The “Tongue” singer went on in a series of tweets to say the LGBTQ community needed to uplift a queer artist to a superstar level, referencing a recent Troye Sivan interview, in which he said the community doesn’t have a queer equivalent of Beyoncé. “Until there is that, an outwardly flamboyant global superstar to represent our community -- only THEN can the gays start opening their mouths talmbout ‘wHy ArIaNa,’” he wrote.
Years & Years' Alexander commented on the controversy on Thursday (Feb. 28), similarly saying that the LGBTQ community needed to support their own artists before complaining about straight artists like Grande performing at Pride events. “Can’t stress this enough — if more people listened to and supported LGBT+ artists — they’d get more slots,” he wrote.
Grande also issued a response on Wednesday (Feb. 27), saying that while she understood the collective frustration, she wanted to be able to perform for her LGBTQ fans. "I want to celebrate and support this community, regardless of my identity or how people label me,” she wrote on Twitter about her emotional return to the English city that was the site of a May 2017 terror attack that killed 22 of her fans. “And also I wanna visit a city that means so much to me.”
The "Thank U, Next" singer added in her statement that she had little control over ticket prices. Ahead of Grande's announcement, Manchester Pride revealed that weekend passes to the event would cost £70.95 ($93,81), a nearly £40 increase from the previous year's highest-priced weekend tickets. According to Manchester Evening News, event coordinators for the festival justified the price hike by saying they would be offering "the biggest line up of artists we’ve ever had, for less than the price of a single concert ticket."
MNEK closed his Twitter thread by adding that blame lies not only with fans, but with music executives as well. “The suits need to put their money where their mouth is and give their lgbtq artists what craft deserve [sic],” he wrote. “Monetarily, creatively - whatever needs to be done.”
Check out MNEK’s full thoughts on the Manchester Pride controversy below: