Manchester, UK (May 23, 2017)—22 people are dead and 59 injured after a terrorist explosion around 10:30PM last night outside the Manchester Arena in England during an Ariana Grande concert. The tour is out with audio production from Clair Global and lighting from VER; all crew and cast were confirmed from multiple sources as safe. Regional organization Raise It Right Initiative reported the tour did not load out after the attack; multiple news services noted that the entire area around the arena was locked down with no trains running from Victoria Station, which is adjacent to the arena.
The explosion occurred in a public foyer between the station and arena, the result of a suicide bomber with an Improvised Explosive Device.
Unconfirmed reports are circulating that the rest of the Grande tour, scheduled to play the O2 in London on Thursday and the rest of Europe through mid-June has been cancelled, but no official announcement has been made at this time.
In the U.S., security is being expanded at numerous venues in light of the attack. The concert safety organization Event Safety Alliance posted on social media, “Heartbroken over the tragic events in Manchester this evening. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families, and the Ariana Grande team. We are with you.”
Other tours currently running in the UK have been affected; pop act Take That announced it would postpone its show this evening in Liverpool, posting to social media, “Out of respect to all of the people and their families that were affected by the horrific incident last night at The Manchester Arena, we have decided to postpone our show tonight in Liverpool. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.”
However, veteran rock act Simple Minds, due to play Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall this evening, announced it would perform as planned, posting in part, “Our profound sympathy goes out to all touched by this horrific event. In situations like this, it is more than difficult to find appropriate words and actions. It all comes down to a feeling…. More than ever, we all want to go out tonight and play our music.”