Industry News

Influx of criticism as Hope and Glory festival is cancelled due to safety concerns

Fans have reacted in anger after Liverpool’s new Hope and Glory Festival was cancelled late on Saturday due to concerns over overcrowding and poor management.

Thousands of fans were left waiting for several hours after St. Georges Quarter became severely overcrowded. Eventually, police were ushered in after it was discovered that punters had limited access to toilets and food and drink facilities, BBC’s Newsbeat reports.

The festival told customers to check in with the ticketing websites if they wanted to get refunds. However, Eventbrite and Skiddle have not confirmed that they are able to do so.

Eventbrite tweeted: “Update: @HopeandGloryFes We will work with the organisers behind Hope and Glory to clarify whether impacted attendees can be refunded.”

The festival’s line-up included artists such as James, The Fratellis (pictured), Razorlight and Charlotte Church.

Church was eventually cut from the bill due to the festival running two hours behind schedule. She turned to Twitter to ask people to help find her a venue to perform at in Liverpool.

According to the BBC, headliners James did manage to get on stage but lead singer Tim Booth tweeted afterwards, “Sorry everyone was messed around so badly. Hope you managed to find some pleasure amongst the chaos.”

Many festival-goers took to social media to voice their concerns, as James Mooney tweeted: “Great line-up, great venue…. Shame about the organisers.”

Meanwhile, Josh, from Liverpool told BBC’s Newsbeat that there had been “lots of build up and anticipation” for the festival.

“I saw on Facebook a three word message saying something like ‘festival not happening’ it was just completely shocking that there’s no apology, no explanation or anything. It’s basically a disaster.”

Hope and Glory Festival released a defensive statement on Facebook, which many people criticised for its unprofessional and deflecting tone. The statement placed blame on its production manager and released his email address for people to direct their complaints to.

This comes the weekend after Derbyshire’s Y Not Festival cancelled the Sunday following heavy rain and wind, leaving many fans furious.

The Vaccines, Friday night’s main headliners, were also cancelled at the last minute, while Saturday night’s headliners were rearranged to earlier time slots. Organisers this weekend agreed to provide affected punters with a 50 per cent refund.

The statement read: “We were hit with extraordinary and highly unpredictable weather both during the build and over the weekend itself.

“There were levels of infrastructure in place to deal with adverse weather, however we reached a point when the forecast was changing hourly and there became a risk that emergency services would not be able to access areas of the site.”

The statement said the festival will return in 2018, “putting right what went wrong in 2017”.

Image: Drew D F Fawkes