The opening of the UK’s biggest arena has been further delayed until 1 May, with Peter Kay’s shows at the 23,500-capacity venue being pushed back a second time, due to safety concerns.

Co-op Live is now scheduled to officially open with a show by Boogie Wit Da Hoodie on 1 May, followed Olivia Rodrigo concerts on 3 and 4 May. Peter Kay, who was originally poised to open the venue with its first full capacity show on 23 April, will now not appear there until 23 May. The Black Keys, who were set to play a 10,000-capacity show at the Manchester venue tomorrow, 27 April, have been rescheduled to 15 May.

On 20 April, Co-op Live hosted an 11,000-capacity test event involving a show by Rick Astley. The audience size was reduced shortly before the event, with OVG explaining it was “to enable us to test the spaces effectively”. OVG said that since then it has continued to undertake extensive testing of critical procedures to ensure all areas of the venue are ready for fans, and that the decision had been taken to further postpone shows to ensure that the venue can be run safely.

It said, “Rescheduling Peter Kay and The Black Keys will give us the extra time we need to continue testing enhanced emergency communications and measures thoroughly. This is vital to satisfy the rigorous set of guidelines and protocols that are necessary for a venue of this size to ensure that our fans, artists and staff have the safest experience possible.”

OVG chairman and CEO Tim Leiweke said, “It’s always been very important to me that we only open Co-op Live when it is safe and appropriate to do so, and rescheduling The Black Keys and Peter Kay gives the dedicated team the time and space needed to finalise systems and measures. I would like to offer my sincerest apologies to every fan that has been impacted by this decision and others this week, and join the full team in thanking them for their continued patience and support as we prepare to open our doors.”