One Love Manchester | Ariana Grande stuns in performance against all odds. The message onstage and in the crowd at “One Love Manchester,” a benefit concert for victims of the Manchester attack that was hosted by the pop star Ariana Grande, was one of defiance.
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.”
“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.”
Source: New York times