Extra security as fans arrive for Grande gig
Additional security measures were in place as fans arrived for a Manchester tribute concert on Sunday.
Around 50,000 were expected to attend the Ariana Grande show at Old Trafford cricket ground, despite some admitting to feeling nervous in the wake of Saturday night’s terror attack in London.
All those who attended Grande’s gig at Manchester Arena on May 22 – which was targeted by a suicide bomber – were offered free tickets to Sunday’s show.
Organisers said the event would go ahead “loudly” and with “greater purpose” following the marauding attack in central London less than 24 hours earlier.
American star Grande said she was “praying for London” after the atrocity in the capital, which killed seven and left 48 injured.
Including the Manchester Arena bombing, the London attack made it three mass casualty terror attacks in the UK within four months.
Armed police surrounded the Old Trafford venue but were seen posing for photographs as concert-goers arrived.
Fans were urged not to bring bags in order to speed up searches as people entered the concert.
:: LIVE: Police raids after London terror attack
Sunday night’s show will raise money for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, and will feature A-list acts such as Coldplay, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Usher, Take That and Miley Cyrus.
Linda Tipping, 50, from Chorley, wore Grande’s signature bunny ears but confessed she was “nervous” following the London attack.
She said: “I thought about not coming after last night. But friends said ‘don’t be stupid, enjoy yourself and don’t think about it’. We can’t let them stop us.”
Liam Rees, 18, from South Wales, revealed he had given a spare ticket to the Old Trafford concert to Kellie Royle, 41, who had helped him and a friend get home after the Manchester attack.
He admitted he had been “all over the place” after hearing about the attack in London but added: “It’s important to live your life to the fullest.”
In a statement released on Sunday, Grande and Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun said the tribute concert will be to “honour those lost” in both the Manchester and London’s atrocities.
He said: “We plan to honour them with courage, bravery, and defiance in the face of fear.
“Today’s One Love Manchester benefit concert will not only continue, but will do so with greater purpose.”
“We must not be afraid and in tribute to all those affected here and around the world, we will bring our voices together and sing loudly.”
Greater Manchester Police assistant chief constable Garry Shewan revealed “additional security” will be in place at both the concert and a testimonial match at the nearby Old Trafford football stadium on Sunday.
He said: “We have dedicated resources at both events, with a significant number of officers from both Greater Manchester Police and colleagues from other forces, some of which will be armed.
“There will be additional security checks taking place and everyone will be searched, including bags. We would ask people not to bring bags if they can, as this will help speed up entry.”
The bombing at the end of Grande’s concert at Manchester Arena last month killed 22 people and left 116 injured.
:: London terror attack – Watch a special programme on Sky News presented by Dermot Murnaghan at 8pm tonight.