Oak View Group’s (OVG) Co-op Live arena (cap. 23,500) in Manchester finally opened its doors to stage its first untroubled event, with a concert by hometown band Elbow last night, 14 May.

After shows by acts including Peter Kay, Olivia Rodrigo and Take That were either cancelled, postponed or moved, Elbow became the venue’s official opening act. Frontman Guy Garvey kicked of proceeding by saying: “Good evening Manchester. Let’s open this venue properly shall we?”

The opening of the UK’s biggest arena was repeatedly postponed. Peter Kay was originally poised to open the arena with its first full capacity show on 23 April but will not perform there until 23 May. The Black Keys, who were set to play a 10,000-capacity show at Co-op Live on 27 April, were rescheduled to tonight, while replacement dates for Olivia Rodrigo’s cancelled concerts on 3 and 4 May have not yet been established.

Rodrigo’s shows were called off after a component of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, used to direct air, fell from the ceiling. OVG CEO Tim Leiweke told the BBC, “If that was 15 minutes later, something catastrophic could have happened.” He went to assert that after repeated checks the arena is now “the safest building in the world”.

Ahead of yesterday’s Elbow concert, Rebecca Kane Burton, The O2 arena’s former VP & GM who stepped in as interim GM at Co-Op Live following the resignation of Gary Roden, posted on social media, “Let’s go team. Let’s show them just what we’ve got.”

Forthcoming shows at the venue include concerts Eric Clapton and Barry Manilow.