Jessica Koravos
President of International | Oak View Group

There’s little else to talk about in the UK and European venue scene than Co-op Live right now. The highly anticipated 23,500-capacity entertainment temple, Oak View Group’s first arena outside of the United States, is scheduled to open its doors to its first performance ever on April 23 – with the first of two shows by British comedy star Peter Kay.

Jessica Koravos, OVG’s President of International, has overseen the onsale over the past 12 months, and says, “I am incredibly proud of our opening events calendar — from amazing Manchester artists such as Peter Kay, Take That, and Liam Gallagher to global superstars like Pearl Jam, Eric Clapton, and Nicki Minaj, to name a few.”

Naturally, Co-op Live is taking up all of her focus at the moment. “It has been five years in the making, and will be the best and most sustainable fan and artist experience for music in Europe,” she says. Given OVG’s track record in the U.S., where Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena just received certification as the first net-zero carbon arena in the world, it’s hard to imagine anything else. OVG is parent company to VenuesNow.

Koravos is part of an executive committee that is 50% female — “somewhat uniquely,” she adds. “There are definitely more women in the live business than there were 20 years ago, but in the UK large companies are required to report gender pay gap data, and sadly, the live entertainment companies continue to report enormous differentials,” she explains.

She’s optimistic for the future, thinking that “the more closely technology comes to resemble reality, the more important an authentic live experience becomes to people.” And, “as long as artists keep creating, and our industry keeps innovating and improving the fan experience,” there was no reason to assume the current momentum of this industry would cease anytime soon.


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