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metal talk
4th September 2017

hair metal heaven

Ian Wright, the organiser of the recent Hair Metal Heaven event in Hull, says he has been left £50,000 out of pocket after the three-day festival at Hull City Hall and Welly Club, was hit by logistical problems.

Wright said the infrastructure in place "quickly crumbled", leading to numerous issues and some criticism from some festival-goers and that he had to take out the huge loan just to "get through the weekend".

The problems included long delays between acts, VIP guests going without hotel rooms they had been promised and one show on Saturday night show having to be cancelled. Others complained of poor communication to fans.

Wright made a lengthy post on the event's Facebook page, saying:

"We are happy we managed to pull it off but obviously we had many teething problems.

"It would have been easy to pull the plug and walk away but we committed to the weekend - £50k worse off but happy that the majority understood this was a massive undertaking and lessons have been learnt.

"Our hearts were in the right place but sadly the structure we had in place for the weekend quickly crumbled as it became a rampaging beast that we couldn't take.

"I was being pulled in twenty different directions - picking up bands, chasing up hotels for selling a large portion of our VIP rooms so people had no rooms when they got there.

"I was happy to find them rooms elsewhere but it meant, in effect, there was nobody directing things at the venue. This is when things began to go wrong."

Mr Wright urged fans to "focus on the amazing performances" and not the organisation of the event which he said "can always be improved".

He said the cancellation of the Michael Monroe Show on Saturday night, which left many fans disappointed, "broke him" and he said that he had been left with the debt because he was determined the festival would go on.

"To understand how finely balanced this was, I had to borrow £50k to get through the weekend," he said.

"I never once stiffed a band. I organised solutions to make them happy and I'm still doing that now. They came. They played. They 100% deserve to get paid.

"I'm not sure many other promoters of a first time festival would have done this. Most would have cut their losses and done one. The festival had to go on for the fans and sending them home depressed and in riot mode was not plan A."

However, Mr Wright received widespread praise for his honesty and for securing a big name line-up for Hull in the first place.

One fan, Anthony Gordon said:

"You've done a great job no matter what bad comments you get. With a new festival always comes teething problems. And no matter what happened you tried your best to fix it. Well done for putting on a great festival with great bands."

Two festival goers, Simon Fothergill and Neil Salter, have created a fundraising page with the aim of offering him financial support.

Simon, 45, from Newcastle, told the Hull Daily Mail:

"I had a great time myself, I came down on the Saturday and left on the Sunday. Ian had got acts from all over the world, from the USA and Japan, and they were in Hull! To get that was fantastic.

"I think the problem was that there wasn't much communication. I think on one night there was a two hour wait for bands and the bar ran out of drinks twice over.

"Ian was trying to run it himself and I think he just overestimated the scale of it really.

"We found out he was £50,000 down as a result, and that's obviously not nice for anyone. He's got a family, so we just wanted to help him out."


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