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November 1, 2020

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Pop star lends hand to new arena

While most music stars are rescheduling tour dates for 2021, Harry Styles is looking farther ahead and making plans to headline his own arena — one he’s putting his money and ideas into making a reality. Styles is one of the investors in a new £350-million (US$456.6 million) concert venue in Manchester, England, called Co-op Live.

The project, announced on Monday, teams him up with Oak View Group on what they hope will be the UK’s largest arena.

“As long as everything’s in order by 2023, hopefully they’ll let me play there — if I haven’t messed it up yet,” Styles said with a smirk.

After 10 years of touring the world and playing record-breaking stadium shows with One Direction, Styles, 26, knows what he’d like from a venue, both as an artist and a fan.

“Ultimately, I’m a music fan,” he said. “I love going to shows. I love live music.”

For performers, he also wants to create great memories.

Already vetoing a suggestion for backstage jacuzzies, he’s concentrating on making it a first-rate place to perform.

“What’s going to make it different than just touring?” he asked. “I want it to be a room that people remember playing and look forward to playing.”

The location was also a big pull for Styles.

He finds the idea of giving a “music city” like Manchester a brand new, large-scale concert hall “incredibly exciting.”

Styles’ dad lives in Manchester, which was recently placed under strict restrictions by the British government due to the number of coronavirus cases.

“It’s a difficult time,” he said. “Manchester is going to come back. It just will. Like everywhere, it’s about people protecting each other.”

The pandemic delayed his plans to tour in support of his “Fine Line” album.

Styles remains philosophical about the delay. His dates have been moved to 2021, and he said he’s more concerned about keeping his crew and fans safe.

He’s instead using his time to act in a psychological thriller, “Don’t Worry, Darling,” directed by Olivia Wilde and starring Florence Pugh.

It’s a switch from the music he said he’s always writing and working on.

“You try and put so much of yourself into music, and then you’re trying to actively remove that from any acting,” he said. “I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do two things I love doing.”

While he’s shooting, Styles is staying away from social media and instead releasing a new music video for his song “Golden,” which was filmed in Italy.

“It’s one of the first songs I recorded when I was making the album, and it’s always been a source of joy for me,” he said. “I wanted to make a video that encapsulates that. I’d like to think it will cheer people up. It cheered me up.”


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