Should Ariana Grande Be Headlining Manchester Pride?

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

At the end of February it was announced that Ariana Grande would be headlining Manchester Pride this summer. After the announcement, ticket prices increased drastically. Twitter user @raininjulyvinyl questioned the motives of this decision, tweeting “idk .... ariana headlining pride when she’s straight (as far as we’re all aware) .... and doubling the price of tickets .... kinda smells like exploitation of the lgbt community to me .....”

Some people have responded agreeing with them that it is suspicious, others have said it seems like LGBTQ+ individuals only want to interact with other LGBTQ+ people and not straight or cisgender allies.

Ariana responded to the original tweet with a Notes app screenshot. She explained that she does not control the ticket prices, Manchester Pride does, and she accepted the invitation to perform “excitedly and gratefully.” She wrapped up her response stating “i’m not claiming to be the hero of the community or the face of the lgbtq rights movement — i just wanna put on a show that makes my lgbtq fans feel special and celebrated and supported. That’s all i wanna do.”

It makes sense why some people see her performance at pride, coupled with increased ticket prices, as exploitation. But, like Ariana said in her response, other straight allies have performed at pride events in the past. Further, it makes sense that ticket prices would go up -- you’re now paying for an Ariana Grande concert, in essence.

The question still stands -- is an ally headlining pride exploitation?

Maybe, but I don’t think it’s fair to blame the artist. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community — and, honestly, an Ariana fan — I’m honored to have such a talented performer and ally contributing to pride. At the same time, I’m not paying to attend Manchester Pride.

By the way, Manchester Pride Live tickets range from £34.50 - £275 + booking fees (that’s $45.49 - $362.58 + booking fees). Starting prices for Ariana’s Sweetener tour in Portland, Oregon are $121.

What do y’all think?