Picture by @blaireandchill on Twitter.
Yesterday, a terrorist attack happened at the Manchester Arena after the Ariana Grande concert. Twenty-two people died, many of them were children. Imagine your kid seeing their idol, looking forward to the day for months, and they don’t come back.
Afterwards, Ariana Grande suspended the rest of her tour dates. I can’t blame her for suspending the rest of her tour dates.
Of course, after the attack there were all sorts of reactions on Twitter. The people of Manchester came together and helped out their fellow human beings, offering them couches, cups of tea, and lifts to a safer place – both people offering their cars and taxi drivers turning off their meters. People offered their condolences to the victims.
Sadly, there were horrible people who used this tragedy to further their political agenda. People said prejudiced things about Muslims, even before the identity of the attacker was revealed.
It worries me. I’m scared that people will vote Tories or UKIP because of that knee-jerk reaction, which plays right into the extremists’ hands. The answer is not prejudice and hatred. Prejudice is what radicalises people. Most Muslims are very peaceful people, hardworking people, kind people. Muslims are not out to get you.
I understand musicians like Take That and Blondie cancelling tour dates and I know fans are saddened by the concert they were looking forward to being cancelled, but 22 people lost their lives. Safety first.
However, I understand musicians who have a different idea like The Courteeners, saying that the show must go on and we must keep living our lives. This attack could have happened anywhere. Terrorists want people to be in fear and not live their lives the way they did before the attack.
I thought about Rory Gallagher and Irish Tour ’74. Unlike other musicians who decided to skip playing Belfast, he decided to play concerts there, even during the height of the Troubles in the mid-70s, because there are fans there who enjoy the music and because he loved the city and considered it his spiritual hometown. When he played there in December 1973, he united fans both Catholic and Protestant and played an amazing show.
I saw concerned people online worried that there could be an attack at the concert they will be going to. I think after the Manchester bombing, the deadliest bombing in the UK in almost 12 years, things won’t be the same and there will be beefed up security at concerts for the next while to prevent another attack.
In November 2001 my family took a trip to Disneyland. My parents saw the news on September 11th and initially they were worried, but my dad said the trip had to go on and we will continue living our lives and we will go to California and make the best of it.
I will continue to travel because I love it. I will continue going to concerts because I love it. I will not let anything stop me from living my life. Quoting Stevie Nicks, “I have no fear. I have only love”.