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Olly Alexander defends Ariana Grande but says more people should listen to LGBTQ artists

The Years & Years frontman claimed LGBTQ+ artists would get more 'slots' at festivals if they were listened to

By Steve Brown

Olly Alexander claims LGBTQ+ artists don’t get as many ‘slots’ as heterosexual artists but they aren’t listened to as much.

The Years & Years frontman has spoken up following the backlash Ariana Grande has received after she was announced to be headlining Manchester Pride.

And although he defends the ‘thank u, next’ singer, he calls for more people to listen to LGBTQ+ artists if they are complaining that Pride festivals only have cisgender headline acts.

In a statement on Twitter, he wrote: “The last few years we’ve played many amazing Pride events, we’re lucky to get asked and I always donate my part of the fee.

“I’d love to see more LGBT+ headliners across all bills, the reality is line ups are a mix of artists depending on their availability and the need to sell tickets.

“Pride’s normally raise money so they can put on their events and donate to various (usually local) causes.

“That being said, I think most LGBT+ ppl will understand how problematic Pride can be. Every year we get a couple of days (or… a month?) and we’re meant to be grateful Starbucks have rainbow cups.

“I’m glad to see ppl demand change, the absence of people of color in these spaces is shamefully obvious.

“In the case of Manchester Pride – Ariana has shown more than most that she cares about us and loves Manchester.

“Does that mean we shouldn’t try harder to celebrate all the amazing queer talent?

“No! But – can’t stress this enough – if more people listened to and supported LGBT+ artists – they’d get more slots.”