One Love MCR

6 June
Old Trafford Cricket Ground

The helicopters that hovered above were not part of the main act, and neither were the firearms that pointed towards the ground, but they formed the backdrop to the surreal set of events that took place in Manchester on a warm summer’s day.

Hassled parents, mainly mothers, gathered their offspring around ticket machines at tram stops as they tried to work out the best way to Old Trafford. In turn, they were relieved to discover that travel was free to the concert if you had a ticket. Everyone wanted to help everyone out.

Youngsters, thrilled by the prospect of seeing Little Mix or Miley Cyrus, didn’t care if it was just for one or two fleeting numbers. They had to be there.

People keep trying to bomb Manchester - or London, or Glasgow - but they don’t seem to learn that their act of destruction unites people. Slay 22 innocents and 50,000 will stand up to represent them.

The timings meant that the conclusion to Michael Carrick’s testimonial game a few hundred yards up the road at Old Trafford football ground contributed a stream of Manchester United supporters walking parallel to a tide of music goers, each with their own agenda, but with a common bond.

As ever, the hawkers of quickly-made, quick-to-fade t-shirts and tat were out and about, the entrepreneurial spirit still thriving.

Concert goers sparkled, whether it was from the flamboyant bunny ears, the sequined tops or merely the smiles on their faces. Nothing was going to ruin their day, even though there was at times a nervous undercurrent.

Officers and officials joined in with the crowd, asking “What’s that picture of? Wow, that’s great,” or merely smiling and posing for pictures. I didn’t see that during the recent United versus City game.

If this Live Aid-type of event is to become a regular thing - and an eagerness for it was in the air - can we make sure no-one has to die next time?

Ged Camera