Thousands gather at Manchester Arena to remember terror victims as it reopens for first time since attack

A start-studded benefit concert is taking place amid heightened security

Saturday 09 September 2017 22:17 BST
Thousands gathered at the first event at teh Manchester Arena since the terror attack in the city
Thousands gathered at the first event at teh Manchester Arena since the terror attack in the city (PA)

Thousands of music fans cheered the names of those killed in the Manchester Arena terror attack as the venue re-opened for the first time with a charity concert.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham spoke as the benefit gig began, reciting the names of the 22 lost in the bombing.

The 14,000 inside the arena cheered and clapped the names before he told them: “Thank you to the city for coming together.

“Thank you for being who you are. We are Manchester, a city united, nothing will ever change us, nothing will ever divide us.”

Families who lost loved ones and those injured in the terror attack three months ago are among the crowd at the sold-out gig, with the funds raised at the event to be used for a permanent memorial for the victims.

The event, titled We Are Manchester, began with a pre-show DJ set from Clint Boon, followed by a performance from poet Tony Walsh, known as Longfella, with a recital of This is the Place, a homage to the city of Manchester.

Headlined by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, there will also be performances by The Courteeners, Blossoms and Rick Astley.

Suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated an explosive device in the foyer of the venue at the end of an Ariana Grande concert, killing 22 and injuring scores of others on 22 May.

The area has been renovated and re-opened and a team of trained trauma specialists and mental health professionals will be on hand at the arena for anyone who needs help.

Agencies contributed to this report

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