Tickets are to be introduced for the first time at this year’s Godiva Festival to ensure organisers can manage visitor numbers safely, as the event grows in popularity.
A £2 administration fee will be charged for each ticket, with under 5s free, to cover the cost of the move to ticketing, ensure a safe event and maintain the high quality expected of the festival. The decision will also help ensure the annual event is delivered within budget.
The move is the first of some key changes in the much-loved festival’s 20-year history which will also see a £10 on-site car parking charge introduced for the first time.
Over the last two decades, visitor numbers have grown dramatically with around 120,000 people now visiting over the three days. Last year’s event was estimated to generate £2.3m in economic activity by bringing tens of thousands of extra visitors to the city.
But its increasing popularity brings the need to improve visitor safety. While it is difficult to know how many people will attend each year, capacity for the 2018 event had to be increased from 30,000 to 50,000 and the entire site needed to be fenced to manage the volume of visitors and provide a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. A record crowd of almost 45,000 people were on the main field on Saturday evening of last year’s festival.
The move to ticket the event will ensure the safety of everyone at the family-friendly festival and deliver another high quality event, while other changes such as the parking charges will help reduce the cost to the taxpayer in delivering the overall event.
Andy Williams, Director of Business, Investment & Culture at Coventry City Council, said:
“The feedback we received last year was overwhelmingly positive to the increased security on site, and we know how popular the Godiva Festival is with both residents and visitors to the city.
“Introducing a small charge to help cover the administration for the tickets will enable us to improve safety and security for everyone, without compromising the affordability for all.
“At the same time, we do need to introduce other measures to relieve some of the financial pressures that come with delivering the much-loved festival. The funding challenges we face means that the Council is not in a position where we can continue to deliver the event as it has been for the last 20 years.
“We have also been looking to attract more sponsors to the event as well as exploring the appetite for merchandising to see if that can also help to generate additional income.
“The event brings massive benefits and profile to the city, which benefit many local businesses and so it’s right that we ask everyone to play their part in continuing to support the festival by attending, buying souvenir merchandise, or joining the Council as a supporter of the event.”
Tickets are available at www.godivafestival.com/buytickets and people are encouraged to head online to buy tickets in advance to ensure they don’t miss out on Godiva 2019 and order their Godiva Festival wristbands and programmes in advance.
The Godiva Festival will take place on 5-7 July in the War Memorial Park.
For the latest news and updates on Godiva Festival, follow @godivafestival on social media or sign up for the Godiva Festival e-newsletter on godivafestival.com
Godiva Festival is brought to you by Coventry City Council, in association with Free Radio, Coventry UK City of Culture 2021, Vodafone and supported by Coventry College.