Alfredo Flores went on the road with Ariana Grande during her Dangerous Woman tour and looking back on it all, he truly believes the Manchester Attacks happened to Ari for a reason. The reason being that she was strong enough to push terror away, to keep on singing and to continue with the tour to honor those victims that were lost or injured during the explosion. Alfredo went on the tour as Ariana's photographer and videographer but also, by the looks of his Instagram account, can probably consider himself one of her best friends as well. They have a special connection and unfortunately, the tragedy at Manchester probably brought them even closer.
On May 22, 2017, Ariana had finished performing her last song at the Manchester Arena when a bomb went off in the lobby of the venue. 22 innocent concertgoers were killed and 250 others were injured. Days later, Ariana went back to Manchester and held a benefit concert, which raised millions for the victims. She brought along some of the most famous faces in music for the occasion including Justin Bieber, Niall Horan, and Miley Cyrus.
Alfredo spoke with Refinery 29's series called The Plus One and relived the moment it all happened.
"The bomb went off about one minute after Ariana performed her final song, Dangerous Woman. I was packing up my gear in front of the stage when I heard a boom. I looked back and saw people running; I thought one of the light rigs must’ve fallen. Then I went backstage and everyone was screaming, ‘We gotta get out of here!’ I had no idea what was happening," he said.
"Once we were safely on the bus, I saw my family and friends were texting me, because in America, all they heard was 'explosion' and 'Ariana Grande concert.' Seeing my mom and my grandma worried that something might've happened to me was when I realized, This is serious. There were a lot of tears, a lot of people were super shaken up, including Ariana. I’m just thankful and feel super blessed to be alive, because not everyone there that night was so lucky."
The details are chilling. He says that Ariana gave everyone in the crew time off after the incident and they were given the choice whether they wanted to come back or stay at home permanently when the tour resumed. Alfredo said everyone came back. But, it wasn't easy, especially for Ariana.
He explained, "Ariana was nervous, of course, but she was also excited to get back on the road, and so were we. We didn’t want terror to win, we didn’t want to live in fear, because that’s the whole point of terrorism, you know? But I’m convinced that experience happened to Ariana Grande, specifically, for a reason. I can’t say that if it was another artist they wouldn’t have continued with the tour, but I do know that Ariana is super, super brave.
Her entire show is about spreading love, from beginning to end, so the fact that something that ugly happened on that tour, I feel like it happened for a reason. And she set an example for all of us that fear doesn't have to win. I don’t know if that’s something every 24-year-old would be able to push through, you know?"
The experience forever changed Ariana's life and Alfredo's. He told The Plus One series that he currently doesn't have any tattoos. However, he's thinking about getting one. What would it be? The Manchester worker bee.
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