“And we’re going to just prove them wrong,” he added. “Like, who have you broken? Nobody. You’ve broken nobody. You’ve not.”
Ms. Grande, 23, announced the benefit concert last Monday on Twitter, a week after the blast at her concert, naming an A-list roster of guests who would join her, including Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Coldplay and Pharrell Williams.
Speaking onstage at the concert on Sunday, Ms. Grande’s manager, Scooter Braun, praised the crowd for its bravery. “Last night this nation was challenged, and all of you were challenged, and you had a decision to make if you were going to come out here tonight,” he said. “And this is so beautiful. You guys made that decision. You looked fear right in the face and you said, no, we are Manchester, and the world is watching.”
Mr. Williams told the crowd that he did not see or feel any fear in the audience, and Ms. Cyrus called for peace. “For me, the most important responsibility we have on this entire planet is to take care of one another,” she said. “And look what we’re doing today and how amazing that is.”
Perhaps the most emotional moment early in the evening came when Ms. Grande performed with a children’s chorus, after which she appeared to choke up.
Ms. Grande’s Dangerous Woman tour, which had been scheduled to continue in London several days after the bombing, was suspended days after the attack. The tour is currently scheduled to resume on June 7 in Paris.
Standard-price tickets to the benefit concert — which were available for £40, or around $51, with the opportunity to make a major donation of £2,500 — sold out in minutes on Thursday morning. Organizers tried to ensure that people who had attended the concert where the attack occurred could receive free tickets. Proceeds from the show will go to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.
On Friday, the Greater Manchester Police Department released a statement detailing increased security measures that would be in place around the venue on Sunday, including bag checks and police officers placed on surrounding streets and at public transportation stops. After Saturday’s attacks in London, they released another statement that said security would be increased. (Shortly before the concert, in a venue less than a mile away, the city’s famed football team, Manchester United, was set to stage a major tribute match for one of its most celebrated players, Michael Carrick.)
Dozens of police officers patrolled the grounds outside the arena before the concert, and nearby roads were closed to car traffic. Large gray police vans were parked outside, and canine units sniffed the bags of concertgoers as they walked by.
The crowd included a broad mix of attendees of all ages, including many young women wearing variations on the signature bunny ears that Ms. Grande has lately sported in images.
The concert, which took place on the city’s southwest outskirts, about 3.5 miles away from the city center Manchester Arena, where the bombing occurred, was broadcast live by BBC television and radio, aired on other radio stations and live-streamed online.
Outside the arena on Sunday, fans, some of whom had attended Ms. Grande’s Manchester Arena concert, offered mixed reasons for attending Sunday’s concert.
Becky Jones, 21, who was at Ms. Grande’s concert on May 22, said she heard the blast but knew something serious had gone wrong only when she smelled burning. “I knew I wanted to come,” she said of Sunday’s concert. “I wasn’t going to let it stop me,” she added, referring to the prospect of another terrorist attack, “because it’s something I love to do.”
A group of young men arrived at the venue in flamboyant outfits, with artful swishes of glitter painted onto their faces. One in the group, James Ockerby, 25, wore a shirt dedicated to his friend Martyn Hett, who died in the attack, and whom Mr. Ockerby described as “an icon.”
Mr. Ockerby, who was at the Manchester Arena concert, described sprinting from the arena and only later figuring out what had happened. “We don’t want to be scared,” he said of his decision to attend the benefit. “We want to forget what’s going on, we want to have a good time.”
Continue reading the main story