“Let’s not be afraid”
On June 4th 2017, a concert was held at the Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester, organised by Ariana Grande and her people in support of the families affected by the previous month’s terror attack in the city.
The uplifting spirit and determination with which the One Love Concert came together, is a powerful indication of Manchester’s strength. I have never heard a crowd quite as loud as when the victims and people, showing their support following the attack, joined together to sing Don’t Look Back in Anger. The crowd had come to celebrate the spirit of Manchester following the attack at Ariana Grande’s concert on the 22nd of May. Ariana Grande herself took to the stage to sing with many fellow artists in aid of the families who lost people in the terror attack.
Highlights of the night included an unexpected appearance from Liam Gallagher, as well as a moving and heartfelt performance of Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Ariana to close the concert. This left viewers at home, as well as those in the audience at the event, deeply emotional. However, the concert was not primarily about the music being performed on the stage, but rather the role music plays in the lives of free people and how it brings us together; it was a gathering in aid of our right to express ourselves.
“Everybody seems to be very, very positive” says Dave Spencer, an Isle of Man resident who travelled back to the mainland to bring his 10-year-old granddaughter, who had attended the original concert, to the event. “There was nobody walking around with miserable faces on; there’s nobody sad, or anything like that. Everybody seemed to be looking forward to this event…I am”. A great number of people including many teens unaccompanied by adults, lined up constantly chatting with one another, taking pictures and holding up banners with ‘One Love’ written on them. Policemen danced with the crowd, whilst keeping a close eye on the event. Inside the venue you could get your hands on t-shirts and hoodies from friendly staff in merchandise booths, with all proceeds going to the We Love Manchester fund. Though unable to make the event, other artists such as David Beckham, Paul McCartney and Twenty-One pilots sent their love and showed their sympathy towards the families affected via video links.
As it was Ariana’s event, she performed her biggest hits but also shared the stage with the likes of Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and the Black Eyed Peas – and because she felt emotional about what had happened at her concert at the Manchester Arena, she offered the most genuine and touching speech of the night. She declared: “I want to thank you so much for coming together and being so loving and strong and unified”… “I love you so much, and I think that the love and unity you’re displaying is the medicine the world needs right now”.
Original Image by Lizzie Debonnaire.