First, my apologies, for what you are about to read is not exactly a hot take. It is, in fact, as far removed from a hot take as can possibly be said to exist. Ariana Grande’s One Love Manchester concert was everything you’ve already heard – and felt – it was.
It was a moment of hope amid the pervading despair of recent weeks; a testament to the resolve of one incredibly young, incredibly talented singer fighting through the maelstrom of her grief. It was live music at its most moving, thrilling, and powerful. It was all that and more.
We may all be in the business of music in different forms, we may have all come into it via different routes, but few of us – if any – got into this industry because we harbour a burning love of market shares and crunching data.
First and foremost, we love music. Music matters – the impact it can have on people’s lives the closest thing to magic we have.
It is the least important part of what transpired that day – the event’s legacy should flow solely from the way it aided those affected by the terrorist attack – but One Love Manchester did represent something else.
It was, as Music Week’s Special Report with the team responsible for organising the event in just nine days reveals, a marvel of co-operation.
Grande bravely faced the challenge, and the biz rallied behind her: an operation spanning different genres, artists, labels and management companies that temporarily parked all concerns of business to put music and, indeed, people first for the greater good.
It’s a lesson worth keeping in mind as we all enter into an uncertain future. If that’s what we, as an industry, can achieve together, shouldn’t we come together more often?
George Garner, Deputy Editor