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Hope & Glory festival assets fall far short of £900,000 debts to creditors

By | Published on Friday 22 September 2017

Hope & Glory Festival

The company behind the shambolic Hope & Glory festival has, somewhat unsurprisingly, very little in the way of funds to pay off the nearly £900,000 it owes creditors, according to documents newly filed at Companies House.

A ‘statement of affairs’ document, actually prepared at the end of August, shows that the company has assets of just £63,600. Of that, £6600 is money owed to the company. There is also the possibility of a VAT refund up to £63,987, although it is uncertain if this will be granted. Even if it is, the company – which began liquidation proceedings earlier this month – will be a long way short of the £900,000 still owed to 32 creditors.

Among those creditors, the largest debt owed by Hope & Glory Festivals Ltd relates to a £270,000 loan from company director Ian Kerr. Ticketing firms Eventbrite and Skiddle – which paid for refunds on the event out of their own pockets – are also owed over £138,000 and £73,000 respectively. And Liverpool City Council is owed in excess £70,000 for various costs, including the clean up operation after the festival was cancelled.

As previously reported, although plenty of bands did play on the first day of the city centre Hope & Glory festival, gates opened late, stages ran behind all day, sets were cut short and Charlotte Church’s set was cut entirely, while festival-goers reported massive queues at the gates, bars and toilets. It was also tricky moving around the festival’s site, while many expressed concern about the dangerous levels of overcrowding.

Day two was cancelled via a social media post that simply read “no festival today”. The festival’s official Twitter account then began sparring with angry ticket-holders, while on Facebook a statement told punters to direct their anger at a single production manager who had allegedly failed to complete the event’s site on time.

A lengthy and rambling statement from promoter Lee O’Hanlon published the next day did apologise for the shambles, but spent much more time laying into the aforementioned production manager and Liverpool City Council. It also dedicated plenty of page space to complaints that council officials had sent food intended for day two’s riders to a local charity without the permission of the festival’s management.

Eventually, social media accounts related to the festival went offline and the previously all too public face of the event, O’Hanlon, fell quiet. Companies House records show that he was actually only appointed a director of Hope & Glory Festivals Ltd on 9 Aug, after the event fell apart, and then resigned on 17 Aug. His own company, Tiny Cow, is listed as a creditor, owed £71,400.

O’Hanlon’s wife Samantha, who had been a director since the H&G company was formed in 2016, resigned on 10 Aug, which leaves Kerr the only director remaining. Records also show that Kerr owns between 25 and 50% of the company. Two other companies of which Kerr is a director – Melodi Ltd and Hunky Dory Media – are also listed as creditors, owed £65,000 and £60,000 respectively.

Skiddle director Ben Sebborn previously told the BBC that he felt it was “very unlikely that Skiddle will receive reimbursement from the festival organisers” for the money it is owed. Liverpool City Council, meanwhile, is currently completing an investigation into what went wrong and how it can avoid a similar situation in future.