Ariana Grande slays Manchester Pride – but many miss out on ‘shambles’ event
Ariana Grande made an emotional return to Manchester to headline this year’s Pride celebrations, but many ticket-holders said they were refused entry creating a “health and safety disaster”.
The ‘thank U, next’ singer topped the bill at Sunday’s Manchester Pride Live, where she paid tribute to her legions of LGBT+ fans.
“The gays have always had my heart, personally,” she said. “I spent some of the happiest times of my teenage years singing in gay bars in New York City.”
Manchester Pride marked Grande’s first time performing in the city since her One Love benefit concert in 2017, which raised millions for the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing.
Visibly shaking, she thanked the city for welcoming her back.
“I’m so happy to be here with you, it means the world, so thank you for having me.
“I’m sorry, I’m so nervous, I had so much more to say but I’m like very overwhelmed so thank you. It’s so beautiful, I love you so much.”
Thousands cheered on as Grande sped her way through a 30-minute set ending with a heartfelt sing-a-long to ‘One Last Time’, which was re-released as a charity single following the 2017 attack.
But for some Pride-goers, the closest they came to seeing Ariana Grande’s performance was this.
Fantastic view of Ariana Grande at Manchester Pride…! And this in the VIP bit where people have paid £200+ for the privilege. pic.twitter.com/cvjfcjusW9
— Josh Halliday (@JoshHalliday) August 25, 2019
Some claimed they were refused entry despite turning up hours before the singer’s set.
(1/3) @ManchesterPride refused entry? employees state it says on tickets 7pm entry says nowhere on tickets anything to do with last entry??? when will we be able to receive a refund? travelled 4 hours from glasgow just to see cheryl and ariana
— katie (@katiemacleann) August 25, 2019
Disgruntled ticket-holders reportedly took matters into their own hands, creating a “health and safety nightmare”.
@MENnewsdesk You might want to cover the health and safety nightmare that is @ManchesterPride People breaking down fencing to get in. A group of 100 just got through and stormed the arena while creating a panic. It’s a health and safety shambles and a disaster waiting to happen
— Jonny ? (@Jonny1977M) August 25, 2019
For some, the “shambles” underlined a larger problem with the Pride festival.
Please remember this is pride and people are there to celebrate and feel comfortable in their own skin for being lgbtq ?️? this is pride not an Ariana concert. Please be considerate. Ty #ManchesterPride
— fluff (@KambachFluff) August 25, 2019
As much as I love Ariana and #manchesterpride, the two should never have mixed. The entire space at Mayfield was filled with *straight* people who couldn’t have given a toss about pride and purely came to see Ariana (who was only on stage for 30 minutes??)
— Sam Walton (@walton_sam) August 26, 2019
This year’s Manchester Pride was the first to host live performances at Mayfield Depot, a former railway station turned music venue.
Weekend passes cost more than £70 including fees, more than double the cost of the previous year’s event.
Organisers said that they had been forced to move the Pride festival due to “significant property development” in Canal Street’s historic Gay Village.
They defended the rising ticket price, saying they had “essentially added a whole new event to our programme in direct response to the requests of our ticket buyers”.
Manchester Pride tweeted a warning on Saturday afternoon that the last entry to the Mayfield Depot was 7pm.
?? Sunday set times for Manchester Pride Live ??
Please note that last entry to Manchester Pride Live is at 19:00. All stages have a managed capacity so please arrive early if you want to see a specific artist. pic.twitter.com/PLmEQhY1Kd
— Manchester Pride (@ManchesterPride) August 25, 2019
And on Sunday, it was announced on Twitter at 8pm that entry to Manchester Pride Live had been closed.
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