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Stars unite for Grande's benefit concert after Manchester terror attack

People look at floral tributes at Manchester Victoria railway station, which has reopened for the first time since the terror attack on the adjacent Manchester Arena PICTURE: Owen Humphreys/PA

JUSTIN Bieber, Katy Perry, Coldplay and a host of other international music stars will join Ariana Grande at a benefit concert for victims of the Manchester Arena attack on Sunday.

Miley Cyrus, Take That, Usher, Pharrell Williams and One Direction star Niall Horan will also perform at the One Love Manchester gig at Lancashire Cricket Club's Old Trafford ground in the city.

Fans who were at the show last week where 22 people died and dozens more were injured will be offered free tickets to the event.

The kick-off time for Manchester United player Michael Carrick's charity testimonial has been moved to accommodate the concert.

In a statement last week, Grande vowed to return to Manchester as she said "we won't let hate win".

All net ticket proceeds of the show will go directly to the We Love Manchester Emergency fund, set up by Manchester City Council in partnership with the British Red Cross to support grieving families and victims of the attack.

The fund's total has reached £6 million with Red Cross chief executive Mike Adamson praising Grande's "gesture of solidarity".

He said: "It will help raise funds to support the survivors and the families who tragically lost someone last week.

"This event is an opportunity for people to come together and celebrate things that unite us – music, humanity and the will to do something to help others."

Tickets for the concert will go on sale tomorrow at 10am.

Earlier yesterday Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said the force had been working with the singer's management team on the "finer details" to ensure the gig goes ahead.

In an interview with BBC Radio Manchester, the senior officer said the pop star's team were "very keen" to return to the city "sooner rather than later" for a proposed date this weekend but that it clashed with Carrick's charity testimonial at the nearby football stadium.

Mr Hopkins said: "When the idea of the concert came up, the first reaction was we need to speak to the families of the victims and see what they feel. It is fair to say that the majority of them are very much in favour, there are some that clearly aren't and that is absolutely understandable.

"Ariana Grande's team were very keen to come back to Manchester sooner rather than later so we have been working with Michael Carrick's team and working with her team to try to make this happen because clearly we can't have 65,000 people at Old Trafford for Michael Carrick's testimonial and 50,000 in Lancashire Cricket Club both at the same time. It would just have caused utter traffic chaos, let alone the security issues for us.

"So yesterday I was speaking personally with Michael and his team who, I have to say, have been brilliant in trying to come to a compromise around enabling us to make sure that both go ahead."

The gates for the concert will open at 6pm on Sunday.

The concert will be broadcast live on BBC TV and radio as well as Capital radio and streamed online with a digital partner yet to be announced.

BBC director-general Lord Tony Hall said: "Bringing the nation together, the BBC is proud to be broadcasting what will undoubtedly be a moving tribute to the victims and their loved ones."

Carrick posted a statement on Twitter apologising for the change in kick-off time from 4pm to 2.30pm.

He wrote: "I'm sorry if this causes an inconvenience to anyone attending the game. Our game, and the coming together of the people of Manchester has taken on a much greater significance since the tragic events of Monday 22nd May."

"I personally want to extend my heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and all those affected. We want everybody to know that we are Manchester and we show a sense of togetherness and we give our full support to the benefit concert after our game.

"I'm looking forward to seeing all of you this weekend at the testimonial to celebrate what our city is all about."

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