Manchester Arena
Manchester Arena
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Manchester Arena, managed and operated by SMG Europe, is one of the busiest venues in the world and the largest indoor arena in Europe. Since opening in 1995, the Arena has hosted the biggest names in live entertainment including U2, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Pavarotti and the record-breaking 2010/2011 residency by local comedian Peter Kay. In addition to live music, we've also staged some of the biggest events in the UK sporting calendar including several 2002 Commonwealth Games' events, the 2012 Olympic basketball warm-up match between team USA and GB, the 2008 FINA World Swimming Championships and international boxing bouts by Mike Tyson, David Haye, Joe Calzaghe and local champions Ricky Hatton and Amir Khan. We've also played a key part in Manchester's rich musical heritage with historic shows by local bands Take That, Oasis, Elbow, New Order, James, Happy Mondays, The Charlatans, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, M People, Doves, The Inspiral Carpets, The Verve, Simply Red and The Courteeners. Attracting over one million visitors each year, the 21,000 capacity Arena is a former winner of the industry's prestigious International Venue of the Year award.
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2-3 hours
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2,786 reviews
Very good

Harvey Morton
Sheffield, UK44 contributions
Mar 2022
I've visited the AO Arena Manchester twice this week with friends. First to see Stormzy and most recently to see Hans Zimmer. Both shows were spectacular and the venue is excellent compared to other arenas I have visited. The queues might look large when you're waiting to get in, but the efficient venue and security staff always ensure things are moving quickly. The leg room on offer is good and the acoustics are great too. Food and drink is expensive, I paid £7 per pint, but that is to be expected for a concert venue like this. Manchester Arena will always be my favourite arena to visit, it blows Sheffield Arena out of the water.
Written March 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tarleton, UK208 contributions
Apr 2022
Went to see Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds last night and came away incredibly disappointed. The arena has terrible seating if you aren’t in the main section or prime seats. The acoustics are appalling. We literally couldn’t hear the actors on stage (who were already the size of ants). Poor lighting rig setups meant we couldn’t even see the main screen from our seats and the AO garage parking - which offered a great location at £14 quid for the time needed - was so full, it took us one hour twenty minutes to escape the garage after the show finished. We left the arena at 10:45 and got out of the parking at midnight! The bar food is atrocious and the drinks are massively overpriced at £7 quid for a lager. I’m done with this venue.
Written April 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Newmarket, UK117 contributions
May 2022 • Couples
Hi attended on the 30th May to see Queen & Adam Lambert who were absolutely fantastic , a very memorable concert & worth waiting two & half years. Its our 12th visit & we just wish the concourse was better designed. There is no seating ends up far too crowded & uncomfortable especially for anyone with walking difficulties. Over the years the staff can be hit & miss with the information they give you, often sending you in the wrong direction. On arrival the lift at hunts bank entrance wasn't working. This time on leaving we couldn't go out the entrance we arrived & was sent in opposite direction down flights of stairs instead. Obviously not suitable for people with walking difficulties. Has usual we have always had excellent concerts over the years but the arena particularly the concourse is certainly not our favourite unfortunately, so would recommend going as late as possible & just go straight to seat. Also the blocks could do with rails. Over the 12 concerts we have attended we have thought the sound quality has been excellent.
Written July 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Magda S
2 contributions
Mar 2023 • Friends
Bought tickets to see Ed Sheeran for my Mum and myself as a gift for Mother's Day. As it was only one concert in Manchester and they were selling out very quickly, I bought the ones which were available, without long thinking as I didn't want to lose a place in online queue. I didn't realise they are very high and also I had no idea what the feeling will be when we sit that high, i didn't even think it will be that steepy and dangerous.
When we arrived and my mum saw how high and steepy it it, she was afraid to walk up, but she did eventually. Stairs/seats in higher thier (we had 208/K) seemed to be very dangerous and hardly any railings.
She sat down for a second (she is 70), but was so scared that started to have a panic attack and said she needs to get down. We left drinks which we only bought on the floor as i had to have one hand free to support myself and hold into those poor railings and second hand to hold my mum.
When we spoke to the steward he said for us to go to ticket office, where we went.
We were met by a rather rude lady, who was not helpful at all saying that I should know that is high when I bought tickets, but how comes you will know how steepy it will be when you have never been in the arena before?
Plus tickets are selling so quickly, so to buy tickets, you can't really think twice and research if they will be ok for you.
We were only told we can go by lift and try to walk from the top. We did try, but it was even more scary than to walk from the bottom.
We met there one steward who was very understanding and told us we could sit on the very top behind railings, which made the feeling of sitting in a secure place. We were happy about that and excited we will be able to see the concert. Unfortunately a minute later, there came another steward and said we can't sit there because of safety reasons. I think the staff needs some training and be able to give the same advices to the public attending the concert, because it can't be like that one person lets you to do something and then other says it's not allowed.
We weren't offered to stand where were places for people with standing tickets, we weren't offered to wait and see where seats will be available as maybe somebody wouldn't turn up.
We left before concert started and unfortunately didn't even hear one song. I lost 200£ which i spend for 2 tickets and my Mum lost her Mother's Day gift and concert for which we couldn't wait.
One good thing is that we live in Manchester, othervise we would also lose money spent for travel and accomodation.
If you have fear of high, please avoid higher thier. It's very, very steepy! I'm surprised there was never any accidents or maybe they are never mentioned.
Written March 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dave B
Kirkham, UK37 contributions
Jun 2022
I went with my wife to the Barry Manilow concert. He still puts on a great show, as did his support act, Curtis Stigers, but the behaviour of a lot of the audience was appalling. Some were still strolling in half an hour late, others spent the whole of Curtis Stigers' set talking, and the man two seats along from us spent the time playing with his mobile phone. None of these were kids, and the staff did absolutely nothing for the majority of the audience who had spent a substantial amount to see the show.

The worst offenders were two women, clearly hoping to be spotted for a role as supporting actors in a Cinderella pantomime, who insisted on standing up throughout, blocking the views of all the disabled and elderly people behind them. They refused to sit down and apart from one valiant 'front of house' gentlemen who tried to persuade them to show a little consideration, the security staff refused to show any interest. I suppose the venue was happy that this pair probably spent as much on drink, as they did on their tickets. Sadly they managed to spoil the whole evening for a lot of their fellow patrons.

I expected the high drinks prices, the long distance views and the less than comfortable seating, but I also expected to be able to see the show, and there seems to be no policy in place to guarantee that this is ensured. There will definitely be no future visits to this arena, which is poorly managed compared with Leeds and Birmingham.

I can only hope the offending audience members enjoyed their evening, because a lot of other people had to meet the cost of it.
Written June 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ian N
25 contributions
Apr 2022
Andre and the JSO were amazing lived up to our expectations in every way but you know something was wrong when throngs of people were still trying to find their seats some 40 minutes into the show. It definitely took the shine off the show and I felt so sorry for the people who couldn't get to their seats because they had mobility issues. I understand a lift was broken but this arena is not fit for purpose given the age and demographic of the audience attending. The staff seemed overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people needing help, the signage was awful and none existent once the show began.

Such a shame for all affected and AO Arena should take responsibility for those that had their evening ruined. The arena is not fit for purpose and they need to significantly improve the access arrangements or simply don't take people's money.

The management need to take responsibility for this not the poor staff who battled on and tried their best. I would have delayed the start and made sure people were seated. It was very dangerous for those people being led down the very well steps and if there had been an emergency evacuation then I had to think how they would have kept safe.
Written April 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Liverpool, UK2 contributions
Nov 2022
I have to leave a one star review on the basis of safety — the lack there of.

The steps are dangerously steep including seating. I had to laugh and thumbs up another one star review mentioning the need to abseil down the steps with rope and staff needing to hand out “pressure socks”.

I had to juggle an open tub of popcorn, a cup of ice with no lid, my shoulder bag and an expensive bottle of water with no lid up such steep steps. Then I had to wait for my row to stand up so I can pass to get to my seat and hoped I didn’t lose my footing and tumble over everyone or spill my popcorn and drinks/ice with no lids on anyone heads.

There are no cup holders to place your extortionately priced drink or snacks or handbag. It was nightmarish.

The screens were too small and too low for the fans to see properly (Kendrick Lamar concert) especially once the fans stood up, which made everyone have to stand up to see properly.

Introduce an American Store food, snack and beverage vendor. Offer Pizza Hut slices because the hotdogs and nachos are cold and tasteless.

Are you familiar with cup condoms? I think you should sell all beverages with lids and straws.
Written December 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chapel-en-le-Frith, UK21 contributions
Apr 2022
Andre Rieu show on 20th April at Manchester Arena.....the show itself was brilliant as ever however....don't use the Sky Lounge for £20 per person I ordered a coke and a white wine and lemonade and was told I would have to pay for the coke or the lemonade. One drink for £40 per couple too nexpensive. They were to take us to our seating but were short staffed so we had to find our wn way down the stairs & my wife has mobility issues!!1 Not good. we were sat on the ground floor and we picked seats at the aisle for my wife's access and to be able to greet the orchestra. However people were arriving up to 40 minutes after the show started. andre Rieu even commented on this. Of course our view was blocked by people standing in the dark looking for their seats. People should not be allowed in after the show started. Our tickets were over £240 and was spoilt by peoples late arrival. tHer was a family with young girls and va father who thought it would be fun to sit on the floor in the aisles. The MEN staff did try to get them to move. This took 15 minutes more of people standing and obscuring our view. they did go back to their seats but then came back. Once again spoling our view. We ended uo watching over 50% of the show on the big screen as opposed to watching the performance directly which is what we wanted to do and indeed what we paid for.

Come on the Arena you need to manage events like this with a high percentage of elderlay people much much better. The show was 10/10 your staffing and management of the event was only 3/10!!
Written April 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Leyland, UK120 contributions
May 2022
Attended the Pet Shop Boys Dreamland Greatest Hits tour on 20 May 2022. Good news was that the security staff did seem to be on the ball with checking entry and also bags and were good at keeping the queue flowing at the point we arrived which was around an hour before the concert was due to start.
We've been here many times before and are quite used to crowds etc. but it still baffles me as why they allow so much booze to be sold (and who can afford to buy it anyway!) when it clearly affects behaviour. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a party pooper but I really didn't want to have two drunks sat next to me and my wife and a row full of them in front of me either who spent an hour getting up and down and going back and forwards to get more drinks. The seats are very squashed together and it really isn't ideal if you have people moving around all the time.

Plus, people were vaping non stop - considering this is not allowed, I'm surprised staff aren't on the ball with spotting (or smelling that sweet sickly smell - imho) it. Very poor.

Reading reviews on the PSB Facebook page people thought the concert was great but we sat in block 106, row K and the sound was dreadful. Very boomy and way too loud, really lacking clarity. Such a shame, we've seen PSB at the arena many times and it was decent but we ended up leaving after an hour due to this and the other issues. Such a shame after waiting for 2 years to attend.

Usually I would complain at the venue but really, what are they going to do - come and haul the people away? And us risk being confronted? No thanks.
Written May 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Catherine B
Macclesfield, UK18 contributions
Apr 2022
A completely inappropriate venue for the demographic of the attendees at this concert, many of whom were elderly, disabled or had mobility issues and needed to use lifts to access their seats, the car park etc. I did extensive research before booking for my 95 year old father and myself, and was reassured by the Access Team. However, the venue was overwhelmed by the numbers of people with accessibility needs, apparently one of the main lifts was out of order, leaving just one lift for the people who couldn’t manage stairs, that took a maximum of 10 people. People had arrived at the venue in plenty of time (we were there an hour before the start) but there were only 2 ‘lanes’ dealing with people who could not use the security arches because of metal implants/wheelchairs or similar. The management could have anticipated this and realised that they simply couldn’t get everyone into the venue in time. We missed the start, not our fault, and it took us from 10.40pm until about 11.40pm to get to our car on the AO car park - again because of lack of lifts. It was an expensive night, with super music but completely ruined by an inappropriate venue, with limited facilities for the clientele the concert attracted. I will never go there again. Had the building had to be evacuated tonight, there would have been very serious problems in my opinion. The signage is appalling.
Written April 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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