Ariana Grande Brings Message of Defiance to Concert for Manchester Victims


The event, at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground on Sunday evening, was Ms. Grande’s first appearance since a suicide bombing at her May 22 concert at the Manchester Arena killed 22 people, including children, and wounded dozens of others. It came less than 24 hours after another terrorist attack rocked the capital, London, about 200 miles away. Seven civilians died in the Saturday night attack, after a van screeched onto the sidewalk on London Bridge, slamming into pedestrians, before three assailants ran into a nearby open-air market area wielding large knives.

After the attack in London, Lily Garner, 22, said she felt some trepidation about coming to Sunday’s concert, but that she ultimately overcame it. “It puts you on edge a bit, but you can’t let those things affect you,” she said. “You can’t stop it from living your life, doing what you want to do.”

Ms. Garner, who lives in central Manchester, added that she had felt a community spirit in Manchester since the bombing: “It’s just so strong. You just want to support everybody.”


Tyron Webster, another “One Love Manchester” attendee, said he and his friends decided to come to the concert on Sunday because it was their duty to carry on. “We’re not going to let one person’s cowardly act ruin our life,” Mr. Webster said. “We’re going to go to this concert, we’re going to have an amazing time, we’re going to enjoy life, we’re going to sing at the top of our voices.”

“And we’re going to just prove them wrong,” he added. “Like, who have you broken? Nobody. You’ve broken nobody. You’ve not.”

A similar spirit of resilience was spreading far from the concert grounds in the form of a photo of a man caught up in the Saturday night attack holding his half-empty pint of beer.

Shared widely on social media, the picture of the unnamed man started attracting headlines in the British news media. “Man Flees London Bridge Terror Attack Still Holding Pint of Beer in His Hand — and Brits Couldn’t Be More Proud,” the Mirror reported.

Ms. Grande, 23, announced the benefit concert last Monday on Twitter, a week after the bombing at her concert, naming an A-list roster of guests who would join her, including Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Coldplay and Pharrell Williams.

Speaking onstage Sunday, Ms. Grande’s manager, Scooter Braun, praised the crowd for its bravery. “Last night this nation was challenged, and all of you were challenged, and you had a decision to make if you were going to come out here tonight,” he said. “And this is so beautiful. You guys made that decision. You looked fear right in the face and you said, No, we are Manchester, and the world is watching.”

Mr. Williams told the crowd that he did not see or feel any fear in the audience, and Ms. Cyrus called for peace. Ms. Perry shouted, “We will not be silenced, Manchester!” and Ms. Grande thanked the crowd for being “strong and unified.

“I think that the kind of love, the unity that you’re displaying is the medicine that the world really needs right now,” she said.

Perhaps the most emotional moment early in the evening came when Ms. Grande performed with a children’s chorus, after which she appeared to choke up. The audience crooned along in loud unison as Chris Martin of Coldplay sang a cover of “Don’t Look Back in Anger” by the Manchester band Oasis, and the fans reacted with large cheers when Oasis’ singer, Liam Gallagher, later took the stage as an unannounced performer.

Ms. Grande’s Dangerous Woman tour, which had been scheduled to continue in London several days after the bombing, was suspended days after the attack. The tour is currently set to resume on June 7 in Paris.

Standard-price tickets to the benefit concert — which were available for £40, or around $51, with the opportunity to make a major donation of £2,500 — sold out in minutes on Thursday morning. Organizers tried to ensure that people who had attended the concert where the attack occurred could receive free tickets. Proceeds from the show will go to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.

On Friday, the Greater Manchester Police Department released a statement detailing increased security measures that would be in place around the venue on Sunday, including bag checks and police officers placed on surrounding streets and at public transportation stops. After Saturday’s attacks in London, they released another statement that said security would be increased. (Shortly before the concert, at a venue less than a mile away, the city’s famed football team, Manchester United, was set to stage a major tribute match for one of its most celebrated players, Michael Carrick.)

Dozens of police officers patrolled the grounds outside the arena before the concert, and nearby roads were closed to cars. Large gray police vans were parked outside, and canine units sniffed the bags of concertgoers as they walked by.
Ariana Grande Brings Message of Defiance to Concert for Manchester Victims Ariana Grande Brings Message of Defiance to Concert for Manchester Victims Reviewed by Education Hindi on 1:50 AM Rating: 5

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