Coventry’s much-loved Godiva Festival, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, is moving to a new date this summer – because there’s so much going on in the city.
Festival organisers today announced the event will this year be held in the War Memorial Park from 31 August to 2 September 2018.
The move is a result of last week’s announcement that Coventry has been chosen as the English host for BBC Music presents The Biggest Weekend, with Radio 2 and Radio 3 both holding day-long concerts in the city.
Big name stars including Paloma Faith, Snow Patrol, Billy Ocean and Nigel Kennedy will be performing in the War Memorial Park in May in front of thousands of fans on the 27 and 28 May.
That would give less than six weeks until the traditional Godiva weekend in July and organisers said the park will need time to recover so it can be at its best to welcome the crowds who flock to the Festival every year.
It also means music lovers have great events to look forward to at the start and end of the summer in what promises to be a busy year for the newly named UK City of Culture 2021.
Councillor Abdul Khan, Deputy Leader of Coventry City Council with responsibility for events, said the city was determined to stage another amazing Godiva Festival to help celebrate being named UK City of Culture - and making these changes would guarantee another event to remember.
He said: “It is going to be another fantastic year for Coventry and we are delighted to have not one, but two, massive festivals for the people of our city to enjoy.
“We know how popular Godiva is in Coventry and how much love and support people have for the event, not to mention all of the economic benefits it brings to Coventry in terms of tourism and thousands of extra visits to the city.
“Being host for the BBC Music concerts is a great coup for the city and it is a sign of things to come. Now we have been named UK City of Culture for 2021, we will be hosting more and more events and welcoming thousands of people and there are exciting times ahead.
“We are looking forward to staging two amazing days of concerts for BBC Radio and taking our place in the national spotlight. However, we are also totally committed to Godiva and determined to make sure it is as brilliant as ever on its 20th birthday.”
“That is the challenge ahead – but it is a wonderful challenge to have.”
The three-day festival has been held in the park since 1998 and has gone from strength to strength – becoming the UK’s biggest free family music festival. It has more than doubled in size in recent years – going from 85,000 visits in 2010 to the record attendance of 179,000 visits last summer.
Over the years it has attracted some of the biggest rock, pop, hip hop and acoustic artists to its stages, including star names such as The Human League, JME, The Enemy, The Selecter, The Primitives, Kasabian and the Happy Mondays.
Last year saw massive crowds at all stages as The Stranglers, Example & DJ Wire and The Darkness headlined across the three days.
The festival also continues to support local music and upcoming artists and features family activities, fun fair rides and lots more.
With the dates now set, event organisers are hard at work scheduling bands and programming the weekend.
People can keep up to date with the latest news for Godiva Festival 2018 by following @godivafestival on Twitter and Facebook, or seeing www.godivafestival.com
Any businesses or potential sponsors looking to be a part of the event, should contact the Council’s Marketing Team on 024 7683 2466, and anyone looking to book a food, charity, craft or promotional stall should use www.godivafestival.com to register their interest.
Watch out for all the latest news on the BBC Music’s Biggest Weekend concerts at www.visitcoventryandwarwickshire.co.uk