I wrote this back in 2013. Three years later, despite my opposition, the Festival’s going from strength to strength. Loathsome, élitist and in all ways objectionable. Can we all collectively just make it stop?
As anyone who’s read this blog for any amount of time will know, I love Sefton Park. I run through it most days and love going to any special events held there, like Africa Oyé and then the Liverpool International Music Festival a couple of weeks ago. At these times it’s lovely to see the Park being so central to the city’s culture and so celebrated by so many people.
The fences are already up all round the ‘festival’ site. To protect the investment. Because you’ll have to pay to get in. To what’s basically a collection of shops, a market, a shopping mall. Liverpool One don’t charge you to get in, the Farmer’s Markets don’t charge you to get in, not so far away Ormskirk Market doesn’t charge you to get in. But the Liverpool Food and Drink Festival does.
Why? Well to make more profit obviously. But profit out of entry to a public park? Profit out of entry to a collection of shops and cafés who are already paying rent to be there?
And ok, the entry charge isn’t all that much – £5 a day online, £6.50 on the door or £9 for the weekend – but it’ll be enough to keep a lot of people away and maybe that’s the point? Is this a ‘festival’ for well-heeled foodies only and not the rest of us? Is this a deliberately divisive celebration for the ‘haves’ who’ll enjoy it so much more if the ‘have nots’ aren’t there? Just a thought.
In Liverpool. On public land. It’s just not right.
And no, I’m not putting in any links to the thing. The local press is already running enough advertorials for it.
So after a couple of busy days post views and exchanges of opinions – mostly supportive – on here and on Twitter, the requested deluge did not arrive.
Well done Theresa, well done Joe and everyone else who’s made Granby 4 Streets happen all this year. Of the people, by the people, for the people.