Ariana Grande to perform benefit concert for Manchester victims
Support acts to include Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and Niall Horan
Flowers and messages of support in St Ann’s Square, Manchester, to the victims of the May 22nd attack at the Manchester Arena. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images
Ariana Grande: keen to return to Manchester after a suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena following her May 22nd show killed 22 people and injured 116. Photograph: PA/PA Wire
Ariana Grande is to perform a benefit concert for victims of the Manchester bombing on Sunday, with a stellar line-up including Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus.
The singer will headline the One Love Manchester concert at the Old Trafford cricket ground, with support including Pharrell Williams, Usher, Take That and One Direction’s Niall Horan.
Earlier on Tuesday, police said Grande was keen to return to the city “sooner rather than later”, after a suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena following her show last Monday killed 22 people and injured 116.
Chief constable Ian Hopkins said plans were being worked out for the singer to stage the concert on June 4th, nearly two weeks after the attack, to raise money for the victims and their families .
He said he was “fairly confident” the event would go ahead.
Police have consulted with the families of the victims about Grande returning to Manchester, and Mr Hopkins said the majority were very much in favour.
“There are some that clearly aren’t,” he added. “That is absolutely understandable.”
The event will be held at Old Trafford cricket ground, which holds 50,000 people.
A testimonial game for the Manchester United player Michael Carrick is due to take place at Old Trafford football ground, less than 1km away, on the same day.
“We’ve been working with Michael Carrick’s team and [Grande’s] team to try and make this happen, because clearly we can’t have 65,000 people in Old Trafford for Michael Carrick’s [testimonial game] and 50,000 in Lancashire Cricket Club, both at the same time,” said Hopkins. “It would just have caused utter traffic chaos, let alone the security issues for us.”
Last week, the celebrity news website TMZ reported that Grande’s manager, Scooter Braun, had been contacting “some of the biggest names in music” to see if they would perform alongside the singer at a concert in Manchester to raise money for the victims of the attack.
In a statement released after the bombing, Grande promised her fans she would return to the “incredibly brave city of Manchester to spend time with my fans and to have a benefit concert in honour of and to raise money for the victims and their families”.
She said: “I want to thank my fellow musicians and friends for reaching out to be part of our expression of love for Manchester. I will have details to share with you as soon as everything is confirmed.”
Mr Hopkins said police had been speaking to Carrick’s team to reach a compromise so that both events could go ahead. He added that police would also be dealing with crowds returning from the Champions League final in Cardiff, which takes place on Saturday night.
“I’m fairly confident that we’ll be able to do both on Sunday and the people of Manchester will yet again be able to show their support.”