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Nicki Minaj’s Co-op Live Arena Show Delayed After Amsterdam Arrest

Fans of Nicki Minaj were left furious after the American rapper’s concert at Manchester’s Co-op Live arena was abruptly canceled following her arrest at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.

Minaj was detained on suspicion of exporting soft drugs but was fined and released to continue her journey, according to Dutch police. Despite this, she did not make it to Manchester in time for her Saturday performance, leading to the postponement of the concert while approximately 20,000 fans waited in the arena.

Among the disappointed fans was Imogen Pope, 18, from Newton-le-Willows in Merseyside. “I spent £150 on my ticket and booked a day off work for it. We sat there for about three hours only to be told it’s not happening,” she said. “I’m gutted.”

Ellis Day, 17, from Cheshire, echoed the frustration, saying he was “absolutely devastated.” “We spent all day getting ready, looking forward to the concert, and then to find out at the last minute that she’s not going to show up is really disappointing,” he said.

Fans were allowed into the arena at 19:00 BST, holding onto hope that the concert would proceed. However, the announcement of the postponement came just after 21:30 BST, around the time Nicki Minaj was expected to take the stage, leading to boos from the crowd before they eventually filed out.

Social media videos and flight data revealed that the plane believed to be transporting Minaj was still in Amsterdam when the postponement was announced.

Kian Young, 23, who traveled from Scunthorpe in Lincolnshire, expressed his disappointment: “I saw this afternoon that Nicki Minaj got arrested in Amsterdam,” he said. While acknowledging that the arrest was beyond the arena’s control, Mr. Young, like many others, questioned the lack of an earlier official statement.

“I’m confused as to why the Co-op arena hasn’t communicated with its fans. Why didn’t they cancel it at 17:00? Everyone’s come—my missus is crying. Why not tell us it’s canceled before bringing us in?”

Nicki Minaj fans outside Co-op Live arena
Kian Young (left) said the concert should have been called off earlier

The Nicki Minaj concert cancellation is the latest setback for the new £450m Co-op Live arena, which has faced a series of delays and technical problems, leading to the postponement or relocation of gigs by artists such as Olivia Rodrigo, Take That, and Peter Kay in recent weeks.

Olivia Gibson, 21, from Newcastle, expressed her frustration and declared herself an “ex-fan” of Minaj, citing the rapper’s history of tardiness and suggesting she should have planned more travel time.

“I feel appalled, but also, in a way, I’m not shocked,” she said. “And it’s not Co-op Live’s fault. She’s just let all her fans down.”

Olivia Gibson, left, was left disappointed after the last-minute postponement
Olivia Gibson, left, was left disappointed after the last-minute postponement

Another ticket-holder, Anna, traveled from Poland with her boyfriend and said they had spent about £1,000 on the trip.

“I’m very angry because my boyfriend gave me a ticket for the concert for Valentine’s Day,” she said. “We flew from Poland for this concert. She knows it’s sold out here. It’s a lot of money.”

Despite the frustration, some die-hard fans refused to blame Minaj.

Shaz Shah, 23, from Manchester, said: “What happened tonight is definitely not the artist’s fault – it’s an issue that occurred in another country and shouldn’t be taken out on her. Co-op Live should have been more transparent and informed us sooner. People have booked days off work, bought tickets, and now it’s canceled. The matter should have been escalated sooner.”

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