Local icon Noel Gallagher has been named as the headline act chosen for the emotional reopening of Manchester Arena after the terror attack that rocked the city in May.
The blast killed 22 people – many of which included young children enjoying the Ariana Grande show – and injured 59 more after suicide bomber named as Salman Abedi detonated the fatal homemade device in the foyer of the Manchester Arena venue.
Now, however, former Oasis star Noel Gallagher will walk out onto the same stage as Ariana Grande did on May 22nd with the sole purpose of raising money to pay for a permanent memorial to those killed.
On September 9th “We Are Manchester” will welcome a line-up that includes Gallagher, the Courteeners, Blossoms, Rick Astley, and the poet Tony Walsh.
“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,” councillor Sue Murphy said. “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.”
Gallagher, at the time of the tragedy, reflected on the times that he personally played the Manchester Arena venue, contemplated the thought of his young daughter attending the gig and personally offered his thoughts for Grande.
“Having played that arena and all that and stood in that foyer, and being from Manchester, as it’s dawning on you that it’s aimed at young music fans… I say there are no words, there are words. Unfortunately you can’t broadcast those words,” he said in an interview with Radio x.
“I suppose Manchester Arena will open again, and yeah, you’ve gotta keep going, you know? I mean, I don’t know what Ariana Grande’s going to do. I couldn’t imagine that.
“I don’t know what I would feel or how I would react. I mean, I’m pretty upset about it now, but if it was your fans? Wow,” he continued. “I’ve got a teenage daughter… she may well have been there… But bar a couple of friends of friends who were in hospital and two very close shaves, all the people that I know didn’t get involved in it or weren’t caught up in it.
“And [I’m] lucky in that sense. But, you know, I think this particular atrocity will take quite a while to heal,” he added.