Local band Blossoms take to the stage after over 78 weeks without concerts at the arena.

It’s been a long time coming but this week, Manchester’s AO Arena opens its doors again to a sell-out crowd of Blossoms fans, marking the first time a band has played on the iconic stage in over 553 days.

In September, 2020, the venue welcomed online electricals retailer AO as the new headline sponsor and rebranded as the AO arena with a fresh new look. The partnership highlights AO’s commitment to bringing live music and entertainment back to the heart of Manchester. After such a long pause, it’s exciting to be able to press play and welcome fans back to the AO Arena. As well as the famous green smile, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy exclusive money can’t buy experiences as well as on the spot ‘surprise and delight’ activations on the concourse, courtesy of the retailer.

With a focus on making the return as inclusive as possible, the venue has been working hard behind the scenes in preparation for the big welcome back. In June 2020, it was awarded GOLD status by Attitude is Everything, the disability-led charity with over 20 years’ experience improving Deaf and disabled people’s access to live entertainment.

July 2020 marked the venue’s 25th anniversary which was celebrated with an online live stream event packed with artists who had played a part in the venue’s rich history to raise money for four local charities: The Booth Centre for the Homeless, The Christie, Forever Manchester and Nordoff Robbins.

In preparation for the sell-out event, the number one priority is making sure everyone’s visit is as safe and enjoyable as possible. As part of ASM Global’s portfolio of venues, the AO Arena has activated its VenueShield programme which is a comprehensive, best-in-class hygiene protocol in practise at more than 325 ASM Global facilities around the world. Through its partnership with Unilever brand, Lifebuoy, there are plenty of hand sanitiser dispensers around the venue to make it easy for everyone to sanitise their hands as they move around the arena, encouraging hand hygiene and inspiring confidence in the return to live events.

Whilst Global Support Services UK Ltd., (GSS) will be providing specialist detection dog services, helping the venue deliver a safe and secure environment for visitors and employees. They come with an excellent reputation as highly experienced professionals with first-class quality training and exceptionally high regard for the welfare of their dogs along with the focus of achieving a safe, friendly and welcoming atmosphere for all.

As restrictions have been lifted, the venue asks guests to enjoy themselves with consideration to others, wear a mask if possible and be prepared to show, if requested by a member of staff proof that: you do not currently have COVID, or that you have had both doses of the vaccine, or that you have previously had COVID within the last 6 months. For more information, please visit ao-arena.com