Grande dilemma

Katie, Scarlett, Naomi and Ellie (left to right)Image copyright
Claire Brenchley

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Katie, Scarlett, Naomi and Ellie (left to right) before the Ariana Grande concert on 22 May

“I want to go back to a crowded place to get used to loud noises again.”

Scarlett Worth, who is 11 years old, is nervous about returning to Manchester after she witnessed the aftermath of the bomb that killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena on 22 May.

“Ariana always makes me laugh, she’s so confident. I loved hearing her play “One Last Time”,” said Scarlett, who attended the concert with three friends and their mums.

When she first got back to her home town, Hartlepool, she cancelled her tickets to other concerts.

“She’s definitely changed since then. She’s walked around looking sad and quiet, when normally she’s so bubbly,” Scarlett’s mum Vicki explained.

But when 36-year-old Vicki heard that Grande was holding a benefit concert on Sunday to raise funds for the victims of the attack, she decided the sooner her daughter went back to a crowded and noisy place, the faster her recovery would be.

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Vicki Worth

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Vicki Worth and her daughter Scarlett were at the arena when the attack happened

“We were inside when the bomb went off. Scarlett told me she keeps hearing the noise now. We had an awful time,” Vicki said.

“We want to take the girls to show they don’t need to be afraid.

“Getting them out there will prove they can have a nice time again and get them over some of their fear,” she explained.

Scarlett and her friends decided to go.

“We said ‘let’s be brave’ – I thought it would make me feel not scared to do the things I love”.

Grande promised free tickets to the One Love Manchester show for all those who were at her concert.

But after Vicki applied for seven tickets for the girls and their mums, she was told that a maximum of six would be issued.

Then on Thursday evening, Vicki was told that she was entitled to three tickets only.

Some people who bought tickets from online market sites or ticket touts faced issues around validating that they were the original purchasers.

Ticketmaster reports that more than 10,000 people have falsely claimed they were at the scene of the attack in order to get free tickets.

But Vicki bought their original tickets directly from Ticketmaster and says she applied well before the deadline for free tickets.

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Ariane Grande/Twitter

On Saturday morning Vicki was told by Ticketmaster there were no free tickets left.

Faced with choosing who to give tickets to and who to leave behind, Vicki decided it was fairer if none of the girls attended the concert.

“It’s just impossible for us to go now. None of us would leave anyone else out,” she said.

“This is going to knock them back again.

“Scarlett’s been sleeping in my bed since the attack, so it was great to see her a bit excited again.

“We could have been part of something that would support everyone but now we can’t go.

“It’s not fair to leave the girls in suspense. Scarlett cried when I told her we’re probably not going.”

Other families are affected too.

Lucie Wright from Macclesfield applied for eight tickets but has only received four.

“It’s frustrating that they put tickets up for sale before authenticating our claims.

“My kids are greatly affected, this is needed to get them back to a concert. Will I have to pick which children can go?” she said.

A spokesperson for Ticketmaster told the BBC: “Everyone who bought a ticket from Ticketmaster should get a ticket for the benefit concert. About 12,000 of 14,000 claims have been processed and people who have not yet received their tickets will definitely receive their tickets on Saturday”.

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