Hulme festival goes ahead despite Manchester City Council withdrawing funding

By Carly Turner

People came out in force on Saturday at the first Hulme festival despite a significant last minute scaling back of the event.

The festival was due to run from 12pm until midnight and the ambitious plans included the event running across five sites and three areas with a main stage in Hulme Park, a VE Day style tea party at the Zion centre and a chill out tent offering alternative therapies.

Unfortunately issues over the licensing of the event arose, along with concerns about the safety of residents and Manchester City Council took the decision to withdraw their funding and support for the festival, which meant the majority of the planned events had to be cancelled.

Festival organisers said they were massively disappointed at the decision but remained hopeful that the event would return in full at a later date.

ENJOYING THE SUN: The festival went ahead despite all the set-backs

A Manchester City Council spokesperson said: “The plans for the Hulme Festival were exciting and ambitious, however before we can support any event we have to be confident that it will be safe. The necessary steps to ensure this were not completed and there just wasn’t time to resolve the issues that arose.”

Parts of the planned event that were cancelled included the main stage, food court and the holistic therapies.

The last minute cancellation left many Hulme residents disappointed. Katy Kay said: “I was really looking forward to this. As someone who works in Hulme and is part of the local community it seems such a shame that all of the hard work put in by artists and organisers is now going to waste.”

Despite the late changes however some of the planned events were able to go ahead including the 1940s style street party which was hosted by the Zion Centre and a performance from swing group The Swing Commanders. 

With the help of the Manchester sunshine families and children came out to enjoy the downsized festival.

Alice Penny of Mother Hen Creative, who organised a children’s workshop at the event, said: “We had loads of fun. Beautiful sunshine, storytelling adventures and doing the Charleston to the wonderful sounds of The Swing Commanders.”  

Resident Andrew Rourke said: “It’s a really nice idea and you wouldn’t normally get people in this area all coming out together for something like this.

“It’s a shame the event had to be scaled back, the street party looked really good but there didn’t seem to be much food around.” 

The event was not enjoyed by all and the lack of security was a concern for some attendees. Louise Clarey from Whalley Range felt that by having the event scaled down meant there weren’t a lot of things for people to do.

She said: “There were a lot of young kids around who seemed to be using the festival as an excuse to get drunk and that spoilt it for a lot of other people who just wanted to enjoy what the festival had to offer.”

Hulme based Zion Arts Centre who had organised the events that did go ahead felt the day had been an overall success and said it was a great day for a “non-festival.”

Festival organisers remain hopeful that the full festival will be able to return at a later date and are encouraging supporters to sign a petition to help maintain interest in the event. Full details can be found at 

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