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Liverpool mayor confirms Hope & Glory investigation underway 

By | Published on Monday 14 August 2017

Hope & Glory Festival

Liverpool’s elected mayor has confirmed to local newspaper the Liverpool Echo that his investigation is now underway into the shambles that was the Hope & Glory festival, which took place in the city the weekend before last.

As previously reported, day two of the indie rock pop fest was called off after queues, over-crowding and the late-running of stages marred day one. After unconventional communications from organisers over the festival weekend, chief promoter Lee O’Hanlon then posted a lengthy statement last Monday shifting much of the blame onto the event’s production management provider and council officials.

But mayor Joe Anderson seemed keen to shove the blame back at O’Hanlon and the Hope & Glory company when speaking to the Echo last week. He said: “As the local authority, we will do absolutely everything in our power to fully investigate how Hope & Glory’s organisers got things so wrong. We will draw up a detailed timeline of events and look at how we can ensure that things like this do not happen in the future”.

Keen to portray the city’s council as both competent supporters and producers of major events, Anderson went on: “As a capital of culture, Liverpool is home to some of the best free and paid festivals in the country. The ones we run ourselves are always incredibly popular and well-received, and the private ones we work alongside, again, generally go without any problem”.

He added: “From Africa OYE, Fusion, Liverpool Loves and Pride, to our own huge events such as LIMF, the Three Queens, the Giants, Liverpool knows how to run a successful festival. If it was left to us, I’m sure the Hope & Glory festival would have gone without a hitch but, unfortunately, it wasn’t our event and the organisers allowed it to fall apart”.

As the failed festival continues to be dissected by both officials and the public, those who bought tickets to the event are most interested in refunds, of course. After some confusion over who was responsible for refunding ticket monies, some disgruntled punters started to see refunds come through last week.

Though Eventbrite and Skiddle – which powered ticket sales on the festival’s own website – said that they were paying for those refunds out of their own pockets, because the Hope & Glory company – which had already received at least some of the ticketing income – hadn’t yet made an official ruling on the matter. In an update on Facebook, before the festival’s official page was taken down, O’Hanlon said he was now in dispute with one of the directors of the company set up to run the event.