In the latest development following Liverpool City Council’s shock decision to keep Croxteth Hall under council ownership, children’s television channel CBBC will be descending on the estate in August to host their first ever outdoor festival.
The arrival of the TV and radio giant in Croxteth has divided opinion. While it may be good for raising the profile of the area, the festival has come under fire for failing to benefit the local community. With tickets priced at £30.80 per person aged 2+ per day, and car parking at £11, the event is priced far out the financial reach of many people, especially if they have several children.
Other BBC events, such as the annual Radio 1’s Big Weekend, which moves to a different location every year and hosts acts such as Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry and Coldplay, is completely free. Although this huge event is ticketed, the tickets are allocated through postcodes, meaning that approximately 95% of tickets are given to local residents. The CBBC festival in Croxteth is different, in that Liverpool City Council put in a bid for it to come to the local estate; however, it is difficult to see how the event benefits most local people, when it is so expensive to attend.
Alt Valley Voice contacted the event organisers for comment. Jessica Balodis, PR for the CBBC Summer Social, said: ‘We want as many families as possible to be able to attend Summer Social. We’ll be working with the Council and local community groups to distribute a number of free tickets to local families who might not otherwise be able to attend.
‘The popularity of other similar size festivals shows that families do value this kind of large scale event. Our ticket prices have been benchmarked against other similar events. We will also broadcast from the event so those at home can also be part of the experience.’ Event organisers confirmed that attendees will be able to take their own food and drink into the festival, so no additional costs will be incurred.
However, the park will be closed to the general public for the three days, 3rd-5th August, when the festival is running. Ms Balodis told Alt Valley Voice: ‘We’re working closely with local residents and the local authority to ensure that any disruption is kept to a minimum. We hope that local residents will see the great benefits of having an event of this type in their area’.
This is the first outdoor event of its kind run by CBBC. It will be interesting to see whether, as the council says, the profile of Croxteth is benefitted by the event, or if it will simply become white noise in the background.