Recently in Hope Street Festival, 1977 - Present Category

08.12.18 Liverpool St George's Hall & Capital of Culture Xmas 2008 Liverpool's great St George's Hall offered a splendid setting for the event at which Andy Burnham MP, Secretary of State for Media and Culture, offered thanks and encouragement to the people who had made such an effort to deliver the 2008 European Capital of Culture programme. Volunteers and officers alike congregated to hear the Culture Secretary say well done, and to muse on the challenges of 2009. This he opined, as do many of us, is only the beginning...

08.12.18 Liverpool St George's Hall & Capital of Culture Andy Burnham  at the Thank You Reception 08.12.18 Liverpool St George's Hall & Capital of Culture Thank You Reception

08.12.18 Liverpool St George's Hall & Capital of Culture Thank You Reception

So, after the celebrations, the thank yous and, no doubt, the elaborate analyses of all that's comprised Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008, what, we wonder, will happen next...?

08.12.18 Liverpool St George's Hall & Capital of Culture Christmas lights for 2008 (09)

Read more about Liverpool European Capital Of Culture 2008 and The Future Of Liverpool

HOTFOOT 2008 flyer ~ Cafe Europe, Richard Gordon-Smith (world premiere commissioned by HOPES:The Hope Street Association) plus music by Saint-Saens, Coleridge-Taylor, Engleman, Rossini, Bizet & Mozart HOTFOOT 2008, in Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall on Sunday 7 September [NB: 7 pm], is the twelfth such annual concert. Promoted as ever by HOPES: The Hope Street Association, the theme for the city's 2008 European Capital of Culture year is 'Cafe Europe', with music devised by local children working alongside professional musicians from HOPES.

The HOTFOOT annual events in Liverpool, devised and promoted by HOPES: The Hope Street Association, are never less than exciting...

Here we explain what the HOTFOOT concert is about, how it came to be, and why HOPES continues to do it.

Come and join us!
Intended to be welcoming to everyone, whether used to such concerts or not, the HOTFOOT shows are musical performances tailor-made by - rather than just for - their participants and audience; and they seek always also to bring into focus the many aspects of life in Liverpool, a cosmopolitan and richly diverse city.

Tickets (£7 -11, children £5) are available on the Philharmonic website (here) or from the Phil Box Office (0151-709 3789).

The address of the Philharmonic Hall is Hope Street, Liverpool L1 9BP (location map here), and the performance begins at 7 pm [NB not 7.30pm] as it is a family show.
The concert will finish by around 9.15 pm, and the Philharmonic Hall Foyer Bar will be open afterwards, for performers and audience to meet and mingle.

The HOTFOOT 2008 concert programme
This year's (2008) programme for the HOTFOOT even illustrates the point, with a wide variety of musical formats and inspiration, not to mention, in keeping with our theme, geographically spread, with musical visits to 'cafes' in a number of different parts of Europe, including Austria, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

The concert begins with excerpts from two lively 'chamber music' or small group pieces, performed by the professional musicians of Ensemble Liverpool (also known as Live-A-Music), most of them also members of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra:

*** Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921, France) ~ Septet for string quartet (two violins, viola, cello), double bass, piano and trumpet and

*** Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) ~ Quintet for string quartet and piano.

[HOPES has consistently promoted Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, who remains Britain's greatest black classical composer, known especially for his work Hiawatha's Wedding Feast. He was a friend of John Archer, son of Liverpool and the UK's first black Mayor, appointed to the post in 1913 in Battersea, London.]

After Ensemble Liverpool comes a popular dance music piece by the mid-twentieth century British composer, owner of the Harry Engleman Tango Orchestra

*** Harry Engleman ~ Fingerprints

performed by John Peace and the HOPES Festival Orchestra.

And the first half ends with the Orchestra's performance of

*** Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868, Italy) ~ The Thieving Magpie.

[Interval]

Next is the World Premiere of a work commissioned by HOPES: The Hope Street Association, one of several musical works HOPES has commissioned from Richard Gordon-Smith over the years. In keeping with Liverpool's status on 2008 as European Capital of Culture, the work is

*** Richard Gordon-Smith ~ Cafe Europe.

The piece involves children from Liverpool's Greenbank, Kingsley, Rudston and St. Sebastian's Primary Schools, who, encouraged by their teachers, have been working from April with HOPES musicians (and Philharmonic colleagues) Richard Gordon-Smith and Martin Anthony (Tony) Burrage, to devise the words and music, which are then composed in full score as an integral work by Richard Gordon-Smith.

The children will themselves perform in the piece, with the HOPES Orchestra and soloist Sarah Helsby Hughes (Soprano). Included in this brand new work, which employs the multi-lingual skills of the performers, are 'Song of New Friends', 'Conversation in Paris', 'Urban Castaways', 'Postcards from Germany', 'Flamenco Girl' and 'When the World Comes Knocking'.

To follow this World Premiere we have Sarah Helsby Hughes with the HOPES Orchestra in two of the most dramatic and well-loved Soprano arias, Bizet's Habanera from Carmen and The Queen of the Night from Mozart's Magic Flute.

HOTFOOT 2005 Tayo Aluko (baritone soloist) wears his T-shirt Every year from 1996 HOPES has produced a limited edition T-shirt for everyone involved to wear for the Hope Street Festival; and only in that first year was there no special performance at the Philharmonic Hall. So 1997 marked the first of the subsequently annual HOPES HOTFOOT concerts which celebrate the exciting and diverse communities in Liverpool's Hope Street Quarter. That's a lot of people - orchestra musicians, singers, helpers and supporters - and, as we see below, a lot of editions of the T-shirts...

1977 Original Hope Street Festival T-shirt logo 1996 Hope Street Festival T-shirt logo 1997 Hope Street Festival & HOTFOOT T-shirt logo 'Hotfoot on Hope Street'


1998 Hope Street Midsummer Festival & HOTFOOT T-shirt logo 1999 HOTFOOT T-shirt logo 2000 Hope Street Midsummer Millennium Festival & HOTFOOT T-shirt logo

2001 Hope Street Midsummer Festival & HOTFOOT T-shirt logo 2002 HOTFOOT T-shirt logo 'KOOL STREET' 2003 HOTFOOT T-shirt logo


2004 HOTFOOT T-shirt logo 2005 HOTFOOT T-shirt logo 'Tradewinds' 2006 'Hotfoot on Hope Street 1997-2006' HOTFOOT T-shirt logo


2007 'Celebrating 30 Years of the Midsummer Festival ' & HOTFOOT T-shirt logo 'Liverpool First & Last' 2008 HOTFOOT 08 T-shirt 'Cafe Europe'



And 2009? Who is to say?...


HOTFOOT 2007 T-shirts & helpers
HOTFOOT 2007 T-shirts modelled enthusiastically!


HOTFOOT 2006 T-shirts & helpers


HOTFOOT T-shirts 2005 Choir 'Trade Winds'


The original 1996 Hope Street Festival HOPES T-shirt modelled by Martin Anthony (Tony) Burrage, who commissioned the original T-shirts and is Leader / Director of the HOPES Festival Orchestra
Martin Anthony (Tony) Burrage


See also:
HOTFOOT on Hope Street (The Concert)

Hope Street Festival, 1997 -

HOPES: The Hope Street Association

and more photographs in Camera & Calendar

Jim Gill  2007  Liverpool  Vision 115x114.jpg The public realm refurbishment of Hope Street, the thoroughfare which defines Liverpool’s cultural quarter, was finally completed in May 2007. This has offered an opportunity to reflect on, and learn some lessons from, the decade of activity culminating in Hope Street’s new look. Jim Gill, Chief Executive of Liverpool Vision, agreed to share his perceptions of that decade and what it has achieved for Hope Street and the City of Liverpool.

What follows is a summary of a conversation between Jim Gill, Chief Executive of Liverpool Vision, and Hilary Burrage, Hon. Chair of HOPES: The Hope Street Association, the body which since the early 1990s has consistently lobbied for the recognition and refurbishment of Liverpool’s Hope Street. In this discussion Hilary posed questions to which Jim responded.


Hope Street’s value to Liverpool and beyond
Hilary: Jim, thank you for agreeing to discuss Hope Street with me, as the street’s refurbishment is finally completed and the last few public seating areas are installed and lit. You’ve been involved in this process almost from the beginning, initially through English Partnerships, and then as Chief Executive of Liverpool Vision, the UK’s first Urban Regeneration Company. How would you describe the value of Hope Street, as a core part of Liverpool’s city centre?

Jim: Hope Street has huge intrinsic value. The problem is recognising it and exploiting it in an appropriate way; and in that we still have a way to go. But there’s no doubt that the perceived value of the street has increased significantly, both because of the public realm refurbishment and as a result of the individual development schemes, for instance by both Cathedrals, the Hope Street Hotel, the restaurant scene and of course the refurbishment of the Philharmonic Hall.


Securing the refurbishment of Hope Street
Hilary: Can you tell me what finally clinched the decision to refurbish Hope Street?

Jim: Essentially, it was HOPES pestering us, your solid determination to see something happen. Initially the refurbishment of Hope Street was just a long-term ‘red zone’ aim for Liverpool Vision; but we converted that to an immediate action ‘green zone’ because of your persistence.

It was the meeting which you (Hilary) and Adrian (Adrian Simmons, HOPES’ Hon. Secretary) had with myself (Jim) which clinched it. You told me how dis-spirited you were about lack of progress, and I agreed that we would develop proposals with you. And of course HOPES had also secured the full support of Steve Broomhead, Chief Executive of the North West Development Agency, so at that point things started to move.


A different way forward
Hilary: Was it a different way to do things?

Jim: Yes, it was a very different way! There have been two or three tranches of significant public realm works in Liverpool, such as Williamson Square and East Moorfields. Those projects involved ‘set piece’ consultation with the public through exhibitions. But the Hope Street process involved real community engagement from the beginning.

Engagement is always more difficult to achieve in an area with many individual, non-collective voices, but HOPES constituted a ready-made ‘panel’ which enabled deeper involvement of local stakeholders as well as the normal consultation.


The knowledge economy
Hilary: How significant is the knowledge economy (scientific, academic and cultural) around Hope Street Quarter? Has the refurbishment of the street had an impact on this economy?

Jim: We haven’t yet properly grasped how (if) we can capture all the benefits of the area. Clearly there is a link between the fortunes of Hope Street Quarter and the wider area which includes the Universities and much else; but this is not yet consolidated.

In fact, Liverpool Vision is currently engaged with both the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University in producing a prospectus / audit of the local knowledge economy and the contribution which it makes to the City and the Regional economy. The figures are very impressive. We believe that the quality of the Hope Street area has major role to play in supporting the growth of the Knowledge Quarter, and vice versa.

But we don’t yet fully comprehend the value of the knowledge economy. Knowledge can and will drive the City economy towards self-sustainability. Our ‘Transitional’ Programme for the City Centre suggests a refocusing of activity ‘up the hill’ to Hope Street, embracing the crescent of opportunity surrounding the city centre, linking the waterfront, Hope Street and the Knowledge Quarter, extending as far as LJMU’s Byrom Street Campus.

We all need to understand the potential of these links better. This perspective underlines our shifting focus ‘up the hill’; the quality of space around Hope Street can indirectly benefit the knowledge economy, including Hope Street’s high artistic skills. Hope Street, as you have said many times, is a sort-of South Bank and needs to be valued as such.


Lessons learned
Hilary: What lessons can we learn from the ‘story of Hope Street’? What helped or hindered the process and what of the future?

Jim: The first lesson is to understand what can be achieved by working in a real partnership where local stakeholders are fully engaged, as they were in this case through the mechanism of HOPES.

Second, for the future, recognition of the importance of the Knowledge Economy – and consequent actions - will be critical. As I have already mentioned, Liverpool Vision has recognised the importance of the wider Hope Street-Knowledge Quarter area and as we merge into the proposed new economic regeneration vehicle for the City we want to make sure the priority is taken forward, so that the potential of the wider ‘University Edge’ is maximised. This is a key strategic priority at Regional, not just City level.

Third, my mantra is, ‘Don’t kid yourself the job’s done.’ There has been massive change in the City Centre and the pace of change continues at a high level. But much more needs to be done to secure the long term economic health of the City and lasting opportunity for the people of Liverpool. We have to ensure the opportunity that is Hope Street isn’t lost. The wider Hope Street area will be a major contributor to the economic health of the City and the provision of additional jobs.

The associated challenge is to ensure that people needing the jobs here can get to them, and to spread the opportunities around. That, I’d suggest, is what real regeneration is about.

And lastly, I’d say the biggest challenge for HOPES is that you need somehow to keep and widen your circle of friends; not easy when you’re an unsupported voluntary body, but it’s necessary. HOPES has a central role in moving things along, but it will need to be flexible in how it does things and how it relates to developments.


The professional perspective
Hilary: Thank you. As you know, most of HOPES’ members are professional people in their own right, who have given their time and skills ‘for free’ to bring about the changes now seen in Hope Street. This has produced an interesting dynamic, perhaps because regeneration professionals on the ‘official’ side more often work with community groups with fewer professional qualifications than themselves. My other question here is therefore what ‘lessons’ can be learned from this unusual situation about how to get the best from such a dynamic. Are there particular issues for instance in respect of ownership of the ideas and developments?

Jim: Working with the HOPES members on the public realm project was occasionally challenging, probably because the level of engagement was close and because each of the stakeholders had clear views as to what would or wouldn’t ‘work', and because they were able to argue their corner very strongly. We had a shared goal which, I think, was achieved.

I think the wider lessons for all stakeholders is to learn how to work with other groups, for example, non-professional stakeholders, and to recognise that everyone's goals and aspirations have validity. Ultimately more will be achieved if the Hope Street area speaks with a single voice which embraces all interests.


Worst and best so far
Hilary: What have we done worst and best, so far?

Jim: The worst is probably the time it has taken, or is taking, to secure a full recognition across the range of ‘public' organisations - including the City Council - of the importance of the area for the future economic health of the City.

The best is that you mustn’t underestimate what HOPES has achieved as, a voice for the area and in delivering activity. As I said, it was the discussion I had with you and Adrian which effectively clinched the resources to deliver the public realm project. You have secured formal recognition of the area; and the stakeholder group which we’ve developed from your original group of activists has worked quite well. We’ve come a long way.

Read also: The Hope Street Festivals (1996 - 2006)
Liverpool's Hope Street Festivals & Quarter (1977 - 1995)

HOPES Festival logo (small) 110x116.jpg HOPES: The Hope Street Association marks the thirtieth anniversary of the inaugural Hope Street Festival with a HOTFOOT 2007 concert offering many elements of previous such events. Tayo Aluko, Tony Burrage, Richard Gordon-Smith, Sarah Helsby-Hughes, Hughie Jones, Roger Phillips and Surinder Sandhu join children from Merseyside schools and the stalwart HOPES Festival Orchestra and Choir for an event not be missed.



HOTFOOT 2007! A Street of Hope for 30 Years

Celebrating 30 years of the Hope Street Festival


Buy your tickets here.


The first Hope Street Festival took place in 1977, when Her Majesty the Queen visited Liverpool as part of her Silver Jubilee tour. There was another Festival in 1980 and then no more until HOPES: The Hope Street Association was able to resurrect the event in 1996. HOPES, with support from the Liverpool Culture Company and the Community Foundation for Merseyside, has chosen to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the inaugural Hope Street Festival with a HOTFOOT 2007 concert which incorporates many of the elements of previous such events.

Sunday 22 July 2007 @ 7 pm (please note time),
Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Hope Street, L1 9BP

with

* Roger Phillips (Presenter)

* Richard Gordon-Smith (Conductor)

* The HOPES Festival Orchestra and Choir

(Leader / Director: Martin Anthony (Tony) Burrage)

and guests

CONCERT PROGRAMME:

Surinder Sandhu and the Saurang soloists
returning to HOPES to perform music by Surinder Sandhu (orchestrated by Richard Gordon-Smith) with the HOPES Festival Orchestra

Songs of the Sea with Hughie Jones' Jack Coutts, Kevin Bargen & Friends, featuring some of the performers who made the Mersey Shanty Festival an international success, singing shanties and sea songs from the days of the great sailing ships - the other music that Liverpool gave to the world a century before the Mersey Sound !

HOPES Festival Orchestra
performs Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Petite Suite de Concert

Sarah Helsby-Hughes (soprano) & Tayo Aluko (baritone) join the HOPES Festival Orchestra
for Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’ and other songs from Porgy & Bess

Children from Merseyside schools, with the HOPES Orchestra, perform
Liverpool First and Last
which they have themselves devised for HOPES with Richard Gordon-Smith & Tony Burrage, now arranged, orchestrated and conducted by Richard Gordon-Smith

Grand finale
where the entire company performs
HOPES’ Song for Liverpool, ‘Light Up The City' (from Cool Street) by Richard Gordon-Smith.


Exhibition
* We are delighted that the National Trust / Chambre Hardman have also agreed to put on an exhibition in the foyer of the Phil Hall on the day. (HOPES was a major advocate of 'saving' the Chambre Hardman House, at 59 Rodnet Street, Liverpool.)

Tickets for the show
(Sun 22 July, 7 pm [please note start time]
are now available from the Phil Box office: 0151-709 3789
or via the Liverpool Philharmonic website
at £7, £9 & £11 (£5 children).

And, finally……If you would like to be involved in this concert, as a performer, singer or sponsor / raffle donor please contact us a.s.a.p. on hope.street@btconnect.com. Thank you!

HOPES is grateful to The Liverpool Culture Company and The Community Foundation for Merseyside, both of which generously provided grant-aid for this concert.

HOTFOOT 06.9.16 Richard Gordon-Smith, Tony Burrage & HOPES Festival Orchestra (small) 90x115.jpg The annual 'HOTFOOT' Concert in Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall - set this year for 7 p.m. on Sunday 22 July - has been a Midsummer favourite for over a decade now. HOPES: The Hope Street Association, the charity which promotes and produces the concert, is delighted that the 2007 concert will receive support of £5,000 from the Liverpool Culture Company.
Our theme this year is HOTFOOT 1977 - 2007 A Street of Hope for 30 Years. We would be thrilled if you too would be involved, support us and attend.

The annual HOTFOOT on Hope Street concert, put on by HOPES: The Hope Street Association, is always an exciting and incredibly positive event, but it does offer its own challenges. One of these is how are we, the Trustees of the sponsoring charity, HOPES, going to pay for it?

The idea of a concert led by fully professional musicians, but at which amateur and student performers are welcome regardless of age or background, is great. How many other opportunities are there in a year for people to sing and play on the stage of the world-famous Philharmonic Hall with musicians from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra? But the logistics and costs of this enterprise are not issues easily resolved.

Good news
So today's news for HOPES from the Liverpool Culture Company is fabulous. We are to receive from them the full £5,000 which we requested towards our budget.

This is really welcome not only because it reduces the worries about money (though there's still a substantial way to go) but because, we like to think, it is a recognition of the work we in HOPES have done over the years to enhance and promote the Hope Street Quarter and the communities which have a stakehold in that area of Liverpool.

The tasks ahead
But this is only a beginning. Writing a successful bid is one thing; delivering the project well is another altogether. The tasks ahead [**] which now confront us include:

* obtaining substantial further sponsorship to meet our costs;
* finalising details of the concert programme, to fit the agreed theme of HOTFOOT 1977 - 2007 A Street of Hope for 30 Years - we are planning another amazing world premiere by HOPES' Composer in Association, Richard Gordon-Smith;
* putting out the invitations to all who may be interested to join us as performers;
* arranging all the back-stage bureaucratic things which must be in place before any public performance;
* devising and delivering an effective marketing and promotions strategy;
* booking the best professional musicians to coach the non-professional performers and to take 'anchor player' roles in the concert;
* settling, and confirming with all performers, dates and venues for rehearsals and the like;
* designing and ordering the T-shirts (mementos which all performers get to keep, and so different every year);
* writing and publishing the fliers, poster and programmes (sponsors most welcome!); and
* ensuring the tickets sell well in advance, and on the day.

[** which I once listed poetically (!) in a light-hearted / light-headed post-performance moment]

Volunteers at work
Some of the professional musicians' time (quite rightly) apart, all these tasks are done by volunteers. But co-ordinating volunteers, even very willing and able ones, is not the easiest way to get anything done, and it all still takes a great deal of everyone's energy and time.

But at least we are now properly at the starting line; and as ever we are confident that the concert will be all we could wish for, a great evening out for performers and audience alike.

How you can help and get involved
So, if you'd like to help (thank you for asking), there are a number of ways you are most welcome to do this:

* You can be sure to buy tickets (from the Phil Hall box office, on 0151-709 3789, or via their website).
* If you sing, or can play an orchestral instrument at roughly Grade V or above, you would be most welcome to join us in the HOPES Festival Choir or Orchestra - just email us with your details and we will be in touch.
* You can ensure your colleagues, friends and neighbours all know about the concert, and how to get tickets and / or become involved in the performance.
* You could join HOPES and perhaps become part of the HOTFOOT organising or support team.
* You or your company would be welcomed with open arms if you would like to become a (profiled) sponsor of this event, which is fully supported by the Liverpool Culture Company; again, please just email us and we will get back to you.

Be there on Sunday 22 July at 7 p.m.!
If you're planning to be in Liverpool on 22 July there will only be one place to be - the Philharmonic Hall on Hope Street. More details will follow shortly, but do be sure to put HOPES' annual concert in your diary right now.

We look forward very much to seeing you at 7 p.m. on 22 July at HOTFOOT on Hope Street 2007, as part of Liverpool's 800th Anniversary ('Birthday') celebrations.

Hope Street's 1st Farmers' Market (small) 05.10.22 005.jpg The Farmers' Market scheduled for Liverpool's Hope Street today has been cancelled because of pressures on officialdom. This is not a new scenario when it comes to efforts to enhance the local community's engagement and enterprise. What could those 'in charge of granting permissions' do to prove themselves, rather, as partners and enablers?

The Daily Post this morning reports that the intended monthly Farmers' Markets in Hope Street (third Saturday of the month) willl now begin in November, not today. After two very successful test runs (last October and during this year's Hope Street Festival - though why not as we suggested before then, I don't know) there was a real head of steam for the event today. People just love markets, with all their variety and colour!

But it seems the authorities can't cope... not enough time for the policing (in Hope Street? - probably Liverpool's most sedate throughfare till now at least), not enough notice, and so forth.... and the Farmers' Market organisers, Geraud Markets, are upset.

Not a new problem
Sadly, this 'not enough notice' and / or 'can't be done without big payments' scenario is not new. It caused the delay of this year's Hope Street Festival, originally planned for June, and it has been the undoing of several other events along Hope Street (as well, I suspect, as elsewhere).

It is fair to say that perhaps Geraud Markets, who have a joint venture arrangement with the City Council, might well have made appropriate contact with the authorities earlier - they are a big organisation - but that doesn't really explain the history of City Council 'can't do' which seems to overarch so many attempts to engage and involve people in our local community. The thwarted efforts are too many to list here.

Basic objectives put aside
Whether you look at the very worthy stated objectives of the Farmers' Markets joint venture with Liverpool City Council, or at those of much smaller organisations such as HOPES: The Hope Street Association, you will find a serious intent to improve the health, environment, general quality of life and enterprise climate of our Quarter.

The City Council may well claim to endorse these fine words - and individually some of its officers certainly go the extra mile in doing that - but overall their actions speak don't do much to demonstrate the commitment when it matters.

Supporting local communities - or not?
The question that perhaps those in charge at Council HQ have to ask is, 'What are we actively doing to help? And is it actually enough?' No private organisation or individual is obliged to support the enterprise and engagement of Liverpool communities, and some of us feel sorely tested. But it seems the message still isn't getting through.

Hope Street kids! (small) 06.9.17 254.jpg The Hope Street Festival in Liverpool, delayed from Midsummer, was on Sunday 17 September. This exciting milestone in Hope Street's history, introducing of a start-of-season early Autumn 'Feast' to go in future alongside the Summer Festival, is however neither the beginning nor the end of the journey.

HOPES FESTIVAL LOGO.JPG The 2006 Hope Street Festival (later renamed 'Feast'), on Sunday 17 September, is a continuation of such an event on Hope Street in Liverpool sometime in the summer over many years. It included the Philharmonic Open Day, a Farmers' Market, events in Hope Street's cafes, guided walks, and a performance of Richard Gordon-Smith's 'Hotfoot on Hope Street', commissioned by HOPES: The Hope Street Association in 1997, to launch their campaign for the renewal of the Hope Street public realm.

We have already noted [here] something of the history of how it all began. This posting therefore looks only at how things have developed over the past decade, following the near-loss in the late 1980s / early 1990s of both the Liverpool Everyman Theatre and the Philharmonic, and the intervention of the Campaign to Promote the Arts on Merseyside (CAMPAM), with its cry of Once lost we will not get them back!

A new era
HSF Craft Fair 06.9.17 262.jpg Slowly, in the early 1990s, the threats of cultural annihilation subsided; but at the same time CAMPAM began to take on a wider and more involved role, recognising the strategic value of the Hope Street area (by then, acknowledged formally as the Hope Street Quarter). It was not enough to defend individual arts organisations, however significant. A more comprehensive approach was required; and this was what the newly emerging registered charity, HOPES: The Hope Street Association, a coalition of local institutions, traders, community organisations and individuals, was formed, with the encouragement of John Flamson and City Challenge, to bring about.

Plans were drawn up to address the enormous potential of Hope Street Quarter as a hub for the arts, for business, for the knowledge economy, and as a focus for community engagement and capacity building. Trustees were elected to take the work forward. A Council with wider membership was convened to enable regular consultation of important issues. And a decision was made that, right from the start, there would be celebratory activities - concerts, other performances, social events - which would ensure the involvement of people at every level.. and would also give everyone an opportunity to get to know each other in a relaxed and informal ambience.

Hope Street Festival resurrected
HOPES Family Fun Day Flower Stall (PB) 18.6.2000.JPG Thus do we arrive at the re-emergence of the Hope Street Festival, in its new, more modernly inclusive, guise as an event co-ordinated by HOPES., but still, as in 1977 and 1980, intended vigorously to celebrate this 'unique street'.... and still supported by amongst others Adrian Henri, Graham Frood of the Unity Theatre and other leading members of CAMPAM and then HOPES, just as they had supported events two decades previously.

The very first 'modern day' event was in 1996, a weekend of activities centred around the Everyman and other venues, with poetry, small-scale music and other open-access offerings, over one of the wettest and coldest Midsummer Days on record - or so at least it seemed to the organisers! But from that we learned a lot, and in 1997 the Philharmonic Hall was hired for a special 'community concert' organised by HOPES on the basis of as much community inclusion as possible, and as a flagship event around which many other activities took place, with each event occurring on its own terms and HOPES acting as co-ordinator and promoter.

The HOTFOOT concerts
HOPES' Midsummer Festival concert in Philharmonic Hall also embraced another objective - the launch of the campaign to renew the physical structure of Hope Street's impressive but faded public realm. And so the piece of music entitled Hotfoot on Hope Street came about, written by HOPES' Composer in Association, Richard Gordon-Smith, commissioned by the charity to portray the street in a twenty minute orchestral piece at a level performable by good amateur and student musicians (with a little help from some friendly professsionals).

The world premiere of Hotfoot on Hope Street was in Philharmonic Hall on 21 June 1997, twenty years to the day after the celebration on Hope Street of the Queen's Silver Jubilee. Other performers appearing included Adrian Henri and Roger McGough.

HOTFOOT2005 Trade Winds 032.jpg HOPES Yellow Banners.JPG There has been a HOTFOOT concert at the Phil every year since 1997, sometimes performing the actual piece again and always picking up themes which resonate for Hope Street: the 2002 KOOL STREET project, developed in conjunction with local schools, the music on several occasions of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (Britain's foremost Black classical composer, whose friend from Liverpool, John Archer, later became the first Black mayor of a British town, Battersea in London), and Liverpool's only celebration of the 1999 centenary of Duke Ellington.

HSF1999Saurang25.6.99(1).JPG Nor must we forget the hugely popular Saurang concerts which HOPES presented alongside members of the RLPO. Then, in 2005 (Liverpool's Year of the Sea), we presented the world premiere of Richard Gordon-Smith's large-scale work for orchestra and four choirs, Trade Winds, set to the words of (another) Poet Laureate, John Masefield, whose Liverpool maritime experience aptly led him to prophesise great things for his city's future.

Millennium success
HOTFOOT Orchestra close-up 06.9.17 273.jpg In some years since 1996/7 the HOTFOOT concert has been scheduled alongside a wide range of other festival activities, the most wide-ranging of which was during Midsummer 2000. This Festival involved some twenty events, from plays and food tastings to art exhibitions and debates, all under the umbrella of the Millennium Commission's celebrations - and then, to HOPES' delight, selected as their national exemplar of community festivals, to make a presentation to the media and leading national figures (including, once more, then Secretary of State Chris Smith MP). The Millennium Hope Street Festival was led by an enthusiastic team of Trustees, volunteers, graduates gaining work experience and members of the business, faith and other communities along Hope Street.

A fallow period and a beautiful public realm
hopes_logo.gif Sadly, despite the enormous success of the Millennium Year, HOPES has found it difficult to sustain the Hope Street Festival at the level of activity many consider it deserves, and there is currently almost nothing in the HOPES kitty to keep the Festival going. Over the years it is estimated that HOPES has raised about a quarter of a millions pounds in cash and in-kind investment in developmental activities for Hope Street Quarter, and that has been matched by some ten thousand hours of volunteer work; but this massive contribution to the development of Hope Street remains very largely unrecognised, and certainly unmatched, in terms of encouragement of HOPES by the civic authorities. Nonetheless, there has been another very significant success for HOPES in that, ten years after the 'launch' of the campaign to achieve it, Hope Street finally has its brand new public realm.

HopeStreetHeritageWalk8.9.05 006.jpg The three million pounds to undertake this public realm programme was promised by Steven Broomhead, CEO of the NorthWest Development Agency (NWDA) to HOPES some four years ago, and finally the physical work has just this summer been completed under the supervision of Liverpool Vision, with Liverpool City Council. And, as the last stones are laid and the final street lights installed, Liverpool Vision has generously given HOPES financial support to enable a street celebration and another performance of HOTFOOT, the music which launched the whole idea. This is what is happening on Sunday 17 September 2006 as part of the one-day Hope Street Festival devised and led by a number of partners, including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Liverpool Food and Drink Festival and, of course as always, HOPES.

The future
HopeStF Paul Askew demo 06.9.17 265.jpg The new enthusiasm for the Hope Street Festival reflects the confidence and sense of place which is emerging in Hope Street Quarter. We have always known at some level that this is a unique street, combining as it does the best of almost every sort of enterprise and community. Now, visitors and stakeholders in the area are beginning to develop this sense of something special in their own ways.

It is too early to make substantive predictions for the future, but my guess, as one who has been closely involved for the duration (I am founder-chair of HOPES and as such have organised all the Festivals from 1996 to 2005 as a volunteer), is that a number of themes are emerging.

Firstly, the city is beginning to understand why Hope Street's future is also the future of the whole Mersey sub-region. Strategically, there can be few such compact areas with such a lot to offer in terms of the knowledge economy, culture and much else.

Face Paints.JPG Secondly, Hope Street is beginning to find its feet as a place to celebrate. The 'street festival' has been resurrected and is much in evidence this year. Now we have to find a way also to develop our International Festival. (If Aldburgh, Edinburgh, Harrogate, Cheltenham and others can do it, why not us? We're bigger than any of them, and we have, as they do not, our own long-established resident international symphony orchestra.) And along with that, as perhaps the other side of the same coin, we need to extend our grasp of how to engage our local communities and neighbours, capacity building where there are currently aspirations rather than existing expertise; some work on this is now underway.

And thirdly we have to nurture the direct commercial and business needs of partners in the Quarter, be it via a business association or some other means. The door is open and the opportunity must now be taken, whilst the enthusiasm to collaborate is there!

The Hope Street jigsaw pieces are in place
HOPES (banners) 06.9.17 260.jpg The mechanisms to achieve all these objectives now exist. HOPES is an established charity with the remit to take any and all of these activities forward where partners wish it. Liverpool Vision has helped and led a number of initiatives, including the establishment o

Hope Street & Mount Pleasant (small) - view towards Anglican Cathedral 06.7.15 017.jpg The first Hope Street Festival was in 1977, to mark the Silver Jubilee of HM The Queen. The next event, marking the Centenary of the Incorporation of the City of Liverpool, was in 1980. There followed a period of great concern for the cultural fortunes of Hope Street.

Hope Street Festival poster 1977 & 199906.9.6 003.jpg During the 19803 and into the '90s Hope Street's cultural institutions were in great peril. From this time of peril however, in the early 1990s, emerged a community-led campaign -The Campaign to Promote the Arts on Merseyside (CAMPAM) - to ensure that Liverpool kept its flagship organisations; and from CAMPAM in turn emerged HOPES: The Hope Street Association, the registered charity which was to seek renewal of the Quarter and which was later to resurrect the Hope Street Festivals.

The original Hope Street Festivals were organised in 1977 and 1980 by a group of people who included Stephen Gray OBE and Andrew Burn, then managers at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society, as well as the late Adrian Henri, one of the founding Liverpool Poets, and other local artists and restaurateurs such as Berni Start of Kirklands Wine Bar, and Paddy Byrne of the Everyman Bistro.

Talking to people in Liverpool today, many of them recall the 1977 event as tremendously exciting, taking part as school children in one of the most massive pageants imaginable - 17,000 participants enacting eight scenes depicting the four seasons along the length of Hope Street, from one cathedral to the other. (As those then involved will tell you, some children even had to run from one point to another, to enact different parts of the pageant!)

In both 1977 and 1980 there was much support from the business community. The list of sponsors contains names which sometimes take one down memory lane: Leighton Advertising of 62 Hope Street, Modern Kitchen Equipment of Myrtle Street, Ford Dealers J. Blake and Company of Hope Street, , WH Brady of Smithdown Road, Girobank, Littlewoods, Radio City, and Higsons Brewery amongst them, alongside further flung organisations like the Chester Summer Music Festival, Welsh National Opera, Theatr Clwyd and even Decca, who recorded much Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (RLPO) music during that time... Strange to say, the first three businesses are now lost to Hope Street; but most of the others of course remain as current concerns in Liverpool. As we shall see, it was in part an enthusiasm once more to energise the business community in Hope Street Quarter which led to the resurrection of the Hope Street Festival in 1996.

1977 - The Queen's Silver Jubilee
The Valley & the Hill LP 06.9.6.jpg The 1977 Festival was centred on celebration of the visit to Liverpool of Her Majesty the Queen, during her Silver Jubilee tour of the United Kingdom. Malcolm Williamson, Master of the Queen's Music, wrote a pageant entitled The Valley and the Hill, to be performed in Hope Street on 21st June. (I know; I made thirty children's 'sheep' costumes for the performance, whilst on a teaching practice!) This was recorded in 1983 with a choir of 2,000 local school children and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (my violinist spouse was there...).

The 1980 Hope Street Summer Festival
Hope Street festival 1980 programme06.9.6 007.jpg Then there was another Hope Street Festival in 1980, directed once more by Stephen Gray as General Manager of the RLPS, with his colleague Andrew Burn - again an impressive programme of concerts, talks and other events by leading performers and commentators, including the Allegri Quartet, Christian Blackshaw, John Cage,

Different meanings apply to the words 'carnival', 'fiesta' and 'festival', but these are not always apparent in their day-to-day usage. The cultural, religious and indeed sometimes class-related nuances of these words influence decisions about what is appropriate for whom. But this may not help us to see that ideas of 'excellence' are not necessarily at all the same as the notion of 'elitism'. Nonetheless, this distinction is very important, and never more so than in cities such as Liverpool, as they strive to re-invent themselves.

When is a series of celebratory perfomances a 'Carnival', when is it a 'Festival' and when is it a 'Fiesta'?

My curiosity about these words was first aroused in the early 1990s, when we began to talk about resurrecting the Hope Street Festival in Liverpool. There is a tradition stretching back many years of Festival events in Liverpool - not least the Hope Street events (in some of which I was involved as a student) in 1977 for the Queen's Silver Jubilee, and in the city as a whole through several decades before then.

Changing expectations
What rapidly became apparent when we began to talk with people in the 1990s however was that there were several very different undersandings about what a contemporary 'Festival' might be - and that most of them did not at all equate to my previous expectation that a Festival in Liverpool would be something along the lines of those in Edinburgh, Harrogate or, say, any of the Three Choirs cities.

Liverpool does indeed still have an annual 'Festival', but that is a competitive event, mostly for children and amateur groups, and originally driven by a number of determined local citizens, such as the late Dennis Rattle, father of Sir Simon, and members of the Rushworth family (who had a music shop in the city). This performing arts competition, though in a fine British tradition, is neither a festival in the sense of a programme of formal professional events, nor a 'fringe' in the sense that, say, Edinburgh has one.

Rather, it seemed that what people across the city expected from a modern festival around Hope Street was something in my mind more akin to a fiesta or carnival, perhaps along the lines of the event which has subsequently developed in Liverpool's Mathew Street.

The formal definitions
These different understandings, which took a while to draw out from discussions, sent me off to look for the dictionary. What I found is interesting. The respective Oxford Concise Dictionary definitions are:
Carnival ~ festivities usual during period before Lent in R.C. countries; riotous revelry; travelling circus or fair; festivities esp. occurring at regular date
Festival ~ feast day, celebration, merry-making; periodic musical etc. performance(s)
Fiesta ~ religious festival in Spanish-speaking countries; festivity, holiday

All the terms I investigated arise from religious events, and usually Roman Catholic ones specifically - an interesting piece of background information in a city such as Liverpool, with in some parts its strongly Catholic, working class traditions.

Festivals are what you make of them
This has set me thinking. There is perhaps a tension here between what people in different places, with different previous experience, expect from a Festival. For the people of Liverpool, the large majority of whom have probably only a passing acquaintance with Edinburgh, Harrogate, Worcester, Salisbury, Cheltenham or other cities which host formal Festivals, the expectation is that celebratory performance will be community-based and, indeed, probably actually conducted on the street. A good example of this is the events offered by Hope Street Ltd, an arts training organisation in Liverpool.

Likewise, when the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra decided to start a summer concerts series some years ago, it chose to do so under canvas and on the waterfront, on a 'Pops' basis. (Since then, the event has taken a course which means that the RLPO is scarcely involved at all.)

Expectations can be important
There are however potential dangers in this apparent democratisation of performance art. Firstly, if people in a city are not encouraged to expect Festival performances by visiting artists such as we might expect in Edinburgh, Cheltenham or wherever, they are unlikely to value them; and the message that 'excellence' (both indigenous to the city and offered by visitors) is not the same as 'elitism' may be lost.

And, secondly, Liverpool will in 2008 become the European Capital of Culture. We in Liverpool may well have much to show visitors from Europe and beyond about how to engage local (largely working class) communities in arts performance - and I am genuinely eager that we should. But it is unlikely that visitors from further afield will be impressed by this if it is not backed up by evidence that we can also provide what many of them, from their previous experience, may expect in addition - which is a fine array of first rate professional offerings very visibly supported by the local populace.

In other words, there is still a lot of audience capacity building to be done in Liverpool before 2008, if we are to impress our very welcome visitors as we would wish. And time is short. Carnivals and fiestas are great; but they need to be nurtured alongside festivals of the sort offered by other sophisticated and ambitious cities, if we in Liverpool are to take maximum advantage of the possibilities now on the horizon for our Year as European Capital of Culture.

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