My heart aches as I wake up this morning. It aches for the lives that were lost, the children that are still missing, and the families and friends of those who are injured. It aches for Ariana Grande and her team that works tirelessly day and night to share her music with the world. My heart aches for every single person that attended her show in Manchester last night. Most importantly, my heart aches for everyone like me all over the world, who is not only a music fan, but first and foremost, a human.
To all of the mothers taking their daughters to their first concert, the big brother surprising his younger sister with tickets to see her favorite artist, the friends celebrating their birthdays, the boyfriend and girlfriend planning a special night out, the best friends who have been counting down for days, weeks, and months, and anyone else that has ever enjoyed live music. This is about you; this is about all of us.
I think back to all the concerts that I have been to…easily in the hundreds. For every single one, looking forward to the show is what gets me through the week. My friends and I play guessing games of what the set list will be, crossing our fingers that our favorite throwback songs will be played and that maybe, just maybe, the artist will bring out one of our favorite artists that they did a duet with. I endlessly listen to every song on repeat while memorizing the lyrics so I can sing along to every word at the show. To think that people just like me lost their lives tonight while something that brings people together and exudes nothing but love breaks my heart.
For as long as I can remember, concerts have been my happy place. From the moment the lights go down and the stage lights up until the encore is over, nothing else in the world matters. Those two, three, four hours are for me. They are for me and they are for people that I am with to feel free. How can someone take that freedom away from us? How can anyone tell us that this space isn’t safe, and that we aren’t free?
Music exists to make people feel safe. It provides comfort when nobody is around, and it gives us answers when we have questions.
Music gives us a light at the end of the tunnel when we feel hopeless, and it reminds us that we are not crazy for feeling the things that we feel, and that we are never alone. Music has saved countless lives, and for someone to take advantage of a crowd of people coming together to let go of what’s on their mind and just be in the moment and in the music is truly a tragedy.
To Ariana Grande and every other musician that puts their heart and soul into their music, thank you. Thank you for letting us connect with you, sing our hearts out with you, and form relationships with other people because of you. Thank you for putting yourselves out there, giving up your freedom and privacy, just so you can share your art with us. Thank you for saving lives each and everyday through your music and your kind actions. Thank you for traveling all over the planet so that every fan can have the opportunity to tune their world out and be free for those few hours that you take the stage. Please don’t stop, because we will never stop listening.
Thank you to all of the paramedics, first responders, and officers who risked their lives to run into danger and help the victims last night. Thank you to all of the security guards at venues all over the world who are protecting us day and night. Hopefully we will work together to find a way to protect even further, and ensure that nothing like this can ever happen again.
I fell in love with music at a very young age, and years ago I made the decision to pursue a career in the music industry. I made this decision because of the effect that music and my favorite artists had on me. I have had the best nights of my life because of music. I found my best friends through a common love of music, and most importantly, I found myself through music. I wanted to work in the music industry because more than anything, I wanted to help share amazing music with the world, to inspire others and help them fall in love with music the same way I did. I followed that dream and now work for one of the biggest music companies in the world, and get to fulfill that desire to spread a passion for music every single day.
This morning, I woke up in my NYC apartment, walked across town, and took the subway to my office like I do everyday. I saw an advertisement that caught my eye, and though I would usually ignore it, I took the time to read it.
The people you go with make it great. Doesn’t matter who it is. A live event’s better because they’re by your side. You see the same things, you feel the same feels. You’re forever bonded by the experience of being there together. And you walk out of the game or the show or the concert or the match and you’ve changed. Your relationship’s changed. You’ve shared something. Something that happened live in front of your eyes. That can’t be taken back. Can’t be recreated. Can’t be summed up in 140 characters. Buddies leaving as brothers. Co-workers leaving s work friends. And all because somebody said those two little words…”Let’s Go”.
On Monday, May 22nd 2017, people from all over England came together in Manchester and saw the same things, felt the same feels, and are forever bonded by the experience of being there. They shared something…something that happened in front of the eyes of thousand so people that cannot be taken back. It cannot be summed up in 140 characters, or any amount of words.
To all of the friends I have made at concerts, thank you. Thank you for being there to enjoy those special moments of freedom with me. Thank you for dancing with me and singing at the top of your lungs with me, all so carefree and blissful. Thank you for the laughs, the cheers, the nights spent dancing in our seats, and the ticket stubs that I have plastered all over my room at home. Thank you for those memories, because they have been some of my favorites.
To all those effected by this devastating tragedy, my heart aches for you. I hope you will turn to music to find clarity and comfort. I hope we all will continue to come together to celebrate music and find that feeling of freedom and safety each time our favorite songs come on. To all of the artists who fear taking the stage and bringing their fans together, I hope you know how much good you have already done, and how many people you have touched and impacted through your music. In this time of fear and discomfort, we have each other, and we have music to help us get through it.
I hope we don’t stop saying those two words “Let’s go” that were mentioned in the advertisement, because those two words have brought so much joy to all of our lives. Today and everyday my heart will ache, but through the help of each other and through the aid of music, we will all get through this together.