Review into the Hope and Glory Festival
I would like to thank The Event Safety Shop for carrying out this investigation and producing the subsequent report which was commissioned by Mayor Joe Anderson. I would also like to thank the various agencies and those individuals who gave up their time to contribute evidence.
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.
In the days that followed the debacle that was the Hope and Glory Festival, it became apparent that issues which occurred, largely pointed to the action (or lack of) by the organiser.
However I felt that is was important that what happened in the run up to the event, and what then happened over the course of the weekend, should be fully investigated by an independent body. This was backed by requests from the public that this should happen.
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 main aim of the report was for everyone involved to learn lessons. Although our procedures have served us well for the past ten years, the context and environment for staging events has changed in recent years, so we need to be honest with ourselves and reflect on the processes and procedures that are in place and react to the recommendations put forward.
The findings of this report will enable us to work with our partners to put in place enhanced planning procedures for events which will find the right balance between scrutinising documents and not making the process too bureaucratic for organisers. A gold standard of planning if you like.
I’d like to take a moment to highlight how this city came together in the aftermath of the failed festival. From the dedicated members of staff who helped out, unplanned, across the weekend, right through to the numerous pubs, clubs and other venues who were able to open their doors and stage impromptu shows. It was truly a show of strength and unity that sums up this city.
Councillor Wendy Simon
Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Events