Olly Alexander speaks out over Ariana Grande Manchester Pride backlash

Olly Alexander of Years & Years

Years & Years singer Olly Alexander has spoken out, after Ariana Grande was criticised for headlining Manchester Pride.

A viral Twitter post had accused Ariana Grande of “exploiting” LGBT+ fans by headlining the Manchester Pride festival, where weekend tickets are currently on sale for £81.95 each.

The post questioned why the high-priced festival was booking big-name heterosexual artists and pricing out the local LGBT+ community.

Olly Alexander: LGBT+ artists would get slots at Pride if more people supported them

Out singer Olly Alexander, who is due to perform at the Pride event a day before Grande, has now weighed in on the issue.

In a note on Twitter, he said: “The last few years we’ve played many amazing Pride events, we’re lucky to get asked and I always donate my part of the fee.

“I’d love to see more LGBT+ headliners across all bills, the reality is line ups are a mix of artists depending on their availability and the need to sell tickets.

“Prides normally raise money so they can put on their events and donate to various (usually local) causes.”

Olly Alexander poses on the red carpet on arrival for the BRIT Awards 2019 in London on February 20, 2019.

Olly Alexander poses on the red carpet on arrival for the BRIT Awards 2019 in London on February 20, 2019. (TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty)

He added: “That being said I think most LGBT+ ppl will understand how problematic Pride can be.

“Every year we get a couple of days (or.. a month?)and we’re meant to be grateful Starbucks have rainbow cups.

“I’m glad to see ppl demand change, the absence of people of color in these spaces is shamefully obvious. In the case of Manchester Pride – Ariana has shown more than most that she cares about us and loves Manchester.

“Does that mean we shouldn’t try harder to celebrate all the amazing queer talent ? No!

“But -can’t stress this enough- if more people listened to and supported LGBT+ artists -they’d get more slots.”

Ariana Grande: I’m proud to share the stage with LGBT+ artists

Grande has also responded to the post.

The star wrote: “I have nothing to do with ticket pricing—manchester pride sets those rates, and they’re mostly out of my control.”

“The lgbtq community has been so special to me and supportive throughout my entire career. the relationships i have with my lgbtq fans, friends, and family make me so so happy.

“I want to celebrate and support this community, regardless of my identity or how people label me. and also i wanna visit a city that means so much to me.

“LGBTQ representation is incredibly important, and i’m always proud to share the stage with lgbtq artists!”