Independent report into
AN Independent report into the failed
Hope and Glory Festival, Liverpool, has found that the event organisers were
responsible for its collapse. Commissioned by Mayor Anderson and carried out by
'The Event Safety Shop' (made up of some of the country's leading
Safety experts); the report has found that organisers tinyCOW were responsible
for the failure of the event in St George's Quarter, that was meant to have been
held over 5 August to 6
They describe the event management plan as:- "not being fit for purpose"
and found that the site build was delayed due to a lack of direction and
communication by the company.
The catalogue of failures:-
No signage was installed, staff weren't briefed and there was confusion around
the queuing system, with some customers being given incorrect tickets.
There was no designated area for lost children or vulnerable adults.
There was no emergency evacuation plan in place.
Acts on the main stage ran behind schedule and there were very long queues at
the bars and toilets.
Members of the public felt there was significant risk to public safety.
The event manager left the site, was un-contactable and wasn't seen again until
the end of the day.
The authors praise the actions of Council Officers who stepped in when things
began to go wrong and made sure it was able to go ahead safely on the 1st day
before being cancelled by organiser Lee O'Hanlon, on the 2nd day.
But it also recommends that the Joint Agency Group (JAG) and Safety Advisory
Group (SAG); which includes:- the emergency services, public transport bodies,
the City Council and the NHS; are more involved in examining event plans and
documentation in future.
It also found that background screening checks into tinyCOW through professional
bodies or trade associations would not have stopped their application from being
Mayor Joe Anderson said:- "We are a City renowned for staging large scale,
successful events, and as a result of our reputation, we have more and more
interest from the private sector in staging events here. We can't accept
anything that jeopardises our hard-won reputation. This is why I commissioned an
independent report to spell out exactly why this privately organised event
failed, and look at what the public sector could do to mitigate this happening
again. It's clear in retrospect that the failure of the event was down to
the mismanagement of the organisers and our staff did tremendous work on the
first day sorting out a wide range of issues and enabling the event to continue.
This report was all about learning lessons, and 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. As a result of this report, we will work with
our partners to put in place enhanced planning procedures for event which will
find the right balance between scrutinising documents and not making the process
too bureaucratic for organisers. If the company hadn't gone into liquidation, I
would have asked Merseyside Police to investigate the financial liabilities of
the Hope and Glory Festivals Ltd. As far as I'm concerned, they have a moral
obligation to reimburse disappointed ticket holders who are out of pocket and I
will be making this point to the liquidators."
The full report can be found