Like a 'rat in a cage' - Barrow man speaks out after Liverpool Hope and Glory Festival chaos

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8 August 2017 6:27PM

A FESTIVAL in Liverpool left a Barrow man and his partner feeling like a "rat in a cage" after it was hit by sound problems, lack of running water and cancelled acts.

The Hope and Glory Festival held in the heart of Liverpool last weekend was meant to be an exciting new event for the North West.

Instead of the jubilant atmosphere crowds were promised, they were forced to wait hours in line, endure unsanitary conditions and ultimately, see the festival cancelled on its second day.

Barrow couple David Dalton and Tammy Pearce had been waiting two months to see some of their favourite acts, but ended up trapped inside the event for hours.

There was no apology, no reasoning, they were trying to blame everyone but themselves

He said: "The stages were too near each other and we felt like rats in a cage. We only stayed to the end because we really wanted to see James."

Mr Dalton, 50, of Holker Street, continued: "We were down the weekend and had paid £80 to stop over, we noticed the prices had gone up because of this event but we wanted to go because of the bands that were playing - my partner really likes James, Hacienda Classical and Ocean Colour Scene."

The first indication that things were not going to plan were the long queues which greeted Mr Dalton and Miss Pearce at they approached Liverpool's St George's Quarter.

He said: "The gates were set to open at 12pm on the Saturday but the queues were running around the corner."

After finally getting inside, there were equally large lines at the bars inside the venue, too few toilets and when the opening acts began the sound system started to fail.

How the festival's organisers announced the second day of the festival had been called off:

The organisers have been widely condemned by the festival's performers, Liverpool City Council and thousands of attendees on social media.

Mr Dalton said: "There was no apology, no reasoning, they were trying to blame everyone but themselves."

When the festival was first announced its promoter Lee O'Hanlon said profits would be donated to the Manchester Bombing victims' fund. It has since emerged this will no longer happen - resulting in even more criticism.

Mr Dalton said they had an obligation to carry out their promises, saying: "They should give the money really, they should if they said they would."

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Organisers point the finger of blame

Following Sunday's cancellation of Liverpool's Hope and Glory Festival, the organisers of the event have come under heavy fire.

Attendees have been left in the dark over how to get refunds for tickets - a ticket for the full weekend cost £89.

 Hope and Glory promoter Lee O'Hanlon. Picture: BBC Leeds

Hope and Glory promoter Lee O'Hanlon.

Picture: BBC Leeds

In an interview with talkRadio, promoter Lee O'Hanlon pointed the finger at the festival's production team and the security staff for the problems.

When questioned about the bottlenecks and long queues which plagued the weekend - holding up the estimated 12,500 visitors - Mr O'Hanlon said: "I was advised by the production management company that the level of ticket sales was so far below capacity it would not be unsafe.

"What it comes down to is that I took decisions that ensure the safety of everybody, I will always put the safety of people that come to our events first."

People seeking refunds have been advised to seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau, or to contact the agent they bought tickets from.

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