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Company behind Hope & Glory festival in liquidation

By | Published on Tuesday 5 September 2017

Hope & Glory Festival

The company behind the two day Liverpool music festival Hope & Glory, which was called off half way through after severe over-crowding on day one, resulting in a series of car crash communications from organisers, has gone into liquidation.

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 over-crowding.

Day two was then 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.

Official messaging regarding ticket refunds was confused to say the least. The festival told aggrieved ticket-holders to consult their ticket agent, though it became clear that at least some of the monies collected by said agents had already been handed over to the Hope & Glory company. Nevertheless, both Eventbrite and Skiddle, which had powered ticketing on the festival’s own website, started issuing refunds out of their own pockets.

It seems unlikely the ticketing companies will be able to reclaim much of that money now given the confirmation yesterday by insolvency firm Butcher Woods that the Hope & Glory company was being wound down, with nearly £890,000 being owed to 32 creditors.

Commenting on the ticket refunds his company issued, Skiddle director Ben Sebborn told the BBC that despite attempts “to co-operate with the festival owners it became clear that our customers would remain out of pocket unless we intervened”. He then conceded that it was now “very unlikely that Skiddle will receive reimbursement from the festival organisers”.

As previously reported, Liverpool City Council, which is among the defunct Hope & Glory company’s 32 creditors, has begun an investigation into how the high profile city centre event ended up failing so spectacularly.



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