UK bombing: Manchester fans ‘will not let terror’ stop music

Published On May 23, 2017 | By Nicholas Rahmon | Arts, International, News

People hold a placard as they take part in a vigil for the victims of an attack on concert goers at Manchester Arena, in central Manchester, Britain May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

By: Elisabetta Bianchini and Ieva Lucs

The people of Manchester are reeling after a suicide bomber killed at least 22 people and wounded scores more at an Ariana Grande concert in the city last night.

Greater Manchester Police said Salman Abedi, 22, is their main suspect in the attack, for which ISIS has taken responsibility. Police have also arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the attack.

Many of the victims were children, including 8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos.

In a press conference today, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May called the attack an act of “sickening cowardice.”

Social media lit up with appeals for missing friends and family members.

Chloe Mann, a student from Newcastle, was panicked after five of her friends who attended the concert failed to check in. Throughout the day her friends reached out.

“They’re all safe but very shook up,” Mann said. “We’re all just very scared…you don’t know where it could happen next.”

Manchester – the night after

Manchester Arena has cancelled three upcoming shows by British pop group Take That.

Canada’s own Broken Social Scene will go ahead with a concert tonight at Albert Hall, which stands a little over a kilometre away from where the attack took place.

“Their performance tonight will be their statement,” Ken Beattie, Broken Social Scene’s Canadian publicity representative told Humber News.

Julius Schiazza, a member of the Manchester-based band Simmer, will be attending the show and said Broken Social Scene deserves credit for going ahead with the show.

“The people of Manchester have a firm backbone and will not let terror disturb our love for music,” Schiazza said. “Obviously it will be tense there tonight, but that will not stop the music.”

University of Guelph professor emeritus Hank Davis, an expert in pop music history, said historically, violence and music are not strangers.

“In the past, damage inflicted on people in concerts were often fans excited by the music, or racial violence in the early years of rock and roll when race was mixing where they had been forbidden to do so before,” said Davis. “But there is no precedent for this kind of situation.”

Davis said that Broken Social Scene is making the right decision going on with the show, and that cancelling would let the “idiots” win. He said he hopes the tragedy doesn’t change the way people can attend live music, with metal detectors up and down streets.

“I don’t want to give away that much freedom,” Davis said.

In Toronto, the Air Canada Centre and BMO Field have said they will beef up security protocols for two upcoming Weeknd concerts and a Toronto FC soccer game.

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