As concert and festival season is fast approaching it’s a good time to consider the impact of music on young people. A very topical issue right now is the delayed opening of the Co-Op live arena and the impact for the many teenagers, like me, who have been longingly waiting to see Olivia Rodrigo next week. Olivia is due to open the UK leg of her tour in Manchester, but this could be jeopardised now that the arena is only set to open on the 1st of May. Any further setbacks will possibly cause the concert to be pushed back. This will leave lots of disappointed individuals, however, the safety of people in the arena is the most important factor and it is necessary that all tests have been thoroughly completed to mark the arena as a safe environment.

Concerts have always been a sought-after activity for young people but competition for tickets and the cost of tickets themselves is becoming increasingly high. The achievement of getting tickets is an experience in itself – a process described as ticket ‘wars.’ This was particularly apparent with artists such as Taylor Swift. It was incredibly difficult to gain tickets as only a select amount could even join the queue therefore, most people were played on waiting lists. It is clear that concerts are becoming increasingly out of hand to manage with websites crashing due to the vast amount of people online at once and the ridiculous sale prices which lead to many peoples being ripped off in the hunt re-sale tickets.

We are privileged that Manchester is a great hub for music therefore the new Co-Op Arena is a great opportunity to bring more headlines acts to Manchester and to encourage artists to think that London doesn’t always have to be the focus of the UK leg of their tour. Some concerns have, however, been raised though about the impact of supersize arenas on smaller venues in Manchester which are critical to bringing through new upcoming artists. Hopefully there is room for both in this diverse city.

So, will the Co-Op live arena open on the 1st of May or will more fans be disappointed?  Myself and lots of other music fans will certainly be hoping that the issues that have plagued the open of the arena are quickly resolved and the focus can be on making it a new home for Manchester’s music lovers.