Ariana Grande Returning to Manchester 2 Years After Terrorist Attack to Headline Pride Festival

Tickets for the concert are on sale now

Ariana Grande will find the rainbow, so to say, at the end of one of the darkest days in her life.

The “Thank U, Next” singer, 25, has been announced as the headliner for the 2019 Manchester Pride Festival, which will be held between Aug. 23 and Aug. 26 in the northwest England city.

“Manchester babes, I’m so thrilled to be headlining pride,” she wrote on Twitter. “My heart. I cant wait to see you and I love you so, so much.”

Of course, Grande and the city of Manchester, England were bound together in tragedy back in May 2017 when a suicide bomber killed 22 people at her concert and injured more than 500.

It was an dark time for Grande, who later admitted to suffering from anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In the wake of the attack, Grande suspended her tour and then, two weeks later, returned to the stage to perform in the memorial concert she co-organized, helping raise $13 million for those affected by the bombing. Shying away from social media after the break, Grande channeled her pain into her music — penning, “No Tears Left to Cry,” the first single off her album, Sweetener. When she finally released the song, an anthem about picking up ones life after heartbreak, Grande admitted she was still finding her footing after the disorienting tragedy.

May 22, 2017 will leave me speechless and filled with questions for the rest of my life,” she said in a letter to fans shared in November.

“Music is an escape. Music is the safest thing I’ve ever known. Music — pop music, stan culture — is something that brings people together, introduces them to some of their best friends, and makes them feel like they can be themselves. It is comfort. It is fun. It is expression. It is happiness. It is the last thing that would ever harm someone. It is safe,” she wrote. “When something so opposite and so poisonous takes place in your world that is supposed to be everything but that… it is shocking and heartbreaking in a way that seems impossible to fully recover from.”

Kevin Mazur/One Love Manchester/Getty Images

Grande went on to explain that the tragedy taught her resilience and not to take life for granted.

“The spirit of the people of Manchester, the families affected by this horrendous tragedy, and my fans around the world have permanently impacted all of us for the rest of our lives,” she said. “Their love, strength, and unity showed me, my team, my dancers, band, and entire crew not to be defeated. To continue during the scariest and saddest of times. To not let hate win. But instead, love as loudly as possible, and to appreciate every moment.”

“The people of Manchester were able to change an event that portrayed the worst of humanity into one that portrayed the most beautiful of humanity. ‘Like a handprint on my heart’… I think of Manchester constantly and will carry this with me every day for the rest of my life,” Grande added.

August’s Manchester Pride Festival will take place at the city’s new, 9,000-capacity outdoor venue in Mayfield. Grande’s performance is scheduled there on Aug. 25.

In addition to Grande, the festival will also include performances by Kim Petras, Bananarama, and Years & Years, among others.

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