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Virgin Red to close its Red Room VIP box at the AO Arena in Manchester

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Two weeks ago we announced that Virgin Red has added a box at The O2 in London with tickets available for Virgin Points. 12 artists are now bookable for June and early July, including Peter Kay and Liam Gallagher.

This was, we assumed, on top of the Virgin Red Room box at the AO Arena in Manchester. You have been able to redeem Virgin Points for seats there since Virgin Red launched – this article shows you what Sinead found when she gave it a try last year.

We were wrong.

Virgin Red Room AO Arena

According to an email sent to a HfP reader, Virgin Red is giving up its box at the AO Arena. It will be focussing on the new box at The O2 instead.

I don’t blame Virgin Red for this. Obviously we don’t know what the proposed new terms were on the AO Arena suite, but the venue has lost most of its big upcoming events to the new Co-Op Live arena.

Had Virgin Red continued with its box, it would not have had access to the biggest concerts in Manchester.

It isn’t clear how much longer tickets will be available for AO Arena shows. The email says that the contract on the box ends ‘this summer’.

The last concert currently showing on the Virgin Red app is Peter Kay on 24th August.

Virgin Red Room O2 London

If you want to see the Red Room before it closes, you can currently redeem for:

  • Theo Von, 13th June (25,000 Virgin Points for two)
  • Peter Kay, 15th June (60,000 Virgin Points for two)
  • Troye Sivan, 22nd June (30,000 Virgin Points for two)
  • Paul Smith, 12th July (30,000 Virgin Points for two)
  • Peter Kay, 23rd and 24th August (60,000 Virgin Points for two)

You can find out more about what you will get in our review of the Manchester Red Room experience here.

PS. After this article was published, Virgin Red told us in a statement:

Virgin Red’s contract with the AO Arena comes to an end this summer, however, we’re pleased to confirm we’re putting the finishing touches on the new Virgin Red Room at London’s O2 with tickets now available to purchase with your Virgin Points for shows from 2 June 2024.  We know how popular our rewards and experiences are and continue to find new ways for our members to spend Virgin Points across the country.


How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (June 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 18,000 Virgin Points and the free card has a bonus of 3,000 Virgin Points):

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

18,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

3,000 bonus points, no fee and 1 point for every £1 you spend Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 40,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 40,000 Virgin Points.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

(Want to earn more Virgin Points?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Comments (11)

  • Chrisasaurus says:

    This is a shame / not least because the arena is in a good spot for getting to and has a ton of bars and restaurants around it and it’ll be a long while before coop gets anywhere near it. Standing in a concourse eating a £9 hotdog doesn’t really compare to a cheeky prezzo before a concert

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Isn’t it near the Etihad? I recall pretty easy and quick tram right from the centre maybe 10-15 mins.

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Adjacent to it yes – whereas the AO is build on Victoria right in the centre.

        20k people makes the arithmetic in the 10-15 min tram ride thing rather different and there are zero hotels nearby too.

        No doubt it will evolve but right now it’s a big backwards step unless you’re driving there and back purely for the show

        • PhatGit says:

          Also £25 for parking. Second visit tonight and based on first would far rather go to AO or First Direct in Leeds
          Also £11 for a pretty mediocre burger

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Possibly but if it hasn’t happened for the Etihad which has had an extremely successful football team for the past 10 years or so it makes you wonder.

          Also nearly double that on a match day. Granted no everyone is using it but same for the co-op Live? I don’t remember feeling overwhelmed or getting their unreasonably early.

          • No longer Entitled says:

            I don’t think the Etihad is a fair comparison. Empty seats don’t require hotels or restaurants so they haven’t materialised.

          • Tariq says:

            Pretty horrendous when you’re trying to get away after a match though.

            They are building a hotel next to the stadium as part of the stand extension I understand. Suspect it will be a luxury brand.

  • lee says:

    You may see them at a box at Co-op Live Manchester instead.

  • Coleslaw says:

    “ The last concert currently showing on the Virgin Red app is Peter Kay on 24th August.”

    Peter Kay has branched out to music?!

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