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Hope & Glory organisers to blame for event’s collapse, council investigation finds

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Liverpool City Council has achieved its investigation into what went incorrect on the metropolis’s inaugural Hope & Glory Festival once more in August. And I’m constructive it could actually come as a shock to no person to uncover out that the Council’s conclusion is that the event’s organiser Lee O’Hanlon fucked up royally.

As beforehand reported, although a great deal of bands did play on the first day of the city centre Hope & Glory competitors, gates opened late, phases ran behind all day, models have been scale back transient and Charlotte Church’s set was scale back utterly, whereas festival-goers reported large queues on the gates, bars and bogs. It was moreover powerful transferring throughout the competitors’s site, and loads of expressed concern regarding the dangerous ranges of overcrowding.

Day two was cancelled by means of a social media publish that merely be taught “no festival today”. The competitors’s official Twitter account then began sparring with offended ticket-holders, whereas on Facebook a press launch knowledgeable punters to direct their anger at a single manufacturing supervisor who had allegedly failed to full the event’s site on time.

A extended and rambling assertion from promoter O’Hanlon printed the next day did apologise for the shambles, nevertheless spent far more time laying into the aforementioned manufacturing supervisor and Liverpool City Council. It moreover devoted a great deal of internet web page home to complaints that council officers had despatched meals supposed for day two’s riders to a neighborhood charity with out the permission of the competitors’s administration.

Prefacing the council’s report into what went incorrect, Liverpool’s Assistant Mayor Wendy Simon writes: “I am rightly proud of Liverpool’s cultural programme – from the city-council run events right through to those run by external organisations. Our incredible track record means we are renowned for staging large-scale, successful events, but when something jeopardises that hard-won reputation we have to take action”.

She continues: “In the days that followed the debacle that was the Hope & Glory Festival, it became apparent that issues which occurred largely pointed to action (or lack of) by the organiser … The report clearly states that the failure of the event was down to the event organiser’s mismanagement and as a result, a catalogue of errors were unavoidable. Our staff did tremendous work on the first day sorting out a wide range of issues which enabled the event to continue”.

The report concedes that the council ought to have had a additional sturdy system in place to assess “the suitability, capacity and track‐record of independent event organisers”, noting that “more substantial checks at the initial application stage would be an effective means of assessing applications before they become too advanced”.

It moreover contains a detailed timeline of events, exhibiting that council workers first grew to turn into concerned regarding the organisation of the competitors shortly sooner than it was due to open on the Saturday. By midday, a rep for the council on site had expressed “concern over the management of the event, and the apparent absence of an operations manager”.

The report moreover claims that O’Hanlon tried to open the placement sooner than safety checks had been achieved. Shortly afterward, the concerned council rep was positioned in an operational place on the competitors.

At spherical 4.15pm, police have been referred to as to care for “crowd crushing”, at which stage it is claimed that O’Hanlon said that “he had lost control”. The site was closed, and reopened shortly afterwards, although walk-up ticket product sales have been suspended.

As council and security workers tried to deal with factors along with over-crowding, of us leaping over the fence with out tickets and congestion on the doorway gate, an emergency meeting was referred to as merely after 6pm. At this, the report says, O’Hanlon “appears to break down emotionally and leaves the meeting. He is not contactable either by radio or mobile phone”.

After this, council workers “effectively take over full operational management of the event”, and O’Hanlon is not see as soon as extra until 2am, when he returned and knowledgeable technicians establishing the precept stage for the next day that the remainder of the event may be cancelled. This is seemingly not knowledge he relayed to anyone else involved.

“It appears that the LCC team [who were] working to save the second day were unaware of these developments until at least 9.30am [on day two]”, says the report. Although it admits that the cancelation of Sunday’s actions was the acceptable movement.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, O’Hanlon maintained that he was not to blame for the collapse of the event. He as soon as extra blamed council officers and Richard Agar, the manufacturing supervisor who was talked about inside the competitors’s aforementioned social media posts as day two was formally referred to as off.

It seems Agar had been employed as every Production and Safety Manager on the event, no matter these being two distinct roles often carried out by separate of us. The report reveals that tensions grew between the two males after the opening of the event was delayed. It moreover states that Agar remained on site for an hour and a half to assist with the event’s ongoing points even after being “dismissed” by O’Hanlon, sooner than lastly being “ejected”.

“Richard Agar Productions – I maintain that they were a professional company that had wholesale failings in the festival and delivery of the festival”, says O’Hanlon. “That company also chose the people in key positions that were part of the delivery and I also state that there were failings of Liverpool City Council. I have said that I accept there were failings in the festival but it would be unfair and inappropriate not to attribute those exact failings to the appropriate bodies and professional services that were employed to deliver the festival”.

As beforehand reported, after the company behind the event went into liquidation it left behind cash owed of virtually £1 million. Among these owed money are ticketing companies Eventbrite and Skiddle, which paid out refunds to ticketholders after it grew to turn into apparent that the organisers would not obtain this.

You can be taught Liverpool City Council’s full report proper right here.

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