Co-op Live’s Gary Roden on changing the arena game
Co-op Live boss Gary Roden has spoken to IQ about the mission to make the new Manchester venue the “biggest and best arena in Europe”.
A joint venture between Oak View Group (OVG) and City Football Group (CFG), the 23,500-cap development will become the UK’s largest arena when it launches at Etihad Campus, the site of Manchester City FC’s Etihad Stadium in Eastlands, in April 2024. Harry Styles has also invested in the project.
Roden joined Co-op Live as general manager six months ago, taking charge of the strategic and operational delivery, after over eight years at Ticketmaster UK, latterly as SVP of client development and commercial. Roden credits OVG CEO Tim Leiweke’s influence on the arena’s groundbreaking “music-first” design.
“You can expect a building that’s very forward-thinking – that’s what Tim is all about,” says Roden. “Tim is always in the future and he’s put a big stake in Manchester because he firmly believes in it, along with our partner City Football Group. The plan is to build this incredible space in the north that is of the same scale you would expect from a capital city. It’s definitely got the Tim touch to it, put it that way.”
“Manchester is the UK’s second biggest music market by a significant distance”
He continues: “Tim Leiweke’s key focus was that he wanted it to be Europe’s biggest nightclub and the venue’s got a lot more going on for the fan to engage with before, during and after the event.
“The thing that is surprising people the most is how big, yet intimate it is, and that’s because the floor has been designed as a standing music floor and then the seats have been built around that. A lot of the legacy arenas in the UK are built around ice rinks, so they have a smaller footprint on the floor and it leads to the seats being a much steeper angle. But everyone’s going to be a lot closer to the artist on average here than they would be in an equivalent venue.
“We’re also very confident that from a sound perspective, the artist is going to be incredibly happy with what we deliver for them. I just can’t wait for that first big, loud gig to kick in; it’s going to be amazing.”
With concerts by Olivia Rodrigo (two dates), Keane, Take That (seven), Elbow, Eric Clapton, Barry Manilow, Smashing Pumpkins & Weezer, James, Liam Gallagher (four), Jonas Brothers, Niall Horan and Simply Red announced so far, Co-op Live’s opening season is rapidly taking shape. The headline act for its first night is still to be confirmed, however.
“We’ve got to go through a cycle of test events – which we think are going to be in April – and then the first official event will be in late April, so we’re in the final throes of working that out,” Roden tells IQ. “At the moment, we’re looking at 35 shows in the first two-and-a-bit months, so it’s a very significant opening period.
“Arenas usually go quiet in May/June because everyone turns their attention to festival season, so the fact we’re going to be doing up to 40 shows in that window is is huge and we’ve still got some big multi-night announcements to come. It might be quite late before we confirm the first show, but the options we’ve got at the moment are really exciting. Unfortunately that’s all I can say at this point!”
“We want to create residencies in Manchester and distort the model so that, if something big comes to the UK, it just doesn’t sit in London”
While Co-op Live will go head-to-head with ASM Global’s long-established 21,000-cap AO Arena in Manchester, Roden says the goal is to “grow the overall pie” for live music in the city.
“We decided on Manchester on the basis that it is the UK’s second biggest music market by a significant distance after London,” he says. “And if you’re looking to build a new facility, then London’s got two [arenas], Birmingham’s got two, etc. I also think that people up north in general just love live music, and we see that in the stats. So I think there’s definitely room for us in Manchester.”
Roden is optimistic the residency model showcased by local heroes Take That’s seven-night stand will become more commonplace at the venue, potentially leading to longer UK tours for global superstars.
“The idea and the mission is to be the biggest and best arena in Europe, and secondly, to bring more global talent to Manchester – that is ultimately the focus,” he insists. “Our model is based on bringing in international and UK artists to Manchester and sit there for longer. Manchester has now got seven Take That [shows] and London’s only got six, and that’s a massive step forward for us.
“Hopefully in the next three months or so as we start to move towards opening, you’ll get to see what we mean by that in terms of what we’re trying to deliver. We want to create residencies in Manchester and distort the model so that, if something big comes to the UK, it just doesn’t sit in London, it comes to Manchester and sits up north longer.”
“The scene is vibrant and we’re looking forward to taking it up an extra notch”
Moreover, he notes the venue appears to be a draw in its own right.
“Tottenham Hotspur found that the talk about the quality of their new stadium led to a lot of people going to the first thing that they just to experience what it’s like, and I think we’re in similar territory,” he says. “A venue of this scale and size hasn’t been built in the UK since The O2, so it’s a big thing for live entertainment and a lot of people are keen to see it.
“The stats are crazy at the moment: 30% of people are travelling more than 100 km to see the first 10 acts we announced and 50% are coming more than 50km, so it’s not just a local thing, which we’re incredibly excited about because it proves out what we always thought this would be – a northern powerhouse of a venue for live entertainment indoors.”
OVG says Co-op Live, which is a partner for ILMC 36, has been designed “with sustainability at its core”, and will use electricity for everything from air-source heat pumps for heating and domestic hot water through to cooling and catering, without any gas supply serving the site. It will become the UK’s first all-electric arena upon its opening and has pledged to support Manchester City Council’s target of becoming net zero carbon by 2038.
“[Sustainability] has fed into every single aspect of it,” adds Roden. “With where we are in the world right now, you have to build any infrastructure project responsibly, with sustainability in mind – never mind a large entertainment building. The artists demand it and the fans demand it now as well, so that’s what we’ve got to deliver.”
Referencing the wider UK arena sector, Roden concludes: “The level of competition is high, but it needs to be because the demand is there. Live was always strong leading into Covid, but post-Covid that ability to enjoy something in a live environment has really captured the public’s imagination and they definitely crave live experiences.
“The arena industry, in general, is in great shape. Competition is high, which ultimately helps fans and artists because it means people have to invest more in their buildings. There are new facilities being talked about and people are looking to invest in the infrastructure to make it better, so the scene is vibrant and we’re looking forward to taking it up an extra notch.”
£5 ‘rush hour’ gig series launched in Manchester
Manchester’s The Stoller Hall has launched a new “rush hour” concert series, designed to help commuters avoid busy travel times.
The hour-long gigs, which start at 6pm, will feature emerging artists and are aimed at motorists and people who normally travel by tram or train during the evening peak (the concert hall is located opposite Victoria train station). Tickets cost just £5 per show.
The performances will take place between September 2023 and March 2024, and are part of the 484-cap venue’s Emerging Artists Scheme, supported by The Haworth Trust, which offers financial support to “deserving young people with exceptional talent who are determined to make a career in the arts”.
“Our new programme of ‘rush hour performances’ is a double whammy – you can support these exceptional young people and avoid busy travel times”
“We are passionate about nurturing new talent and giving a platform to musicians in the early stages of their career,” says Fran Healey, creative commercial director for The Stoller Hall. “Our new programme of ‘rush hour performances’ is a double whammy – you can support these exceptional young people and avoid busy travel times.
“We’re very grateful for the generous support of The Haworth Trust who have made this new programme possible.”
The series kicks off next week with Phoebe Rayner (13 September), followed by Ensemble Renard (7 November), Asaka Quartet (18 January), Smorgaschord Collective (6 February) and Helena Ricci (13 March). A five concerts for the price of four offer is also available.
Meanwhile, the opening line-up for Manchester’s new 23,500-cap Co-op Live is continuing to take shape. A joint venture between Oak View Group and City Football Group, the UK’s largest live entertainment arena is due to open in April 2024 and already has 25 events booked for its first month.
Jonas Brothers were the first act confirmed earlier this summer. The trio are set to perform at the venue on 17 June next year as part of their Five Albums. One Night world tour, with shows by Eric Clapton (18 May) and Niall Horan (27 August) also now announced.
Co-op Live makes first artist announcement
Manchester’s Co-op Live has revealed Jonas Brothers as the first act to be confirmed for its opening season line-up.
The trio will grace the 23,500-cap venue, which is set to become the UK’s largest live entertainment arena, on 17 June 2024 as part of their Five Albums. One Night world tour.
A joint venture between Oak View Group and City Football Group, Co-op Live is due to open in April 2024 and already has 25 events booked for its first month.
“We’re counting down the days until we can open the doors of this incredible new venue for Manchester and the UK,” says Gary Roden, Co-op Live’s executive director and general manager. “I’m thrilled that shortly after announcing our April 2024 opening date, we can reveal that Jonas Brothers will be part of our opening season of globally renowned artists, highlighting the strength and diversity across our forthcoming line-up of shows.”
The venue held a ‘topping out’ ceremony earlier this month to mark the final stage of roof construction and a major milestone in development.
“This first artist and pre-sale ticket announcement marks a key milestone”
Co-op Live has outlined its commitment to sustainability through all-electric power, zero waste to landfill, and 100% rainwater collection. It will donate at least £1m a year to the Co-op Foundation to deliver on its new youth-led strategy and Co-op’s vision of ‘Co-operating for a fairer world’ in a collective effort will be known as ‘Gigs that Give Back’.
“This first artist and pre-sale ticket announcement marks a key milestone for the eagerly anticipated opening of Co-op Live,” adds Amanda Jennings, Co-op’s director of marketing communications. “The arena embodies Co-op’s principles, values and vision and we’re looking forward to seeing these brought to life through this unique partnership.
“Additionally, we’re excited to start sharing what we have in the pipeline for our members, which includes exclusive benefits such as first in line access to tickets, food and beverage discounts at Co-op concessions and hospitality experiences.”
The Co-op Live concert is one of 27 Jonas Brothers shows to be added to the band’s tour across Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. The new dates include their first time performing in Australia, New Zealand, Poland, Austria, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Hamburg, Lyon, Munich, and Norway.
The group have also extended the North America leg of the run with 26 new shows, bringing their biggest tour ever to over 90 shows across 20 countries.
Manchester’s Co-op Live opening pushed back to ’24
A new opening date has been revealed for Manchester’s Co-op Live.
Set to become the UK’s largest live entertainment arena, the 23,500-cap venue was originally due to be completed by December this year, but will now open in April 2024.
The Manchester Evening News reports test events are being lined up for next spring, with an official opening act due to be announced in the coming months. No specific reason has been given for the delay, although a statement references “the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, supply chain shortages, and an energy crisis”.
“Co-op Live will be opening our doors to fans in April 2024,” says a Co-op Live spokesperson. “It’s huge kudos to BAM, and the dozens of local subcontractors working on the project, that we are well within our original timeframe and on-budget given the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, supply chain shortages, and an energy crisis.
“We’re proud to be on the home stretch to delivering Co-op Live”
“We’re proud to be on the home stretch to delivering Co-op Live and we can’t wait to invite fans in to experience the biggest and most sustainable arena in the UK.”
The £365 million development is a joint venture between Oak View Group (OVG) and City Football Group (CFG) and will play host to over 120 shows annually at Manchester’s Etihad Campus. Former Ticketmaster UK executive Gary Roden was brought in as executive director and general manager earlier this year.
OVG says Co-op Live has been designed “with sustainability at its core”, and will use electricity for everything from air-source heat pumps for heating and domestic hot water through to cooling and catering, without any gas supply serving the site.
As well as pledging to support Manchester City Council’s target of becoming net zero carbon by 2038, the venue will donate at least £1m annually to the Co-op Foundation to support local and national initiatives focused on young people, food security, education and sustainability.
Manchester is fresh from hosting one of its busiest ever weekends of live music, with headline more than 300,000 concert-goers flocking to the city for shows by Coldplay at the 60,000-cap Etihad Stadium (31 May, 1, 3-4 June), Arctic Monkeys at the 50,000-cap Emirates Old Trafford (2-3 June) and Elton John at the 21,000-cap AO Arena (31 May, 2-3 June).
Manchester prepares for ‘busiest day’ of music
Manchester is shaping up to host its “busiest day”, with headline shows by Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys and Elton John set to be held this weekend.
More than 300,000 concert-goers are expected in the city for shows by Coldplay at the 60,000-cap Etihad Stadium (31 May, 1, 3-4 June), Arctic Monkeys at the 50,000-cap Emirates Old Trafford (2-3 June) and Elton John at the 21,000-cap AO Arena (31 May, 2-3 June).
A free festival, We Invented the Weekend, is also taking place at MediaCity and Salford Quays from 3-4 June, while the first all-Manchester FA Cup Final between Manchester City and Manchester United will go ahead at Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday.
The weekend of events coincides with industrial action on the railways on 2-3 June, with people travelling into Manchester being urged to plan ahead by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).
“We’re expecting this weekend, particularly Saturday, to be one of the busiest periods of the year in Manchester, with major events taking place and due to rail strikes we expect more people to travel on our region’s roads,” says Sean Dyball, TfGM’s head of customer experience.
“We are expecting major congestion on Saturday and we strongly encourage anyone travelling into the city centre to plan ahead”
“We are expecting major congestion on Saturday and we strongly encourage anyone travelling into the city centre to plan ahead and allow sufficient time for their journeys. People planning to drive should avoid the city centre and consider leaving their vehicle at a Park and Ride and using Metrolink to complete their journey.
“Throughout the weekend we will be constantly updating the customer information available on our website and across our social media channels to help people make informed journey choices, to save them time and avoid disruption to their journey.”
Other events being staged in the city include shows by Ricky Gervais, UB40 and Penn & Teller at O2 Apollo Manchester (cap. 3,500); Ziggy Alberts, North West Calling 2023 and Ice Nine Kills at Manchester Academy (2,600); and The Beat and Race Chaser Live at O2 Ritz Manchester (1,500).
The Manchester live network will be further bolstered this December with the opening of the UK’s largest live entertainment arena, Co-op Live. A joint venture between Oak View Group (OVG) and City Football Group (CFG), the venue will have a capacity of 23,500 and play host to over 120 shows annually at Manchester’s Etihad Campus.
Co-op Live names Gary Roden general manager
Manchester’s Co-op Live has appointed Gary Roden executive director and general manager, overseeing the operation of the UK’s largest live entertainment arena.
Roden joins Co-op Live after over eight years at Ticketmaster UK, most recently as senior vice president of client development and commercial.
He takes charge of the strategic and operational delivery of Co-op Live, a joint venture between Oak View Group (OVG) and City Football Group (CFG), leading an eight-strong executive team.
The arena, due to open in December, will have a capacity of 23,500 fans and play host to over 120 shows annually at Manchester’s Etihad Campus.
“Gary Roden’s experience speaks for itself, and we’re thrilled to have him join an already phenomenal team of exceptional industry leaders”
Roden says: “I am delighted to be joining Co-op Live, leading the team in Manchester to launch and operate a gamechanging arena experience for both fans and artists. I can’t wait to get started, working with Oak View Group, City Football Group, key stakeholders and partners to launch what is not only set to be a groundbreaking arena for the UK, but one that will see Manchester firmly leading the way globally.”
Jessica Koravos, co-chair of Oak View Group International, notes: “Gary Roden’s experience speaks for itself, and we’re thrilled to have him join an already phenomenal team of exceptional industry leaders, and to continue to drive Oak View Group and City Football Group’s joint vision to deliver world-leading, planet-friendly entertainment.”
Co-op Live says Roden’s appointment marks another major milestone in the arena’s journey to becoming the most sustainable and socially responsible arena in the UK.
As well as pledging to support Manchester City Council’s target of becoming net zero carbon by 2038 the venue will donate at least £1m annually to the Co-op Foundation to support local and national initiatives focused on young people, food security, education and sustainability.
ASM partners with AI-based security scanning system
ASM Global has announced a partnership with Evolv Technology, a leader in weapons detection security screening.
The implementation of the “state-of-the-art technology” is said to enhance venue safety and security at ASM venues, as well as improve the customer experience by reducing queues and offering a seamless and swift arrival to the venue.
AO Arena (cap. 21,000), operated by ASM, is the first arena in Europe to use Evolv’s technology as part of a £50m investment into Manchester’s iconic venue.
The venue has been using AI-based threat detection screening system, Evolv Express, to screen guests as they arrive at the arena for events, without the need to stop or remove items from their pockets or policy-compliant bags.
So far, the system has been used for eight shows and welcomed over 54,000 guests with a full roll-out planned for September.
As part of the new partnership, ASM Global has been working closely with Evolv to ensure the technology has been tested to government standards in both the UK and US, as well as collaborating on further improvements and continuous development.
“We are planning a further roll out to other venues in Europe as part of our VenueShield programme”
Evolv Express uses powerful sensor technology with proven artificial intelligence (AI) to provide safer, more accurate threat detection at unprecedented volumes and speed of entry. Venue ingress data provided by Evolv’s analytics also helps venues to transform the way in which they plan their security staff and wider operations.
In an industry first, security professionals can use historical and real-time screening data to gain insights and to make predictions about throughput, with the goal of improving the guest experience while making the space more secure.
Peter George, CEO, Evolv Technology, says: “We are thrilled to partner with ASM Global to provide an enhanced security posture for AO Arena while making sure the guest experience is truly enhanced. With this partnership, AO Arena joins other iconic venues secured by Evolv, including Lincoln Center and Gillette Stadium in the US. As we continue to expand globally, we look forward to working with ASM to help bring safer venues and better experiences to more people.”
Gary Simpson, director of safety security and risk for ASM Global, adds: “We have been working with Evolv for over two years supporting the testing and development of the Evolv Express system. The detection technology has been used for some time in America but this is the first such deployment at an arena in Europe. Given the positive experience at the AO Arena, Manchester we are planning a further roll out to other venues in Europe as part of our VenueShield programme.”
Evolv operates as part of ASM Global’s VenueShield, the company’s safety and security programme. Evolv marks the first addition to VenueShield since Covid as security and safety turn to new technologies to keep customers safe and to future-proof venues.
MAMA Group co-founders launch new Manchester venue
A “next generation” live music venue and cultural destination from the co-founders of MAMA Group is opening in Manchester’s Circle Square next month.
Launched by Canvas Venues Group (CVG), the team behind London’s The Pickle Factory and Oval Space, the 600-cap Canvas is aimed at the under 30s market and marks CVG’s first foray outside of the capital.
The company has invested £2 million into the development, which is backed by investment group Edition Capital and opens on 8 June. Set across free floors, it comprises a music venue, members bar and lounge and late night bar and restaurant. It will host a series of live gigs from both national and international acts, album launches, club nights and listening parties.
“Manchester was always where we were going first outside of London as a city of huge cultural significance, especially in the music scene,” says owner and co-founder Dean James. “We launched Canvas here because Manchester represents music, community, and entertainment in spades.”
“This generation needs a place to re-establish and rebuild the social connections that were taken from them over the past two years”
Initially operating in Manchester and London, CVG intends to roll out the concept to cities such as Glasgow and Bristol in the UK, and Melbourne and Austin internationally.
James previously co-founded MAMA Group, which owned and operated Lovebox, Wilderness and Great Escape festivals as well as Hammersmith Apollo, Jazz Café, Forum, Manchester Ritz and G-A-Y venues. MAMA was acquired by LN-Gaiety in 2015.
“We have aimed this venue specifically at the youth market because we believe, now more than ever, this generation needs a place to re-establish and rebuild the social connections that were taken from them over the past two years,” adds James. “We will aim our programming and our members’ events squarely at helping them to rebuild those connections and a way of life that involves connecting with people.
“Circle Square stood out to us as a destination due to its central location and close proximity to the universities. Canvas is a way we can champion the freshest talent in the industry, whilst developing the next generation and we look forward to seeing it become part of the community.”
“The appeal to open Canvas here comes from the breadth and diversity of Manchester’s live music and cultural scene”
The venue will operate a ‘plastic free’ policy in a bid to eliminate single use plastics. Canvas’ music policy will reflect a more commercial version of the current Oval and Pickle programming, and members will have access to two free gigs or club nights a month and specifically curated weekly members’ events.
“Manchester has a history of being creative and rebellious within the fabric of its music scene from the beginning,” adds head of programming Joe Splain. “The appeal to open Canvas here comes from the breadth and diversity of Manchester’s live music and cultural scene and the influence it has not just on British music culture, but also internationally.”
“By giving people a platform to share and collaborate, Canvas has a really unique way of bringing together artists and audiences from underrepresented backgrounds. We try hard to avoid being polarised – I think it’s this passion that keeps us ahead of the curve and relevant to what our communities actually want.”
Co-op Live announces multiple sponsorship deals
Co-op Live, the new arena opening in Manchester, UK, in 2023, has announced a raft of official suppliers taking the total number of partners signed so far to seven.
Britvic, Elavon, Unilever and Schneider Electric are the latest brands to join the growing list of partners, led by Co-op as the naming rights partner.
Britvic joins as official soft drink partner with exclusive rights to provide the full range of Pepsi drinks, including 7-Up, Tango, and London Essence Tonics. To help deliver on commitment to keep sustainability at the heart of Co-op Live, the British based soft drinks company will provide sustainable packaging. Britvic will also have two permanent branded locations in the venue for Pepsi Max and London Essence.
Adam Russell, director of Foodservice & Licensed, Britvic, says: “Co-op Live is such an exciting project to partner with, and strengthens our brand association with live music even further. Supporting the venue on its sustainability footprint is important to us and we will be using all of the tools available in our Healthy Planet, Healthy People strategy to implement this brilliantly.”
Co-op Live will use a range of cutting-edge technology to create the best live music experience in the UK, and Elavon will be the official supplier providing the technology that underpins the arena’s status as a cashless venue. Elavon is working with Co-op Live to create an innovative and seamless customer journey that showcases the future of payment processing.
To support the venue’s drive for sustainability as well as providing the increasing number of people enjoying a plant-based diet with great-tasting products, Unilever-owned brand, The Vegetarian Butcher, will be working alongside naming rights partner, Co-op, and providing the tastiest plant-based meat alternatives for venue-goers to enjoy with its unrivalled range of meat-free Butcher’s cuts. In addition, with hygiene and safety continuing to remain a top priority when visiting venues, Unilever brand Lifebuoy, the world’s number one hygiene soap brand, will be supplying its superior hand sanitisation products through the venue’s first-class sanitation and hygiene services.
“It’s proof of the excitement that Co-op Live is bringing that global brands are committing to the project at this early stage”
Hazel Detsiny, VP Away From Home Channel, Unilever UK&I says: “As well as attending an exciting live event that gets the pulse racing, we know that more than ever venue-goers are looking to enjoy it in surroundings that are not just state-of-the-art but sustainable too. Which is why we’re teaming up with Co-op Live to provide venue-goers with the tastiest plant-based options that don’t compromise on flavour or texture with The Vegetarian Butcher, as well as ensuring hygiene remains top-of-mind and easily accessible through our hygiene brand Lifebuoy.”
As part of Co-op Live’s plans to become the UK’s most sustainable and first all-electric venue, Schneider Electric has been signed as an official supplier for the both the hardware and software for the electrical & building management systems, Schneider Electric will also provide digital services and preventative maintenance throughout the venue.
Schneider Electric’s David Williams, VP marketing for the UK and Ireland commented, “Acting socially and environmentally responsibly is key to this project and also at the core of Schneider Electric’s business, so we’re proud to announce this close partnership with both Co-op and Oak View Group International. This partnership will see Schneider ensure the venue is sustainable, resilient, hyper-efficient and people-centric.”
All the sponsors announced today will benefit from a range of marketing and branding opportunities including in campaigns to promote Co-op Live prior to opening and once open. One of the defining aspects of Co-op Live’s pioneering approach to partnerships is that all partners are being encouraged to make an annual donation so together Co-op Live with its fans, artists, and partners can donate over £1m to local and national good causes each year via the Co-op Foundation. Britvic, Elavon, Unilever, and Schneider Electric will all make annual donations to this initiative.
Today’s announcement follows several other significant partnership announcements, led by Co-op as the naming rights partner. At the end of last year, it was revealed that Diageo will be the official drinks partner and that Bristol Street Motors is the official motor retailer. The venue is backed by investors, Oak View Group, City Football Group and international superstar Harry Styles.
Sam Piccione, president of OVG International, says: “It’s proof of the excitement that Co-op Live is bringing to Manchester and the UK live entertainment market that global brands are committing to the project at this early stage of development.
“Building strong relationships with a wide range of partners and suppliers this early in the process of creating Co-op Live is another thing that sets the project apart. As we’ve shown already, it’s enabling us to build in shared values from partnerships right from the start. We thank Britvic, Elavon, Unilever, and Schneider Electric for committing so early as partners to Co-op Live.”
Co-op Live hires Coldplay sustainability consultants
Oak View Group’s new east Manchester development Co-op Live is partnering with Hope Solutions to develop the arena’s net-zero strategy.
Pioneers in reducing live entertainment’s impact on the environment, Hope Solutions has worked with industry sustainability leaders such as Glastonbury and Coldplay – who are embarking on an eco-friendly world tour.
Under the new partnership, Hope Solutions will establish a framework for measuring, tracking, reporting and reducing carbon impacts at Co-op Live.
The firm will also establish a planet-friendly rider that can help shape discussions with suppliers, artists, and promoters.
It was recently announced that the £365 million, 23,500-cap venue – a JV between OVG, Manchester-based City Football Group (CFG) and Harry Styles – will become the UK’s first all-electric arena when it opens in late 2023.
The firm will also establish a planet-friendly rider that can help shape discussions with suppliers, artists, and promoters
The venue takes note of OVG’s Climate Pledge Arena, in Seattle, which is the world’s most environmentally friendly venue.
OVG recently affirmed its commitment to addressing the climate crisis at its first-ever leadership conference in Los Angeles.
Francesca Bodie, president of business development, Oak View Group commented: “Climate change is the fight of our lives, and our industry has an important role to play because we have the power to inspire. We were proud to open the first carbon-neutral arena, Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, last year, and the appointment of Hope Solutions will help bring our planet-friendly vision to life at Co-op Live, which will be the UK’s best and most sustainable arena.”
Mark Donnelly, COO, Co-op Live, added: “Co-op Live will be the UK’s first all-electric and one of the world’s most planet-friendly arenas when it opens in 2023. This partnership with industry-leading climate experts Hope Solutions will enable us to deliver on our net-zero carbon ambitions. The creation of an eco-friendly rider for artists visiting Co-op Live will ensure we’re ready to accommodate everyone’s needs as we begin to book some of the world’s best artists later this year.”
Luke Howell, Hope Solutions, said: “This project represents a real turning point in sustainable culture – being able to deliver world-class entertainment in a low carbon and environmentally positive manner is real progress and we are really looking forward to supporting the Co-op Live team in delivering this. Being sustainable and achieving net-zero doesn’t have to impact on the creative integrity and audience experience, in fact it can absolutely enhance it so both people and planet benefit as this venue will prove.”
The OVG team currently has 11 arena projects under development globally, with Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle and UBS Arena in New York both opening last year.
Sustainability in live music is at the heart of the Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI). Find tickets and more information here.