The organisers of Hope & Glory Festival have issued a statement after its inaugural event was surrounded by difficulties leading to the cancellation of the second day.
The Liverpool-based music festival was due to run from 5-6 August. The new event was branded as a 12,500 capacity boutique festival with a Victorian backdrop of the World Museum, City Library and St.George’s Hall and St.John’s Gardens.
According to press reports festival goers were made to wait hours on Saturday after the show, located in Liverpool’s St George Quarter, became severely overcrowded.
Once inside, ticket holders complained of colossal queues for food and drink and stage-times reportedly running too far behind schedule. Altogether led to the cancellation of one main stage act before headliners James eventually took to the stage on Saturday night.
The organisers decided to cancel the second day of the festival with fans claiming that the event was ‘dangerous’ and ‘shambolic’.
In a lengthy statement published on the event’s Facebook page, the festival organiser apologised and explained the next steps.
“It is with the deepest regret that the organisers of Hope & Glory made the decision to cancel the Sunday of the festival”, read the statement. “We can appreciate how disappointed and angry the festival goers are as we are feeling the same. To say that the organisers feel anything short of devastated would be a gross understatement.”
In the statement the organiser admitted responsibility and said a full review is into what happened is underway. “However, it is clear at this early stage that multitudinous failures by the Production Management Team, headed by Richard Agar, resulted in a plethora of issues that meant the decision to cancel the festival was made.
“We already know at this early stage, that we be taking legal action against some parties employed as a result of the failures,” read the statement.
A number of issues were disclosed in the Facebook page. The organiser said people should disregard the comments made by Jannet Loures via social media. Loures claimed to be the festival’s solicitor.
“We have never heard of this individual yet she claims to be solicitor to the Hope & Glory Festival. Her comments and claims should be disregarded, as should many of the fake accounts that appear to be engaging with her comments. We believe we know the source of these and the police have been advised.”
Regarding the over capcity of the venue, the statement said: “We have seen a number of comments suggesting the festival was over capacity. In joint agencies group meeting Angie Redhead, Head of City Assets for Liverpool Council, advised the group that the capacity allowed is 15,000. This was noted in minutes of the meeting.
“The number seemed very excessive to Hope & Glory Festival Ltd and our company advised the council and emergency services in attendance that we were very uncomfortable with the capacity that Angie Redhead of Liverpool Council advised on behalf of the council. As a direct result of the festival statement of concern, the capacity was reduced by 2,500 people.
“We can confirm that contrary to claims on social media, at no point did the festival exceed the capacity agreed by the SAG (council, police, fire, ambulance). The festival was concerned about the numbers and so decided to further reduce the capacity on the day by mid afternoon and stopped selling day tickets as a way to do so thus reducing the capacity below that that had been sanctioned by the Sag (blue light services and Liverpool City Council). It is worth noting that if we had proceeded with the 15,000 Angie Redhead of Liverpool Council had advised the festival then this would have been at a severely dangerous level. We are relieved we did not.”
Tackling the queues, the Facebook post read: “We are very aware of the claims of excessive queues, bottle necking and late running of stage times which also led to the cancellation of one major act. The festival accepts that this occurred and profusely apologise to the public and artists for this. However, it is important to acknowledge why these issues occurred and whom was responsible for them.
“Whereas Hope & Glory accept ultimate responsibility for the event we must highlight the issues caused not only to the public and Hope & Glory festival but to other companies involved in the delivery of the festival also. The festival employed experienced Production Manager Richard Agar and his team to deliver the production element of the event. The Production failed to deliver a site that was ready in time. We had agreed that doors would be opened at 11am though advertised at noon. This was agreed with the Council, blue light services and all contractors for the event including Richard Agar.”
“Agar and the team he appointed to carry out the production sadly did not deliver the site as ready in time for 11am. We view this solely as a management issue as his team appeared to work exceedingly hard to address what they needed to. At 12:45 William Brown St was still having build materials cleared from it. As a direct result the festival opened 1 hour and 50 minutes later than agreed and 50 minutes later than advertised. These had a massive impact on the queues that never recovered from them until much later in the day. We will continue to liaise with Mr Agar and his company and seek a resolution over these issues.”
For full statement follow the link below:
Photo as seen on Hope & Glory Festival Facebook page