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A year on, One Love Manchester is still a shining beacon of positivity!
The One Love Manchester benefit concert which followed a bombing in Manchester is an example of support and love in the wake of an awful tragedy.

The world can be an unsettling place that instills fear. The actions of people can sometimes be disturbing and disillusioning. When this happens, only an exceedingly positive overture can reinstate one’s faith in humanity. It has been almost one year since the Manchester bombing terrorist attack occurred at an Ariana Grande concert.

The loss as a result of the attack can never be rectified but the urgent response by Grande, a number of other entertainers, and organizations displayed that the choice to help rather than be consumed by fear persists. The One Love Manchester benefit concert held on June 4 of the same year was a display of defiant positivity and love which raised more than thirteen million dollars in the first twelve hours following the benefit concert and twenty-three million thus far. The One Love Manchester concert transformed the memory of an awful occurrence into one which also reminded Manchester and the world that we all have the power to take action with tremendously positive effect. 

One Love Manchester aired live to fifty countries on television and streamed live on various platforms including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Fifty-five thousand attendees at Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester were supplemented with a worldwide viewership of 22.6 million people. Equally as impressive is the way that business was conducted around this event to ensure that funds would go to those directly affected and not the performers and merchandisers. Those who were in attendance during the bombing attack were allowed to attend at no cost. No booking fee was placed on tickets for new attendees and the tickets were sold out within six minutes. Uber donated the fares from all passengers to the concert to charity and Metrolink offered free travel for concertgoers to and from the Old Trafford tram stop. All proceeds of merchandise (tee shirts, hats, etc.) went to the victims’ fund. 

To guarantee the success of the One Love Manchester, a who’s who of the music artists offered their abilities and appearances. The roster included: Ariana Grande, Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams, Mumford & Sons, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, The Black Eyed Peas, Miley Cyrus, Coldplay, and others, including appearances by Liam Gallagher and David Beckham. The connection between artists and fans was one of utmost solidarity. Fans of different bands were seen locked arm in arm, singing along whether they knew the words or not. In a truly British moment of “carrying on” those at this benefit chose positivity over resentment. 

 An event of this size and scope, containing such a large group of diverse entertainers, requires the elite of the event/tour management/production community. Ariana Grande’s own tour & production manager Doug Middlebrook worked with Roshad Ismail in overseeing every aspect of this enormous live and televised happening. Coordinating the arrival of artists from across the planet descending on Manchester and taking the stage at a frantic pace, with no rehearsal…let’s just say it isn’t the most relaxed environment for those performing in front of such an immense live and televised audience. 

Middlebrook reveals, “I was worried that the artists might be uncomfortable or stressed. I took it upon myself to make sure that everyone felt a sense of comfort and support from being involved in this event, and that was not an easy job. With so many big name performers involved and only three days to pull the entire concert together, I was fairly certain that we might encounter some drama or issues. It seemed very likely because a lot of very high profile people were working very hard and under a great deal of pressure. But, the incredible thing was that every single person from the big stars to the security to the catering crew and so on was all so kind and humble. It was clear that everyone involved was there for a good cause and was aware of the time constraints and the limitations of a quickly organized event like this.”

The One Love Manchester benefit concert was tremendously entertaining and earned millions for a wonderful cause. More importantly, it immediately brought the citizens of Manchester and the world back to a setting in which an awful event had occurred and led them into the understanding that they had the power to change their perception and thereby their own future. Ariana Grande spearheaded the idea of immediately creating this event that was brought about in response to the tragedy which had occurred at her own Manchester concert. Lesson learned; don’t underestimate Manchester, don’t underestimate the power of music, and don’t underestimate the human spirit.

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