After the bombing that occurred at her 2017 “One Love” performance in the city, it appears that Ariana Grande will be making a return voyage to Manchester for a rather unexpected reason: Pride.
Despite not being LGBTQ+ herself, she is headlining the celebration, which has caused a bit of controversy among the LGBTQ+ community. Some take issue with the missed opportunity to showcase a LGBTQ+ artist and argue that Pride is being commodified. Others resist the idea that they should be told whose tunes to blast and support her appearance at the festival.
LGBTQ+ artists have let their voices be heard, as well. Gay pop singer MNEK tweeted, “Here’s what I’m gonna say; if you guys are gonna go all up in arms about Ariana headlining Manchester Pride and LGBTQ artists not headlining Manchester Pride, you need to buy LGBTQ music. And buy their concert tickets. And support LGBTQ artists. Very simple. Period.” He takes the stance that more support of LGBTQ+ artist could launch them to the kind of fame held by Ariana.
In her own Twitter statement, Ariana responded to the controversy, “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.”
The ticket prices for Manchester Pride 2019 are also a point of contention. £64.50 is the going rate for the “Rainbow Pass,” which gets you access for the entire weekend. Last years price did not exceed £30. Some say that the hefty price uptick goes against the inclusive values of the LGBTQ+ community, as some may no longer be able to afford the cost of attendance.
Despite the controversies surrounding the celebration, Manchester Pride is shaping up to be a rather exciting festival. It includes the classic Pride Parade, the Candlelit Vigil, the Suburbia Weekend, the Gay Village Party, and the Youth Pride MCR.