LONDON (Reuters) – The Manchester music venue where a suicide bomber killed 22 people as they left an Ariana Grande concert in May will reopen on Saturday for the first time since the attack.
A benefit concert entitled “We Are Manchester” will raise money for a charitable trust in charge of establishing a permanent memorial in the northern English city.
The victims of the May 22 attack at the Manchester Arena included many young girls, who make up a large part of U.S. singer Grande’s fan base. The youngest, Saffie Roussos, was aged eight.
Parents who had come to pick up their children after the show were also among those killed in the attack carried out by Salman Abedi.
“May’s events will never be forgotten, but they will not stop us, or Mancunian music fans, from coming together to enjoy live music,” James Allen, the venue’s general manager, said in a statement.
The line-up for Saturday’s concert, which was sold out, included Noel Gallagher, formerly of Oasis, one of the most successful bands to emerge from Manchester.
Also performing will be local poet Tony Walsh, known as Longfella, who moved crowds to tears at a vigil in central Manchester the day after the attack with his poem “This Is The Place” which celebrates the spirit of the city.
Grande will not take part, having performed at a previous benefit concert, “One Love Manchester”, which raised funds for victims. The June 4 concert, which took place at a cricket ground in Manchester, also featured artists including Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus and Pharrell Williams.
Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; Reporting by Helen Popper