COMMENT: Festival shines a light at the end of a dark week

The German Christmas market in Commercial Road
puts Cheryl Gibbs in a festive mood

CHERYL GIBBS: I’ll be blasting out non-stop Christmas music for weeks

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A week ago, 22 people went to see Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena but sadly did not return home.

The terrorist attack in

Manchester struck a chord with millions of people across the world as the UK mourned the loss of the victims, including children and young teenagers.

And last night, thousands of people in Portsmouth showed that during sad and terrible times, music can bring people together.

During Mutiny Festival, in Cosham, 15,000 people shone their phones and lighters to show solidarity and their support for the city of Manchester.

Artist Rage, performing with headline act Chase and Status, said: ‘From Chase and Status, from the people of Portsmouth, from Mutiny Festival 2017 we send out our love to everyone in Manchester.

‘We are standing with you right now.’

And in that moment, teenagers and adults shone a light at the end of a dark week.

They were able to reflect on what happened but also look ahead to how the country can come together and give the families in Manchester the reassurance they needed that people are behind them and thinking of them.

The people of Portsmouth were called upon to show their support and they did in abundance.

The same happened on Saturday when American hip-hop artist 50 Cent called for festival-goers to stand together adding: ‘We want to show our love to their families. Rest in peace.’

Again, 15,000 people pulled out their phones and lit up the night sky.

Earlier in the week, other gigs in Portsmouth and the UK held a minute’s silence at 9.59pm, showing that music can offer redemption and give hope after terrible events.