All the biggest and best events coming up at Manchester’s AO Arena in the first half of 2024
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2024 is already off to a flyer at Manchester’s AO Arena, with the likes of Arenacross delighting thousands in the opening week of the year, tens of thousands of metalcore fans set to descend on Victoria for the Bring Me The Horizon gig weekend, but we’re only just getting started.
There is some seriously massive stuff happening at the AO Arena in the first half of the year alone and having had the pleasure of going to plenty of amazing shows in 2023, we’re already dying to be back inside the legendary Manc venue.
And when we say there’s some massive stuff, we mean it; some of the biggest names on the planet across all forms of live entertainment are set to fill the 20,000-capacity venue over the next six months.
Like who? Glad you asked.
Best gigs and events happening at the AO Arena (January-June)
1. Peter Kay
Bolton‘s beloved comedian is taking to the stage for the first time in 13 whole years and what better way to make a return than by performing for almost the entire year in 2024?
The doors open for the first show on Friday, 26 January and run right up until Saturday, 21 December but, as you might expect, the demand is extremely high and you’ll probably be relying on resale for this one.
Having pushed his tour back from 2022, tickets have been highly anticipated and most shows are currently at limited availability. He also has a monthly residency at the O2 in London, but we all know seeing him on home soil would make it that little bit sweeter.
The star of stage and screen is a British icon and he’s finally back doing what he does best. So, if you do get the chance to see Kay in action we can almost guarantee an evening of side-splitting stand-up. You can try your luck HERE.
2. The 1975
The Wilmslow group have arguably established themselves as one of the biggest and most generation-defining bands of the decade so far, and now they’re back for their biggest tour to date yet.
Simply entitled the ‘Still… At Their Very Best’ tour, they certainly are. Due to insane demand, they quickly realised that one show in Manchester was never going to be enough, so now we’ve got two, coming to the AO Arena on 17 and 18 February, having also added additional shows in Glasgow and London.
Supporting acts are still yet to be confirmed but watch this space. We all know if there’s one place to see Matty Healy and the boys it’s under the lights at the AO Arena. You can scout for tickets HERE.
Let’s just say we enjoyed ourselves a little too much last time around…
@the.manc Who else saw The 1975 in Manchester?! What a gig 🔥 #the1975tour #the1975 @AO @the1975 #aoarena #themanc ♬ original sound – The Manc
3. Rick Astley
As big a name as ever, Rick Astley will be closing out his ‘Are We There Yet?’ tour right here in Manchester. The 57-year-old rose to prominence in the late 80s with era-defining classics like ‘Together Forever’ and a little-known tune called ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, but remains a cultural icon to this day.
Astley is continuing his 21st-century renaissance, having shone at Glastonbury, R&L 2023, Kendal Calling (we can vouch for two out of three of those) in the summer, not mention becoming best mates with Blossoms over the past couple of years.
His almost sold-out show will be coming to the AO Arena on Saturday, 2 March, supported by the legendary Belinda Carlisle and Leigh-based indie-pop group, The Lottery Winners.
Why not grab some tickets below? At the end of the day. he’s never gonna let you down, famously.
4. Niall Horan
Irish sensation Niall Horan is back on tour, a world tour! Before moving on to Europe, Asia and the US, he’s closing out the UK leg with a big performance at the AO on Tuesday, 5 March, but be quick because only the last few tickets are available.
The former 1D superstar has continued where he left off with his solo career, giving us ‘Slow Hands’ and ‘This Town’ and building on his already global fanbase. He’s also going to be one of the first acts to play at the new Co-op Live later in the year.
This time out he’s giving us The Show, his third studio album released in the summer and with it the first chance to hear it live. He will be back in Manchester in August, but if you can’t wait until then you know what to do.
We can’t lie, we love a bit of this Irish lad’s stuff and even if you don’t grab tickets to see him, we will be.
Certified chart-topper Ne-Yo is back in the UK in 2024 with setlists guaranteed to be packed out with iconic hits.
The three-time Grammy award winner will be opening and closing his ‘Champagne and Roses Tour’ in Manchester with the first show on Thursday, 7 March. After bouncing around the country for ten dates he’ll be wrapping things up at the AO Arena again on Tuesday, 19 March.
His melodic debut single, 2005’s So Sick’ hit No.1 on the Billboard Top 100 and went on to become a quadruple platinum record. Since then, Ne-Yo’s been dishing out bangers like a busy butcher, ‘Miss Independent’, ‘She Knows’ and ‘Time of Our Lives’ just to name a few.
If one American superstar wasn’t enough, have another. Alongside Ne-Yo, R&B heavyweight Mario will be joining the tour whose track ‘Let Me Love You’ will have a millennial meltdown in the crowd covered… if Ne-Yo hadn’t sorted that already.
6. Premier League Darts
Anyone else becomes slightly obsessed with the World Darts Championships over the New Year, and by slightly we mean massively!
Well, the Premier League is coming to town on Thursday, 4 April. The world’s top four, Luke Humphries, Michael van Gerwen, Michael Smith and Stockport’s very own Nathan Aspinall will be joined by four wildcards, including a debut season from the teenage phenomenon, Luke Littler.
Disclaimer: Luke ‘The Nuke’ will no longer be 16 years old at this point.
Over 17 weeks in 17 cities, Dart’s biggest names will be battling it out for the coveted title so make sure you take the chance to see it live in our own backyard. Dig out your daft fancy dress and get your ‘180!’s at the ready! You can book your seat on the boring, boring tables (or elsewhere) HERE.
7. The National Lottery’s Big Night of Musicals
The biggest musicals, all in one night, all in one place? Yep! Hosted by comedian and musical theatre star Jason Manford, the show serves as a special thank you to National Lottery players who have in the past year helped support over 750 theatre-related projects across the UK.
The lineup includes performances from the cast of Hamilton, Disney’s Aladdin, Les Misérables and Grease. The highly coveted event sold out in a matter of hours on first release and the additional few hundred that were released last week were snapped up in the same style.
Coming to the AO Arena on Monday, 22 January, it’s only around the corner, so if you we’re fortunate enough to get your hands on some tickets start looking forward to some of the UK’s best stage talent.
Find out more here:
- BBC Radio 6 Music Festival is coming back to Manchester next year
- The BBL All-Star Game is back and you can vote for who plays — including Manchester Giants
- A massive vegan street food festival is returning to Manchester this January
It goes without saying that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the gigs, live entertainment and all the other events happening at the AO Arena in 2024.
It’s going to be a great year, we can just feel it.
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Featured Images — Supplied/The Manc Group/Marc Benner