This week, Manchester Pride (UK) announced that Ariana Grande would be headlining the city’s Pride celebration in late August. Some were upset that ticket prices were raised to £71 for a weekend pass – up from £30 last year, and accused Grande of exploiting the LGBTQ community because she’s straight.
22 people were killed and 64 injured in a suicide bombing at Grande’s concert at the Manchester Arena in May 2017. Grande later held her One Love Benefit concert at Old Trafford Cricket Stadium.
“Hi my love, i have nothing to do with ticket pricing – Manchester Pride sets those rates, and they’re mostly out of my control,” wrote Grande in response to an angry Twitter user. “The LGBTQ community has been so special to me and supportive throughout my entire career. The relationships i have with my LGBTQ fans, friends, and family make me so, so happy. i want to celebrate and support this community, regardless of my identity or how people label me. And also i wanna visit a city that means so much to me. LGBTQ representation is incredibly important, and i’m always proud to share the stage with LGBTQ artists!”
Added Grande: “Over the years, pride events have been headlined by performers and artists of all sexual orientations and genders, including straight allies like Cher and Kylie Minogue. i do think there’s room for us to talk about these issues without equating a performance *for* an LGBTQ audience with exploitation of the LGBTQ community. If you truly feel like i didn’t deserve to be offered this spot, i respect that. I’m not claiming to be the hero of the community or the face of the LGBTQ rights movement – i just wanna put on a show that makes my LGBTQ fans feel special and celebrated and supported. That’s all i wanna do.”
Others said the attacks on Grande were unjustified.
Said Manchester Pride CEO Mark Fletcher on announcing the headliner: “This year marks a big change for the festival as it continues to evolve. Previously we had one event running over the weekend and this year we have two, each with a distinct offering. At Manchester Pride Live we’re truly honoured to be welcoming Ariana back to the city to help us celebrate LGBT+ life. My team and I have worked hard to create a diverse lineup of performers who will join her in helping us continue to make a difference to the lives of LGBT+ people and celebrate the unity that exists in our brilliant city.”