Ariana Grande returned to Manchester on June 4, less than two weeks after a suicide bomber attacked her show at the city’s arena, killing 22 attendees. Grande refused to stand down, though, and instead brought a message of peace to the northern U.K. city.

About 60,000 people attended the show, and celebs like Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Liam Gallagher and Niall Horan took to the stage. Throughout the night, the hosts and performers reached out to those affected by the attacks, spoke out about violence and promoted unity. The show also raised funds for the victims and their families.

The following are seven of the most uplifting moments from the show:

1. Policeman breaks it down — on the dance floor

All of the cutaways to the crowd during the One Love show featured passionate, emotional fans. But one shot stood out to viewers: it showed a policeman dancing in a circle with some of Ariana’s youngest fans.

2. Attendees show no fear, even in the face of ongoing terror

Officials feared One Love Manchester could be another target for terrorists, who attacked London the night before the show, killing eight. But the attendees had nothing but messages of resilience, courage and peace.

Tyron Webster attended the concert with his friends and told the New York Times: “We’re not going to let one person’s cowardly act ruin our life. We’re going to go to this concert, we’re going to have an amazing time, we’re going to enjoy life, we’re going to sing at the top of our lungs.”

He then said: “We’re going to just prove them wrong. Like, who have you broken? You’ve broken nobody.”

3. Ariana’s meeting with a victim’s mom

Before singing “Side to Side,” one of her biggest hits, headliner Ariana Grande shared with the audience her experience meeting victim Olivia Campbell’s mother.

The singer was clearly emotional as she said Olivia’s mom told her that “[she]should stop crying because Olivia wouldn’t have wanted [her]to cry.”

She even admitted that she changed the entire show’s running order because Olivia would have wanted a different line-up.

“And then she told me that Olivia would have wanted to hear the hits. So that means that [although]we had a totally different show planned, we had a rehearsal yesterday where we changed everything.”

4. Miley Cyrus and Ariana duet


Manchester One Love Concert – Displays of Unity and Peace

Photo: One Love Manchester

Miley Cyrus was one of the many stars in town for the benefit, and she and Grande took the stage together for an emotional duet of “Don’t Dream Its Over”, the classic song originally performed by Crowded House. The two have shared this song on YouTube before, but there’s something so much more magical about hearing it live.

5. Imogen Heap returns

British songstress Imogen Heap has been out of the spotlight, but returned in a big way at the One Love Manchester show. She sat down at the piano for an intimate performance of her hit “Hide and Seek” — intimate despite the extra-large crowd. Attendees said the crowd fell peacefully silently during her beautiful rendition.

6. Choir of local schoolchildren sing with Ariana

Ariana’s fan base reaches into the tween and teenage age group, which means many local schoolchildren attended the pop star’s show two weeks before. She invited 24 students from Pars Wood High School onstage to sing her song “My Everything,” which they had recorded and sold in the weeks prior to raise funds for the victims. Ariana even embraced one of the tearful students in another emotional moment.

7. Concertgoers raise big bucks for the victims

Finally, the concert did more than send a message: it has raised more than $12 million for the victims of the Manchester attacks and their families. Money is not the most important message to send, but the amount the show raised will likely be enough to take care of the victims’ families and the injured, too.


Of course, these aren’t the only memorable moments from the show, or moments that pulled at the heartstrings. If you didn’t catch it live, watch the entire show here.

What the One Love Manchester show really shows us is that amidst unsettling events that feel so outside of our control, there are still multitudes of people out there with kind hearts, and they are working every day to take back control by unifying the world.


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About Author

Kate Harveston covers social justice and human rights issues. She graduated with a Bachelors in English and minored in Criminal Justice, so she enjoys writing about anything related to the intersections of law, politics and culture. For more of her writing, you can visit her blog, Only Slightly Biased.

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