Over two years after her concert was attacked by a suicide bomber, Ariana Grande plans to perform in Manchester once again this summer, and her return will mark a very important occasion. According to USA Today, the 25-year-old singer is set to headline the Manchester Pride Live event, which is scheduled to take place on Aug. 25 and serve as a continued reminder that in the wake of so much tragedy, love will always trump hate.
Organizer and chief executive Mark Fletcher said in a statement on Monday, as per The Hollywood Reporter, that "we're truly honored to be welcoming Ariana back to the city to help us celebrate LGBT+ life." However, this won't be the first time Grande has returned to the Manchester area since the tragic bombing occurred on May 22, 2017, resulting in the death of 22 people. The singer returned just two weeks after the terrorist attack on June 4, 2017 to help organize and participate in the One Love Manchester benefit concert, where she gave a truly memorable performance of the song "Be Alright."
Later on, she was also named an honorary citizen of the city by authorities due to all her hard work and numerous contributions she made in the wake of the attack.
Back in September 2018, Grande once again returned to the U.K. at London's KOKO as part of Capital FM’s Up Close series, where she performed a wide range of hit songs, including several tracks from her album Sweetener, MTV U.K. reported at the time. She also included an A capella version of "One Last Time" from My Everything, which proved to hit fans right in the feels.
So now that Grande is set to perform in Manchester once again, fans are eager to learn as much as they can about what to expect and whether or not any official tour dates there could be in the foreseeable future. When one fan, @heidilouwood, asked her about it on Twitter, Grande's response indicated that there's something in the works that might end up being announced in August at Manchester Pride Live.
"we are still working on something a little more special for you guys. it takes a while to put these things together but hopefully i can tell you when i see you at pride. i love u. hope that’s alright."
It's impossible to know what this could indicate, but it definitely sounds like the singer is making some big plans for the future and hoping to bring some happiness to the people of Manchester following such a horrific event.
Back in June, Grande opened up about battling with PTSD and anxiety to Vogue U.K. following the bombing:
"It's hard to talk about because so many people have suffered such severe, tremendous loss. But, yeah, it's a real thing. I know those families and my fans, and everyone there experienced a tremendous amount of it as well. Time is the biggest thing. I feel like I shouldn't even be talking about my own experience — like I shouldn't even say anything."
Grande went on to explain how she'd always suffered from anxiety, though it became even more pronounced after the Manchester concert. "My anxiety has anxiety… I've always had anxiety," she revealed to the magazine. "I've never really spoken about it because I thought everyone had it, but when I got home from tour it was the most severe I think it's ever been."
The fact that Grande is returning to Manchester is a significant milestone, and that's not lost on her proud fans.