Eyewitness: ‘Ariana concert was amazing...then there was screaming’

Ariana Grande had only just finished her performance in Manchester before an explosion took place outside the venue. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Ariana Grande had only just finished her performance in Manchester before an explosion took place outside the venue. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
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Ariana Grande had just finished her final song of the evening and music fans at the Manchester Arena were heading for the exits, still buzzing from the energetic performance they had witnessed.

Among the thousands of excited gig-goers at the city centre venue was Christopher Smith, an acting and performance student from Tollcross in Glasgow.

Christopher Smith and Conor McCormick travelled from Glasgow to Manchester for the Ariana Grande concert. Picture: Contributed

Christopher Smith and Conor McCormick travelled from Glasgow to Manchester for the Ariana Grande concert. Picture: Contributed

The 18-year-old, a self-confessed super fan of Grande, had made the trip south with his boyfriend Conor McCormick.

It was the second time Smith had paid to see his idol - and the 23-year-old singer from Florida did not dissapoint.

“I just love who she is as a person and how caring she is and how much she loves her fan base,” he said.

“I started getting into her music around 2013 when her first album dropped.

“The concert was amazing, the crowd was amazing and everyone was having a good time. My boyfriend and I were sitting on the ground floor quite close to the stage.”

But moments after the performance ended, fear and panic swept the 21,000 capacity venue.

An explosion left 21 innocent victims dead, as well as killing the perpatrator.

Smith added: “Minutes after she performed her last song, Dangerous Woman as everyone was getting ready to leave we heard a loud bang.

“Everyone just stopped and the place was silent for about two or three seconds until fans from the upper tier started screaming and running. Thats when we knew something was up.”

Smith and McCormick were unharmed and were able to return to their hotel, where they spoke with their parents.

“I think it’s important to carry on doing the things you love, but you need to be more cautious,” he added. “I don’t think I will be attending any more concerts soon.”