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Manchester Arena to Reopen After Terror Attack With Benefit Concert


Ariana Grande headlined the “One Love Manchester” show in June. On Sept. 9, the Manchester Arena will reopen with a benefit concert featuring Noel Gallagher and others.

Danny Lawson/One Love Manchester, via Reuters

The Manchester Arena, where a suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured more than 100 following an Ariana Grande concert in May, will officially reopen on Sept. 9 with a benefit show headlined by one of the city’s premier exports, Noel Gallagher of Oasis.

The “We Are Manchester” concert, also featuring performances by British acts including the Courteeners, Blossoms and Rick Astley, will raise money for a fund that aims to establish a permanent memorial for victims of the May 22 attack. Tickets — priced between 25 pounds (about $32) and 30 pounds ($39), plus fees — go on sale Thursday.

James Allen, the general manager of the arena, said in a statement, “May’s events will never be forgotten, but they will not stop us — or Mancunian music fans — from coming together to enjoy live music.” He added, “Public safety is always our priority, and we are doing all we can to keep people safe at our venue.”

Councilor Sue Murphy, the deputy leader of the Manchester City Council, called the concert “a powerful symbol of this defiant and resilient spirit.”

Mr. Gallagher is in many ways a fitting linchpin for the benefit. In addition to his roots in Manchester, his songs with Oasis became a soundtrack for both mourning and hope in the wake of the attacks, with a local crowd singing “Don’t Look Back in Anger” after a moment of silence, as captured in one moving video clip.

Manchester crowd joins in with woman singing Oasis after minute’s silence – video Video by Guardian Wires

But Mr. Gallagher also fielded criticism from his own eternal chief rival — and brother — Liam Gallagher, who slighted his sibling for failing to appear at an earlier benefit concert, “One Love Manchester,” in June. “Noels out of the [expletive] country weren’t we all love,” Liam Gallagher wrote in a characteristically acerbic Twitter rant. “get on a [expletive] plane and play your tunes for the kids you sad [expletive].”

Proceeds from that show, which starred Ms. Grande, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and others, have gone toward the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund for the families of the victims. On Tuesday, the fund announced that it had raised more than $23 million, bringing the total each family may claim up to $324,000, along with access to free counseling.

“The city and the world responded with such extreme kindness, generosity and solidarity in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena attack,” said Ms. Murphy, who is also the fund’s chair of trustees.

“We will now spend some time looking at how we will distribute the rest of the funds,” she added. “This will be a complex and sensitive process as we will need to assess the long-term impacts of the attack.”

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