Ariana Grande has announced a star-studded benefit concert in aid of the victims of the Manchester bombing.
The 23-year-old will return to the city as soon as June 4, to perform at the 50,000 capacity Emirates Old Trafford alongside Coldplay, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus, among others. Announcing the concert today via her Twitter account, Grande is graciously granting fans who attended the Manchester Arena gig free tickets to the benefit show.
Four days after the attack, Grande vowed in a statement to social media followers that she would “be returning 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”. The stars set to perform, which also include Take That and One Direction’s Niall Horan, “reached out to be a part of our expression of love for Manchester”, wrote Grande.
The ‘One Love Manchester’ concert is set to add £2m to the £6m already raised by the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, set up by Manchester City Council and British Red Cross to support victims’ families and survivors.
Sunday’s event is set to be broadcast on BBC One, BBC Radio and Capital Radio Networks. The testimonial match for Manchester United footballer Michael Carrick, arranged for the same day, will now kick off at 2.30pm rather than 4pm.
It is eight days since Salman Abedi detonated the bomb that killed 22 and left a further fifty injured. Fourteen people remain in custody in connection with the attack, with police reporting that some 1,000 people continue to work on the extensive investigation.
Manchester Victoria station, which is connected to the Manchester Arena and suffered structural damage from the blast, only reopened on Tuesday. While the UK’s terrorist threat level was reduced from ‘critical’ to ‘severe’ at the weekend, armed police and troops continued to guard events across the country until Monday evening. Those buying tickets for the benefit concert are being urged to avoid bringing bags, as these will be subject to intensive searches.
The British Red Cross continues to accept further donations to the Manchester Emergency Fund.