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Hope Street Feast cancelled in £10k shortfall

'Not a cultural event'

Written by . Published on April 12th 2013.

Hope Street Feast cancelled in £10k shortfall

ONE of Liverpool's most popular events has been cancelled after a cash shortfall of “a remarkably small amount” put public safety at risk.

And it has since emerged that its future is in doubt for 2014. 

Hope Street Feast has taken place every September since 2005, and has attracted up to 30,000 people a year. 

269085_441689275869239_828754892_NSupported by local businesses The self-styled “village fete” combines street market and street theatre with indoor and outdoor musical performances from bands and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as food and drink events in many of Hope Street's upmarket bars and restaurants. 

Unlike most of the other large-scale, free public events in Liverpool, the Feast is run by a group of volunteers who include prominent event professionals based both in Liverpool and internationally. 

Most of the funding has come from some, but by no means all, businesses in what was recently voted the UK's best street by the Academy of Urbanism. 

But this year, a shortfall of just £10,000 to pay for traffic management, road closures and security means the street will be silent. 


Liverpool Confidential understands that while there was support for the Feast from politicians and officials in many quarters of Liverpool City Council, for funding purposes it does not qualify as a cultural event. 

A spokesman told Liverpool Confidential: “I can't pretend it wasn't a tearful decision. 

“It's a remarkably small amount but without it, it would be irresponsible to proceed. We've had a situation where everybody gets paid except the organisers. That's fine, we've been happy to work on that basis in the past just for the love of seeing it go ahead." 

333802_180601378742939_1019631216_OIan Prowse and Jennifer John
among the many Hope
Street Feast performers
He added: “We were even out of pocket on it in 2012. But this year we have tried to call in as many favours as possible and the money has not been forthcoming. 

“We were told by the city's main grant-funding officer that it was not a cultural event and could not qualify for money that way. 

“It's a phenomenal amount of work to put together in spare time. Any other event like this would have someone being paid to organise it.” 

In a statement, Hope Street Feast Limited said: “Hope Street Feast relies on enormous goodwill and input of effort and resources from many individuals and organisations, and a small but essential amount of funding support. Whilst the goodwill remains, in 2012 most of the essential funding became unavailable to us, and remains unavailable in 2013.


“Although we had a great 2012 Hope Street Feast we do not have a sustainable basis for the 2013 event without compromising the safety and quality of the event, and have therefore decided that it would be irresponsible to proceed this year.

“The voluntary board will instead use its efforts in 2013 to determine how future Feasts will be sustained.”

But as of now, the future is far from certain.

The spokesman told Confidential: “People are naturally disappointed and are asking will it be back in 2014. We don't honestly know, right now. The Feast takes place on the weekend in September when the students come back and the Phil season starts. It's a natural date. 

459826_10151173951159310_1025685560_OThe RLPO performs at the Feast“However by next year, the Philharmonic Hall will be closed for refurbishment. There will also be a lot of students moving into the new apartments on Hope Street that weekend, and for all sorts of logistical reasons it may well be impossible to close the roads.”

Actor and musician Mike Neary was one one of the regular performers last night lamenting the loss of the event.

He said: “The quality of performance, food, service and above all organisation is unequalled at any point in the calendar. A world class event completely free of charge with the most wonderful spirit among those wandering around one of the most coveted locations in Europe.

“This makes no sense whatsoever. It is as ludicrous as building a block of flats next to the Philharmonic Hall.”

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40 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

London RoadApril 12th 2013.

So Mathew Street was a cultural event then?

AnonymousApril 12th 2013.

I am sorry, but this makes the council look completely stupid.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Paul WardApril 12th 2013.

I'd say "even more stupid" but I agree in general.

Bilious PorridgeApril 12th 2013.

Record's stuck, Bradley. Anyway, reckon you and Ms Burrage should see this as an opportunity to consummate your relationship in the rooms that will now be freed up at Hope St Hotel that weekend: you deserve each other

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyApril 12th 2013.

You do seem to have a bit of obsession with Oats?

AnonymousApril 12th 2013.

Surely the Everyman will be open by then. Can't they pull a few quid out of their arse pockets?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousApril 12th 2013.


Prof. ChucklebuttyApril 12th 2013.

This is completely mind boggling!

Last night I lamented on the loss of The Hope Street Feast due to the withdrawal of funding. I didn't realise at the time that the cash withdrawn in order to make this event safe was a paltry £10k

For the council to throw away this truly lovely Liverpool event for the sake of £10k is nothing short of scandalous.

It really does bring to mind those who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

And what makes me fume even more is that the reason they give is that the event:


Well I don't know what sodding definition of a cultural event they are using.

Last year and in previous years, I saw several of our prominant city councillors at the feast all seemingly having a good time. Let's hear something from them £10k??????

You miseries.

Perhaps Yoko could step in with a few quid. She's doing something for The Git Awards. Perhaps she'd like to hear about the Soft Git awards.

This is one CULTURAL event that truly reflects the multi talented artistic and good humoured people of Liverpool and Merseyside. Don't throw it away.

The attitude strikes me more as not a funding problem but an attempt to kill it.

Nina EdgeApril 12th 2013.

sad loss to the erm - well Cultural Calender. That is if we count music at the Philharmonic Hall, side shows from Hope St Theatre with their often hilarious performances, rambling Craft fair in Blackburn House, and Hope Street Choir singing counts as culture. Or does culture need a venue and a ticket price ? I'd pay £1 to attend. Maybe 30,000 others would too.......

2 Responses: Reply To This...
SaladDazeApril 13th 2013.

Is 'Cultural Calender' the strap-line for a tourist town in Scotland?

Dr. SnoddieApril 15th 2013.

Aye! Callander wis the location for the original Tannochbrae in the BBC's 'Doctor Finlay's Casebook' wi' Bill Simpson, Andrew Cruikshank and Barbara Mullen.

AnonymousApril 12th 2013.

OK so what they arent saying is whether the local businesses who benefit from the feast were too tight to find 10K between them. I would have thought it might be in their interests to chip in.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousApril 12th 2013.

They did chip in in quite a big way. Most of them. This is a 10k shortfall to pay for road closures and security

Alex KingApril 12th 2013.

perhaps a "Kickstarter" campaign to raise the money?


It would be a real shame to lose this event as it is always popular and offers a great day out

AnonymousApril 12th 2013.

Nobody would object to paying a quid. That would cover the cost of a short term organiser's contract too. Let us not lose the Feast. It's good precisely because the council don't control it.

Mike NearyApril 12th 2013.

Banned from Tesco ? Don't talk shite.

Mike NearyApril 12th 2013.

Banned from Tesco ? Get a grip !Continue the conversation, enter another comment...

AnonymousApril 12th 2013.

And it's a quid from me!

Leon KayApril 12th 2013.

Is Joe Stalin completely fucking radio rental (mental).
First the Beatles Fes,now this how to kill a tourist trade he should give lessons on how to stay in be miserable and watch the moronic box.Stalin is a fucking disgrace to this city.Miltantism at it's worst.

AnonymousApril 12th 2013.

I blame Lee Forde

Mike NearyApril 13th 2013.

You are not deluded but you are mistaken, it just doesn't work like that - I'm nothing other than a self employed person who is saddened at the possible end of the Hope Street Feast and certainly at its immediate cancellation. If this debate is to continue, I hope it can be in a spirit of reasoned disagreement to which we are all equally entitled.

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyApril 13th 2013.

So your not twitter.com/nearymike…

Mike Neary @nearymike

Actor, Musician and Presenter. www.youtube.com/watch…

Mike NearyApril 13th 2013.

I can't see that this has anything to do with Hope Street and fin it a bit creepy that you have found my showreel and cut and pasted a link to be honest. Please do not take this any further. I was just expressing an opinion no harm in that.

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyApril 13th 2013.

I find it creepy that you lie about your profession, you are well on the "cultural" bandwagon. I worry about your intellect when you advertise your show real in you Twitter ID and then get annoyed when people find it.

Lynda MurrayApril 13th 2013.

It does seem incredible that for such a small amount, this great event is not going to take place- £1 pound entry seems a good idea but possibly difficult to police. Surely businesses will lose more than this amount? Can't see Manchester shooting themselves in the foot like this or allowing the Matthew st festival to fold!

AnonymousApril 13th 2013.

Perhaps a nationwide notice should go out aimed at prospective tourists saying: "sorry Liverpool is closed this year!"

AnonymousApril 14th 2013.

Stop trolling Bradley

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyApril 14th 2013.

I'm not trolling. If you look back you will find that Neary is the one who weighed in with abuse, as in "Don't talk shite" & "Get a grip".

Mike NearyApril 14th 2013.

Both of which I retracted as I could see thy they looked unreasonably strong in print despite having genuinely been meant to have a fairly tongue in cheek air. For the avoidance if doubt I repeat my regret if these phrases caused offence an restate that none was intended. I note that entirely unrelated contact details have appeared in this feed which I find intrusive and inexplicable. I conclude by respectfully asking that I be left alone and that no further unfounded assumptions as to my personality or professional conduct are posted on this or any other feed.

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyApril 14th 2013.

I had intended to leave it till Anonymous butted in.

AnonymousApril 14th 2013.

Ol' Mike Neary liked a scrap
With fighting talk, like "shite"
But his feistiness all turned to crap
When Bradders decided to fight

They fell out over the Hope Street feast
An epicurean tale of courage
But they'd stepped on someone else's turf
And the claim was staked by Burrage

So consider this short amusing quip
And give each other some room
Cos next time Neary gives some lip
He'll be under a nom-de-plume

Mike NearyApril 14th 2013.

Jesus Christ - I'm off.

Mike NearyApril 14th 2013.

And by the way - I would never, EVER send anything anonymously, it is pointless.

AnonymousApril 15th 2013.

Now now girls

Mike NearyApril 15th 2013.

This comment has been deemed inappropriate by editorial staff, and has been removed.

Sandra SwiftApril 19th 2013.

Just moving back into the heart of Liverpool. Hope Street Feast sounds like a great event. Sorry it has been cancelled for what seems like a small amount on the scale of things. Hope if not this year maybe they will reconsider for next year.

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