Andy Burnham has spoken about the reopening of Manchester Arena following the terror attack at the venue, calling it a “symbol of defiance”.
The arena will officially reopen its doors on September 9 with a special benefit concert featuring Noel Gallagher, The Courteeners, Blossoms and more, as announced earlier this week.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Burnham said the venue reopening just under four months after the May 22 attack was a “symbol of the city going back together. Our determination, if you like.” “It’s a symbol of defiance in many ways that life got and and we’re not going to change who we are and what we are in any way,” he said.
The mayor added that security at the end of events could be improved, rather than concentrating all efforts on when attendees are entering venues. “There’s a lot of security upon arrival, but maybe less so at the end, where there’s a feeling of ‘we want you out of the venue as quickly as possible’,” he said.
“We want to assure people we’re going to look at security throughout the night and not just the front of the night. In the case of the Bataclan, [when] people are focused on the attraction of the show, somebody’s still got to focus on the doors. We’ve got to show the public we’re doing more to protect them.”
He added: “Music brings us together and reminds us of our common humanity.”
The reopening concert on September 9, called We Are Manchester, will give proceeds to the Manchester Memorial Fund. The fund was set up to pay for a permanent memorial to the victims of the Manchester attack.
A separate charity concert took place at Old Trafford on June 4. Organised by Ariana Grande, the One Love Manchester concert featured performances from Grande herself as well as Miley Cyrus, Liam Gallagher, Coldplay, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry.
The amount of money raised from the One Love Manchester concert for the families of the victims has been revealed. Approximately £18million was raised and the families will receive £250,000 each.