WE Day just “touched down in London-town” for an action-packed day of inspirational speeches and dazzling performances! Check out the highlights from this year’s celebration in Wembley’s SSE Arena.
The day began early, with celebrities and thought leaders taking a walk down WE’s famed blue carpet. There to greet them stood a group of energetic young change-makers, who braved the rain with wide grins and booming cries of encouragement.
Students from across the UK flooded into the SSE Arena around 8:30 a.m.; the day ahead promised a look at some of the UK’s best and brightest performers, entrepreneurs and social activists, including actress Lily Collins, musician Tokio Myers and young advocates like Hayley Mulenda. With performances, speeches and personal stories sprinkled throughout the day, there wasn’t a dull moment on the WE Day stage.
Between greeting the audience and taking the stage, somehow our star-studded lineup—featuring a multiplicity of strong female role models this year (timely, just one day before International Women’s Day)—found time to share their favourite moments on Twitter and Instagram, giving the WE community around the world a glimpse into the big show. Check out what they had to say.
You can always count on the blue carpet to bring people together. This year, Holly Branson—philanthropist and co-author of a brand new book from our founders, WEconomy—stopped for a quick laugh and a pic with Princess Beatrice, before heading on stage to open the day with the WE awards.
Red carpet done. Thank you to the wonderful kids standing in the rain cheering us on. I’m so excited to hear Princess Beatrice and Eugenie talk on the We day stage today for the first time together. Just can’t wait. #wedayuk @WEMovement pic.twitter.com/BR4RXp1l9G
— Holly Branson (@HollyBranson) March 7, 2018
Holly also introduced a special message to the youth in the room from London’s own, Mayor Sadiq Khan!
— Team London (@TeamLDN) March 7, 2018
The first performance of the day was unforgettable. Britain’s Got Talent winner Tokio Myers graced the stage, leaving the audience in awe of his musical talent. Thank you for sharing your gift with us!
When the music stopped, we got our first glance at this year’s hosts on stage: Laura Whitmore, Becca Dudley and Yasmin Evans. A trio of three powerhouse women, they kept the crowd pumped. Backstage, it seems the three were having just as much fun as on stage. Yas queens!
Next up, even more girl power! Fans and friends were thrilled to see Lily Collins on stage again this year. She shared her gratitude for the opportunity on Instagram… and the feeling is definitely mutual! Thank you for your kind words and constant inspiration, Lily!
That’s a wrap #WEDay! Thank you @WeMovement for including me in another inspiring day and giving us the opportunity to encourage and build each other up. Never thought I’d be able to stand on the Wembley stage let alone in front of such an inspiring and empowering crowd. What an honor! See you next time on the blue carpet! More on my stories…
As the day pressed on, the power of change shone brighter and brighter, especially when Katie Piper took the stage with an encouraging message to share with her captive audience.
Excitement levels spiked the moment fans of pop rock group The Vamps caught a glimpse of band members Connor Ball and Tristan Evans. Adored worldwide, the musicians couldn’t help but feel extra proud connecting with their hometown crowd.
— Connor Ball (@TheVampsCon) March 7, 2018
And then came the silence. The buzzing audience hushed when Hayley Mulenda began to tell her story; the depth of her experience transfixed even the most talkative teens. When the 18-year-old explained how she turned it all around, becoming a renowned author and motivational speaker, a well-deserved applause rippled throughout the room.
Just shared my story at wembley arena in front of 13,000 people on how I nearly committed suicide and how I’ve turned my story around! YOUR CURRENT SITUATION IS NOT YOUR FINAL DESTINATION #WEday #WEDayUK @WEMovement pic.twitter.com/Bk7rsk92gV
— Hayley Mulenda (@HaylsMulenda) March 7, 2018
From here, the applauds continued. The crowd went wild for singer Tallia Storm, whose dress was just as brilliantly colourful as her speech. Lovely to see your face, Tallia!
— TALLIA STORM (@Tallia_Storm) March 7, 2018
As the action neared an end, pop singer HRVY took the stage to cap off the day. When the lights dimmed, the crowd was still humming his hit tune “Personal” as they left SSE Arena.
— HRVY (@HRVY) March 7, 2018
#GenWE is ready for another year of change-making, and we can’t wait to honour all your impacts at WE Day UK 2019. Until then, on with the tour. Here we come Texas!