"Traumatised" Ariana Grande Came Up With Manchester Benefit Concert As An Act Of "Defiance"

Photo: C Flanigan/Getty Images.
Typically, large charity events are elaborately planned affairs that take months (if not years) of logistical planning and contract negotiations in order to both make the event run smoothly, as well as meet the demands of all parties involved. That was not the case for the the Sunday, June 4 benefit concert that Ariana Grande is headlining this weekend — just two weeks after the terrorist attack that killed 22 and injured 59 at her Manchester show.
New details on the massive undertaking, reported by Billboard, illustrate how the massive, star-studded fundraiser was put together in just nine days — all thanks to Grande's initial idea. "The idea to host this event came from Ariana," said Melvin Benn, managing director of Festival Republic, the Live Nation subsidiary producing the One Love Manchester show. "She was very traumatised after the attack, but it was very important to her to support the victims and show a level of defiance that stands up to this bloodlust and ambivalence towards innocent individuals and tells the terrorists that they are not going to stop us."
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Grande's manager Scooter Braun got the concert promoters onboard, and then started booking the incredible lineup of talent signed on: Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Coldplay, Pharrell, Usher, One Direction's Niall Horan, and British pop group Take That. Billboard reports that all of the acts will use Grande's band for their sets, except for Coldplay, and that a choir of Manchester students will participate as well.
Of course, safety was a major concern in putting the event together. Benn said that the Greater Manchester Police offered their full support. Benn said the chief constable told him, "'This is an amazing thing that Ariana wants to do and it shows we're not defeated, we're standing together united,' and even though it's going to be a phenomenal amount of work, he fully embraced the idea." Benn also helped convince Manchester United to move up the time of a soccer match that would have clogged up the train station as concert goers were arriving.
Net ticket proceeds will go to the the We Love Manchester Emergency fund, which was organised by the city of Manchester and the British Red Cross to support victims and their families. Plus, all who attended the May 22 show are allowed to attend for free (as long as they register on Ticketmaster by Wednesday). Tickets will become available to the general public on Thursday morning.
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