I’d imagine this is the case for most Music Week readers, but most of the greatest nights out of my life have taken place at gigs.
Some of them have also taken place in Manchester: from a teenage pilgrimage to the Hacienda to seeing Oasis go into overdrive at Maine Road to witnessing The Stone Roses’ long-awaited return at Heaton Park, the city is steeped in musical folklore.
So the terrorist outrage at Manchester Arena last week hit everyone in the music business hard. This can be a tough, cynical industry, but I can’t remember it being as deeply affected by anything in my 25 years at the coalface. An attack on young people having fun at a pop concert is an attack on all of us.
Our thoughts are with the families affected while, as Music Week’s coverage this week shows, many in the biz are contemplating what effect that horrendous act will have on the live industry, and taking measures to try and prevent it ever happening again.
Those measures are absolutely the right thing to do and, judging by the Twin Atlantic gig I attended the night after the attack, will be understood and supported by the gig-going public. But we should guard against increased security denting the joy of the live experience.
Gigs should be fun experiences with the potential to change your life in all sorts of good ways. Fear should never be part of the equation, let alone the unimaginable horrors endured by Ariana Grande’s fans last week.
So let’s take all necessary precautions and let’s all stay safe. But let’s keep going to shows and having great nights. Those who attacked Manchester will hate that.
Mark Sutherland, Editor