Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham joined in with the tribute.
Before they took to the stage headlining day one of Parklife in Heaton Park, Manchester, members of the police and ambulance and fire services who were involved in helping on May 22 after a suicide bomber targeted Ariana Grande‘s concert at Manchester Arena, claiming 22 lives, were joined by newly-elected Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham.
“On the night of the attack and every hour since, our police, our NHS staff, our fire staff, all of our public services have been working to help people affected by the tragedy, to identify those responsible, and to bring us all together,” Burnham said, amid proud crowd chants of “Manchester! Manchester!”
“Tonight we think about all of those families who lost loved ones, we think about those who were injured, and those who were traumatised by the attack. And I’m here to thank you for your solidarity with them, for your solidarity with each other, and for staying true to what our city – Manchester – is all about.”
“The terrorists want to change us, they want to divide us – don’t let them win. Don’t let them change Manchester.”
“The fact you’re here tonight shows we’re not going to be beaten. So Parklife, stick together, stay strong, choose hope over fear and terror – and always choose love over hate.”
He proceeded to introduce The 1975 frontman Matty Healy, who put his arm round Burnham before offering the praise: “Manchester, we’ve got a real Mayor here,”
It was a heartfelt moment for the quartet who hail from the city. “I think we’ve all spent a lot of time mourning since what happened,” said Healy. “But this is a music festival and we’ve had our silence. We didn’t want to do a moment of silence, we wanted to do a moment of noise.”
“As these people leave the stage,” he continued, gesturing to the emergency services, “in celebration of what they’ve done, let’s have a minute of going fucking mental.” Taking their cue, the audience deafeningly obliged. You can see a fan-filmed clip below.
Lord Mayor Carl Austin-Behan and Councillor Pat Karney also joined festival organisers Sacha Lord-Marchionne, Jon Drape and San Kandel in paying their respects.
Later in the set, Healy forcefully called on Prime Minister Theresa May to resign, following her discussions of a “confidence and supply” deal with the The Democratic Unionist Party – known for their controversial stances on abortion, gay marriage and climate change – after the Conservatives fell eight seats short of a majority in Thursday’s election.
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Before performing the song ‘Loving Someone’, he said: “Theresa May needs to resign. She needs to stop squatting in Number 10 with a coalition that sounds like an STI. It does – I don’t want DUP.”
Healy – who quipped on Twiter last week that he would “send nudes” if his fans voted Labour – continued by applauding the reported upsurge in youth turnout. “One of the reasons the Tories campaign didn’t work is because all the young people showed up and said bollocks to that – bollocks to nationalism,” he said.