As the summer concert season gets underway, last month’s terror attack on an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, U.K., is still fresh in the minds of musicians and fans alike.
A number of country tours will be making stops in Manchester in the coming months, and on the 2017 CMT Music Awards red carpet, two of the artists on those tours explained how they feel about those shows – both of which will be held at Manchester Arena where the attack occurred.
Rising star Brett Young currently has the Number One country song with the romantic “In Case You Didn’t Know,” and as part of Lady Antebellum’s You Look Good World Tour, he’ll be opening the show at Manchester Arena on October 4th.
“The first thing it does naturally because of human nature is it instills a little bit of fear, and that sucks, I hate that,” he admits. “We’re actually playing the venue where that went down, and it took me about a day to wrap my head around that.”
Young says that despite what happened, seeing the community’s resiliency has been an inspiration. Grande has already returned to the city for the One Love Manchester benefit concert, and country artist Brent Cobb performed in Manchester as scheduled just one day after the attack.
“Anybody who is willing to come back out after that happened, anybody who loves and supports music that much, that’s what we need to remind ourselves of when we’re out there performing,” he says. “Every day is a risk and all this terrible stuff is going on, but you’ve gotta just remind yourself that you’re blessed to do what you do and there are fans out there being supportive of you.”
On June 17th Clare Bowen of the hit TV show Nashville will also perform at the Manchester Arena, taking part once again in this year’s Nashville In Concert tour. Sadness and disbelief were her initial reactions to the attack.
“There were so many children in the crowd, it was a disgustingly cowardly act,” she says. “But the only thing that really conquers fear is love, and that’s what we’re gonna bring over there. You just can’t stop, you’ve gotta keep going.”
She’s hoping her new single, “Love Steps In,” will help fans all around the world do just that.
“It’s kind of a love letter to the world,” she says. “I kind of realized a while ago that you can’t save the world as one person, but when we get to stand onstage and tell stories and hug our fans and sing to them, you can make a little corner of it glow. We’re about to go make Manchester Arena glow, and it’s the whole basis of my music and what I’m aspiring to, just to show people that wherever you are, whoever you are, whatever’s happening, you’re not alone.”