Two years ago, I wrote an article during my break at work. I had just returned from a trip to London to see one of my favourite artists, and I was still reeling from the experience. The article, called Why people go see their favourite artist a million times, resonated with a lot of people as it was shared hundreds of times. Essentially it spoke about music and concerts being escapism. It discussed how it doesn’t matter who you are, music unites us. Most importantly, it spoke about concerts being a place of happiness.
I received countless comments of people sharing their stories. Honestly, I enjoyed reading all of them. I felt happy knowing that I was not alone. We do not live in a good world right now. For many people, going to a concert is a way to forget about that world. There is no greater joy than seeing your favourite artist and singing along to your favourite songs. It is a place of safety and community.
Unfortunately, yesterday a suicide bomber attacked a concert venue. An arena filled with young people who tried to enjoy a show of their favourite artist. A place where music united so many. Now, my heart aches for every innocent victim of terrorism. Whether a victim is born in Syria or Paris doesn’t matter. My heart breaks every time I hear that people died for no reason.
However, when I heard the news about the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester yesterday, it felt like a stab in my heart. I wasn’t there and I have not witnessed the horrors. But as a music lover and a concert goer, this hit home a million times harder. I cannot stop thinking about these people who went their to enjoy a night out. They must have enjoyed a great night with great music. When they left the building, they must have talked about what a great show it was.
And then there was the bomb.
I can only imagine the fear that people went through. Children crying. Friends losing each other in the commotion. Parents calling out for their children. I can only imagine the terror of injured people, some even dying or already dead.
They just wanted to enjoy a night out. They only wanted to enjoy a concert.
Just like that, a concert venue is no longer a safe haven. We saw it first at the Bataclan, but we held out heads high. I hope that somehow we will manage to keep our heads high. I hope that we can find it in our hearts to keep enjoying concerts and music. It has been said a million times already, but I hope we won’t let fear win.
Rest in peace
That said, I am so very sorry for the victims of this tragedy. My heart is broken for all the young people who lost their lives in Manchester. They had such bright futures ahead of them, but a single moment ruined it all. I am sorry for all the parents who lost their lives when they just wanted to pick up their children. I am sorry for every victim. To be frank, I know that it doesn’t help anyone that I am sorry for all of this as it will not bring their loved ones back. But there are no words that could make things better.
I hope that we can continue to enjoy music. I hope that we will be able to find that safe place at a concert venue again. But for now, I think it is important that all of those affected take their time to heal.