It’s been just over a month since the tragic incident that occurred at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. It was one of, if not the most horrifying experience I have ever had. It’s still so surreal to me, even a month later I still refuse to believe that it actually happened. I’m going to tell you my experience of the night and the events that happened.
As most of you will know, if you have been following me for a while, I love Ariana Grande. Me and my friend managed to get the tickets at the very last minute and we were fortunate enough to get amazing seats, what we didn’t know is that these seats would’ve saved our lives. We were sat right at the front of the arena and we were originally going to buy seats in block 106, the block right next to where the events occurred. I can’t even describe how lucky I feel for us to have found better seats. The concert was amazing, Ariana obviously put on the best show possible and she honestly makes me so happy. She finished singing Dangerous Woman and walked off stage, the music continued for a couple of minutes and then the house lights came on. Everything was as normal and we were getting ready to leave when all of a sudden there was a huge bang. The videos of the noise makes it sound much quieter than it actually was. It was weird because nobody had an instant reaction, everyone stayed absolutely still for what felt like forever. Suddenly everyone started screaming and running, it was awful, I had a gut feeling that something bad had just happened. We kept getting told it was a balloon or a speaker that had blown, but from the reaction of the people from the area of where the bomb went off, deep down I knew it wasn’t either of those, yet I still didn’t want to believe it was a bomb. We ran to the front of the arena, begging the security to let us out of the building, they wouldn’t let us out at first until a second loud bang went off. It is still uncertain what that loud bang actually was, however, after that the security let us out. We went through the backstage area and ended up coming out of where the tour busses were parked. As I was leaving, I saw Ariana’s tour bus leaving too. She wouldn’t ever leave that early. It isn’t usually possible with the amount of fans that usually wait by the gate. Walking back up to the train station, I think that’s when I realised it was a bomb. There were SWAT cars and paramedics everywhere already (They did such a good job). Looking back I feel guilty because I kept walking, I saw people bleeding and crying and I just kept walking. They were surrounded by so many people, some probably strangers but I didn’t think to stop and I feel terrible. At this point I was panicking because I had no idea how I was going to get home as we had just been informed that they are evacuating the train station and cancelling trains. Walking past I saw more and more people covered in blood, it was honestly the worst thing I have witnessed. After walking round Manchester, seeking help, we went back to the centre and waited for my friends mum to come and pick us up. I am so lucky to have experienced this thing with one of my closest friends, she remained calm throughout it all and was a calm influence on me. If it wasn’t for her I don’t think I would’ve handled it as sensibly as I did. So if you’re reading, thank you, you made the experience that little less terrifying for the both of us.
It was honestly one of the worst/best nights of my life. I was the happiest I had been in a long time, I was watching my favourite artist perform my favourite songs. I want to try my best to split the night into two. I want to remember the concert for how amazing it was. Not the events that occurred afterwards.
I want to give some recognition to the amazing public services that we have, they handled the situation so well. They arrived on scene promptly and kept everyone safe. I also want to give recognition to the people of Manchester, the taxi drivers that were offering free rides, the people that were giving food and water to police officers that were working around the clock.
I want to give Ariana the recognition that she deserves, I’ve always known that she has a heart of gold but the way she handled everything has made me love her even more. She immediately put on one of the biggest pop concerts in history to raise money for the Manchester Emergency Funds. I couldn’t ask for a better idol.
Lastly, my heart goes out to all the families of the 22 beautiful souls that we lost. Even though it has been over a month, they will still be hurting and grieving, please pray for them. Also, the injured, I pray for a speedy recovery both physically and mentally.
I feel so lucky to be safe and I would never wish for anybody to experience what myself and many others had to.