Poet Tony Walsh has captured the mood of thousands of people who gathered to remember the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing as the city took part in a mass singalong.
Walsh, who became a symbol of Manchester’s defiance last year after his reading of an ode to the city, proclaimed “this is what love sounds like” as a crowd packed into Albert Square showed their solidarity.
After an earlier minute’s silence, Walsh encouraged the crowd at the ‘Manchester Together – With One Voice’ event to make a minute’s noise for the 22 people who were killed, those injured in the blast, for the first responders, NHS staff involved in the care of those affected and “for Manchester and its spirit and its amazing people”.
As the crowd of up to 15,000 people responded, Walsh shouted: “This is what love sounds like. You can’t stop the sound of love.”
The uplifting evening was brought to a close by a 30-minute mass singalong comprising of the 2,800 voices of the various choirs and the many thousands who had gathered.
Noel Gallagher, Elbow’s Guy Garvey and Gary Barlow gave short video messages ahead of their hits Don’t Look Back In Anger, One Day Like This and Never Forget being sang.
Ariana Grande’s One Last Time was also sang by the crowd before the event finished with a performance of The Beatles’ All You Need Is Love.
Among those singing were Manchester Survivors Choir whose members were caught up in the blast at the Manchester Arena and joined together musically to help cope with the trauma of May 22.
Before they sang Rise Up by Andra Day, choir member Cath Hill told the audience: “We are showing Manchester and the world that we carry on.
“It is so important for us to be together. We are here to look after each other, care for each other and to be positive and move forward.”
Twenty-two people were killed when suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated a device at the end of an Ariana Grande concert. Hundreds more were injured in the explosion.
The event kicked off with a series of recorded messages from celebrities, including Manchester United player Ryan Giggs and New Order’s Peter Hook.
They were accompanied by a performance of Walsh’s poem ‘This Is The Place’, which he read at a vigil in the days after the bombing.
Earlier today, Ariana Grande tweeted the message: “Thinking of you all today and everyday,” adding a bee emoji, a symbol which has been synonymous with Manchester for decades.
“I love you with all of me and am sending you all of the light and warmth I have to offer on this challenging day,” she said.
The singalong follows a day of remembrance in Manchester one year on from the deadly attack.
Emergency service workers and the families of attack victims were joined by Prince William, Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn for a memorial service at Manchester Cathedral on Tuesday afternoon.
During the service - which was live-streamed to huge crowds gathered in Manchester’s Cathedral Gardens - 22 lit candles stood on the church’s altar to represent the 22 people who lost their lives.
The candles were made using wax from the thousands of candles left in St Ann’s Square in the wake of the tragedy.
Speaking during the service the Dean of Manchester Rogers Govender said those who had died “will live on through those who love them”.
“Those lost and their loved ones will forever be in the hearts of the people of Manchester,” he added.
At 2.30pm, people across the country stopped to mark a minute’s silence on the first anniversary of the bombing.
Earlier in the day, the Trees of Hope trail opened in the city, allowing people to walk along a route lined with 28 Japanese maple trees to hang messages of tribute or solidarity on their branches.
The messages are being placed on the trees between Victoria Station and St Ann’s Square, and will be added to the archive of public responses to the deadly attack.