We hope you enjoy your time at the AO Arena, here is a list of FAQs to help you make the most of your visit.
How do I book tickets?
Please only buy tickets with authorised ticketing agents such as our ticketing partner, Ticketmaster.
You can book tickets online by clicking on the 'Buy Tickets' button on the event you wish to attend from our Event Calendar.
Accessibility tickets can be purchased online via our ticketing partner Ticketmaster
Can I use a screenshot of my ticket to enter the venue?
No. Your mobile tickete includes leading-edge technology with fraud protection, so you won't be able to use screenshots or print-outs. Just show the live mobile ticket on entry.
How do I transfer mobile tickets?
You can transfer mobile tickets via the Ticketmaster app as follows:
- Open your Ticketmaster app and select the event you wish to transfer
- Click 'Transfer'
- Add the contact details of your friends or family
- Transfer sent
- Ask them to accept the transfer request viat the app or email
- Transfer complete
For more information, please visit the Ticketmaster ticket transfer guide:
I've purchased tickets for an event I can no longer attend
Can't go anymore?
Our official ticketing partner, Ticketmaster have made it easy to sell tickets you can no longer use on via their ticket exchange, meaning another fan can go instead.
Less missing out, more going out.
My tickets haven't arrived, what should I do?
If your tickets haven't arrived 5 days before your event, please contact your point of purchase.
If you booked via Ticketmaster, you will be able to check the status of your tickets via your online Ticketmaster account.
I have standing floor tickets but I have since broken my leg, can I bring my crutches?
For your safety and for those around you, we do not allow people using crutches and/or walking aids onto a standing floor. This is because, even though your friends around you could help to look after you, crowd movement on the floor is unpredictable.
We will always endeavour to find you an accessible position within the AO Arena so that you can still come to the concert, however you will not be able to access the floor with crutches.
Please call the team in advance of your visit to make alternative arrangements or stop by our customer services desk at the Hunts Bank Entrance by Block 101 on arrival.
Do you have a glossary for the information on tickets?
BL = Block
Upper tier = 200 level - all blocks starting with a 2
Lower tier = 100 level - all blocks starting with a 1
DP = Disabled platform
CP = Camera platform
Side view = on the side of the stage, note there may be some restriction of view, for example you may not be able to view the screens- eg. Can't see the screens
Restricted View = there may be some obstructions from production and stage equipment
Rear View = some shows sell in the round and have open seats behind the stage. Although the production quality is unaffected, the view to the artists is through the back-line
What is a facility fee?
The venue facility fee is reinvested into our services, enabliing us to offer the highest quality experience for fans, artists and promoters.
Where is the Box Office and when does it open?
Our event day Box Office is located within the Trinity Way Tunnel, next to the CitiPark entrance.
It is only open on event days from 4pm and closes 15 minutes after the main act has gone on stage.
How does block and seat numbering work?
Seating plans vary from show to show and each show's configuration is displayed on the Ticketmaster event page.
For standard shows with an end stage, the arena bowl has fixed tiered seating starting at block 102 and goes round in an anticlockwise direction to block 115.
Seats are numbered from 1 upwards meaning for blocks 102 - 105 & 202 - 205 seat 1 is nearest to the stage but furthest from the stage for blocks 112 - 115 & 212 & 215.
The floor blocks are usually numbered 1 -18 left to right when facing the stage.
Which entrance should I use?
We have three main entrances - City Room (off Victoria Station), Trinity Way (near the car park entrance) and Hunts Bank, opposite Chetham's School of Music.
Whilst you can access all areas of the arena from each one, the following suggestions are a guide to the closest:
- Blocks 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209
- Blocks D, E, F, G, H, J or unreserved standing on the floor
- The AO Electric Lounge (formerly The Prime View Bar)
- Blocks 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215
- Blocks 101, 102, 103, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 201, 202, 203, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222
- Blocks A, B, C on the floor
- The Heineken Sky Lounge - indicated by Heineken Flags on the pavement opposite Chetham's School of Music.
Both our Hunts Bank and City Rooms (off Victoria Station) entrances are accessible via a lift. Please note that our Trinity Way Entrance is only accessible via a number of stairs.
How do I find out event timings?
We always try to publish the most up to date information on the event pages of the website, however please be aware that timings can change at the last minute.
Please always arrive in plenty of time to allow you to pass through our ticket checks and security. Note that we do not list show-end times both for security reasons and due to the nature of live events, running times can vary, however the venue curfew for evening events is 11pm, unless otherwise stated.
Door times are published on each event page.
When is the best time to arrive at the arena?
Please refer to your ticket for door opening and start times.
We recommend that you arrive as close to the advertised door time as possible. We do not encourage fans to arrive early to queue or camp outside any of our entrances. As there are multiple routes into the building, early queuing does not guarantee that you’ll be first in.
Usually, the doors to the venue open between an hour and an hour and a half before events, athough there are some exceptions. The doors time is posted on the event page of the website and is usually printed on your tickets.
Please arrive in plenty of time to avoid disappointment and to get through security and ticket checks, to use the bars, buy some merchandise, enjoy the atmosphere and find your seats!
How do I upgrade my experience?
If you've already got your ticket to the show, we have a range of hospitality upgrade options available to you.
Each show has its own upgrade option from early entry and a welcome drink in a private bar to your own suite experience.
Where is the Heineken Sky Lounge?
The Heineken Sky Lounge has its own dedicated entrance located at Arena Point on Hunts Bank, opposite Chetham's School of Music. It is sign posted with Heineken Flags on the pavement.
Please note that there is no access to the Heineken Sky Lounge from within the arena.
- The Heineken Sky Lounge opens 30 minutes before doors open to the public and closes 10 minutes before the start of the main act.
- Admission via the private entrance on Hunts Bank.
- Upgrade option only, must have a ticket to the show.
- Over 18s only.
- No re-admittance.
- Bar closes 10 minutes before the start of the main act.
- PLEASE NOTE: this upgrade does not include an event ticket.
Are there any age restrictions?
Anyone under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
Under 14s are not permitted on the floor for standing floor shows.
Generally, children's shows allow babes in arms up to 23 months, however please always check the relevant show's event page for event-specific information.
What items are not allowed into the arena?
Backpacks, holdalls, luggage, oversized bags and cushions, are not permitted.
For your safety, and enjoyment, we carefully manage the items that can brought into the venue for an event. The list below includes examples of other items prohibited in the AO Arena. This list in not exhaustive and other items may be refused at the point of entry.
- Glass, cans, aluminium bottles or thermoses of any kind including liquid products which can be consumed.
- Flammable liquids in any container
- Laser pens/pointers
- Video cameras, recording devices and professional cameras
- Laptop computers, iPads, Go Pro’s or tablets with filming and recording capabilities
- Large/golf/metal tipped umbrellas
- Knives or weapons of any kind
- Illegal drugs or substances
- Alcoholic beverages
- Signs, banners or flags on poles, staffs or selfie sticks
- Animals (except ADUK registered service dogs)
- Air horns, whistles, cowbells or other noise-making distractions
- Projectiles (frisbees, beach balls, footballs etc)
- Aerosol cans (hairspray, deodorant etc )
- Fireworks, confetti, glitter bombs or flares
- Use of wheeled footwear, skateboards
- Food and drinks
- Helmets and full face masks
- Large studs and chains
Can I bring food and drink with me?
No food or drink items can be taken into the AO Arena. Only food and drink items purchased on the premises may be consumed in the AO Arena.
If you have any specific dietary or medical requirements, please speak to a steward at the door upon arrival and contact us in advance of your visit if you have any questions.
Can I bring my camera?
The unauthorised use of professional cameras, video and any other form of recording equipment is strictly prohibited.
Some artists and promoters may request that all cameras, including mobile phones are prohibited for certain shows and in this instance, this will be advertised on the event page.
What is your sustainability policy?
ASM Global, the operators of the AO Arena, regularly reviews its energy contracts and since October 2019 has purchased all its energy on a green tariff or renewable energy contract basis.
Since January 2019 we have also ensured that all our venues’ waste goes to Materials Recovery Facilities to be separated and re-used, meaning that no waste from our venues goes to landfill.
We are determined to integrate environmental sustainability into everything we do and have set ourselves a series of ambitious actions, to play our part and deliver real change.
The AO Arena is committed to the reduction of plastic waste to the lowest practicable levels and to the promotion of recycling wherever possible.
Working in collaboration with industry partners and vendors, we are in the process of devising a comprehensive solution-finding programme to reduce the usage of single use plastics within our organisation.
This is an on-going endeavour that reflects our commitment to finding workable environmental management solutions across our venues and includes the following initiatives:
- The identification of single-use plastic usage
- Reduce, reuse, recycle approach to existing single-use plastics
- Substitution of single-use plastics for biodegradable materials wherever possible
- Introduction of paper straws and wooden cutlery
- Education of staff, suppliers and vendors to assist with the programme
Who can I contact about lost property?
Please call 0161 950 2070, lines are open Monday – Friday between 11am and 3pm
I'm bringing a school party, I need to carry out a risk assessment. Can you send me yours?
We look forward to welcoming your group to the AO Arena. In order to make your visit run as smoothly as possible, please download our risk assessment for visitors:
AO Arena, General Public Risk Assessment 2022 PDF.pdf
Will there be any pyros, lasers and/or strobes at the event I'm attending?
The show’s lighting is determined by its production team and Arena staff do not always receive details of this in advance of the performance.
Most shows have some form of flashing lighting including strobe lighting, lasers or other special effects and additional signage is in place to advise customers of this.
If lasers are in use as part of the show, they will not scan the audience areas unless an independent inspection is carried out to ensure safety levels. You can be assured that if laser beams come into audience areas, an inspector is in the venue ensuring your safety.
How does the AO Arena cater for those with accessibility requirements?
As an Attitude is Everything GOLD standard venue, the AO Arena Manchester offers a warm and friendly welcome to everyone with excellent levels of service.
All of our customer facing staff have undertaken Deaf and disability awareness training and will always do their best to ensure your visit is both enjoyable and safe.
Our car park partner, CitiPark offers many spaces for disabled customers which can be booked in advance via their website and there are lifts available within the car park which provide access to our Box Office and City Room entrance. There is also a lift from platform 3 on Victoria Station and to the right of the Hunts Bank steps.
Designated seating within the venue caters for wheelchair users and their carers or those with walking difficulties.
We also offer lowered counters at our bars and merchandise kiosks and have several disabled toilet facilities located conveniently around the concourse and in each of our private bars.
Please review our Accessibility page for further details.
What can I buy at the Arena?
We have a large and varied number of refreshment stands offering a variety of hot and cold food and drinks, including alcoholic beverages. The Arena supports Challenge 25, please be drink aware and make sure you have a great night out.
Official merchandise is available inside the venue. The venue provides a sales services to a merchandise company affilated to the visting artist and does not supply or provide merchandise themselves.
Note that the AO Arena is a cashless venue, we'll only accept contactless or card payments.
Do you have a smoking area?
The venue operates a strict no smoking policy which also includes the use of e-cigarettes (except within any designated vaping areas; conditions apply).
There are no pass outs or re-admission of any kind. If you choose to leave the venue to smoke, you will not be allowed back in to the venue.