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Manchester Arena to reopen on 9 September

Manchester Arena will reopen on Saturday 9 September with a benefit show, We are Manchester, to honour victims of the bombing on 22 May.

All proceeds from the show – headlined by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (pictured) and also featuring performances from Courteeners, Blossoms, Rick Astley and poet Tony Walsh, all of whom are from Greater Manchester – will go to a charitable trust, overseen by Manchester’s lord mayor, currently Eddy Newman, to fund a permanent memorial to the attack.

The 21,000-capacity arena has been closed since May, when a Muslim suicide bomber, Salman Ramadan Abedi, detonated an improvised device outside its foyer after a show by Ariana Grande, killing 22.

Security under review after Manchester Arena bomb

A benefit concert featuring Grande, One Love Manchester, was organised by Live Nation, Festival Republic and SJM Concerts in June.

“May’s events will never be forgotten, but they will not stop us – or Mancunian music fans – from coming together to enjoy live music,” comments James Allen, the arena’s general manager. “Manchester Arena has celebrated over 20 years hosting some of the greatest musical talent of all time, and the significant economic and cultural impact that this has on the city means that this legacy must continue.

“We welcome the reopening of the arena, a major venue which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors, as a powerful symbol of this defiant and resilient spirit”

“Public safety is always our priority and we are doing all we can to keep people safe at our venue. Doors will open at 5pm and we are asking all customers to arrive at the Arena in plenty of time and and to keep personal items to an absolute minimum.”

Tickets, priced at £25 and £30 (plus booking fee), are on sale at 9am tomorrow (17 August) via Eventim and Ticketmaster.

Councillor Sue Murphy, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, says: “Those who perpetrate terrorist attacks want to divide us and stifle our freedoms. No one will ever forget the terrible events of 22 May but Manchester has reacted with love, solidarity and a determination to continue doing the things which make this such a vibrant city.

“We welcome the reopening of the arena, a major venue which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors, as a powerful symbol of this defiant and resilient spirit. It is entirely fitting that the reopening event should be a memorial fundraiser. Plans for the form and location of any permanent commemorations will be determined in liaison with the families of victims and others affected by the attack.”

 


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Festival glut sinks QotS’s musical ambitions

A Scottish football club has blamed an increase in the number of “alternative outdoor festivals and concerts across Scotland and the north of England” for its decision to cancel a 1980s-themed concert after selling just 700 tickets.

The concert was to have been held at Queen of the South’s 8,690-capacity Palmerston Park stadium in Dumfries on 4 June and featured music from ABC, The Boomtown Rats and Rick Astley.

It was announced in January following the positive response from a similar event last year, headlined by Status Quo. “Last year we dipped our toe in the world of music promotions by bringing Status Quo to Palmerston on a Friday night; this was so well received that we decided to host a whole day of retro musical acts this summer,” said club chairman Billy Hewitson at the time.

“It has become apparent with three weeks to go that advance ticket sales of around 700, which were much lower than the 5,000 sold last year, were not sufficient to justify the event going ahead on a commercial basis”

However, despite selling 5,000 tickets for the Status Quo show, the response for the June event was lukewarm.

In a statement released yesterday, the club said: “This was a difficult decision to make as we know many people were looking forward to it. However, it has become apparent with three weeks to go that advance ticket sales of around 700, which were much lower than the 5,000 sold last year, were not sufficient to justify the event going ahead on a commercial basis.

“We have not been helped with the number of alternative outdoor festivals and concerts across Scotland and the North of England.

“After weighing up additional costs to go ahead with the concert from this point against the costs of cancelling altogether it was unfortunately a decision that had to be taken.”