bookings for its pre-opening and opening season events.
  • Co-op Live capable of hosting full spectrum of events from music concerts by superstars, sporting events from global brands, and entertainment shows suited to the whole family.
  • Manchester’s live entertainment market is one of the world’s biggest, consistently ranking in the top five globally for ticket sales, and arrival of Co-op Live will attract even more of the best events.
  • First dates are anticipated to book quickly as live entertainment bounces back from pandemic and world tour scheduling picks up pace.

Co-op Live, the new 23,500-capacity arena in Manchester, has officially opened for bookings during its pre-opening and opening season events. 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 and City Football Group, and international megastar Harry Styles as an investor.

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 arrival of Co-op Live will cement Manchester as one the world’s largest live entertainment markets, bringing an additional 120 events and 1.3million visitors annually into the city’s already thriving calendar. These extra events would mean Manchester will rival London as the music capital of the UK on annual attendances at events in major music arenas.

Co-op Live has been designed to be a music-first venue but boasts a uniquely flexible venue layout that will help draw in the biggest and best shows to Manchester. Capable of adapting capacity and seating arrangement for all types of events, the arena will add to the internationally recognised live entertainment scene in the city and the UK more widely. 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, Co-op Live is engaging promoters and event owners and will appeal to everyone.

The world-class arena has been uniquely designed to transform the live music experience for both artists and fans. Unlike traditional venues, Co-op Live will have an intimate bowl design which has no branding when artists take to the stage, offering a unique blank canvas. The ceiling height has been lowered to 24m to improve acoustics and create intimacy and because Co-op Live was built for music and not sport, the seating configuration brings fans 15m closer to the action than ever before, when compared to other UK arenas. Despite being the UK’s largest arena at 23,500, with a large standing floor at 7,500, it will still feel intimate and has been designed to feel like the UK’s largest nightclub.

It will also feature first-class facilities including 14 dressing rooms and backstage offices and a 330-tonne rigging capacity to accommodate the biggest shows. In line with its ambition to be the UK’s most sustainable arena, Co-op Live will support efforts by artists to make touring more eco-friendly. The venue itself will have rooftop solar panels, rainwater harvesting; heat source and smart building solutions; 100% electric, sustainable transport solutions; sustainable food sourcing and zero waste to landfill. 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.

Co-op Live is also pioneering gigs that give back with over £1m to be donated to local and national good causes per year.

Jessica Koravos, Co-Chairperson, OVG International, said: “Manchester is one of the hottest destinations in the UK 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 UK.”

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, 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.


Katie Musham, Co-op Live, 07377 410 070

Notes to editors

About Co-op Live - the best live music experience in the UK.

Oak View Group (OVG), City Football Group (CFG), Harry Styles, and Co-op are joining forces to create Co-op Live, the biggest and best arena in the UK. Based in Manchester, the project is injecting £365m of private investment into the North West.

Co-op Live will be one of the world’s premier music and entertainment venues, rivalling New York’s Madison Square Garden, The Forum in LA and The O2 in London. World class, planet friendly and at the heart of the local community, Co-op Live will deliver one of the world’s most pioneering, sustainable, and socially responsible venues, delivering Co-op’s vision of a fairer world into the entertainment industry. The project will create 3,350 constructions jobs and 1,000 roles and apprenticeships on completion of the venue as well as giving over £1m back to national and local good causes.

Co-op Live will be located on the Etihad Campus, and will host live music, sport, comedy, award shows and family entertainment. Co-op Live’s smart ‘bowl’ design means it is big but intimate with cutting edge visual technology, incredible acoustics and 32 bars, restaurants, lounges and club spaces.

The construction project, the single-largest in the city, will give the regional economy a much-needed boost following the devastating impacts of the Covid pandemic and will boost the local economy by over £1.5bn over the next 20 years. From locally sourced construction materials to zero waste to landfill, solar panels and rainwater harvesting, Co-op Live will be doing more to use less and leave better.

About Oak View Group

Oak View Group (OVG) is a global sports and entertainment company founded by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff in 2015. OVG is focused on being a positive disruption to business as usual in the sports and live entertainment industry and currently has eight divisions across global offices (Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Philadelphia, and London).