It's been confirmed Coventry's Godiva Festival will be back in its traditional July slot this year.
The festival will be held in the War Memorial Park over three days from 5 – 7 July.
It's been running for 20 years and will once again feature top name acts and local talent, with live music, comedy and entertainment across five stages.
Other attractions will include food and drink stalls, a family field and craft village.
The festival continues to go from strength to strength, and last year attracted crowds of 115,000 over the three days.
It also brought a massive boost to the local economy, with an estimated direct economic impact of £2.3m and more than half of last year’s audience coming from outside Coventry.
It has grown so popular that the capacity for the 2018 event was increased from 30,000 to 50,000 and the entire site fenced to improve safety – and on the Saturday night last year, a peak of an incredible 41,000 people were in the Park, a record for the Festival.
The festival has also captured the Best Festival in Coventry and Warwickshire title as voted by readers of the What’s On magazine.
That success has brought challenges, with additional costs and work in order to keep everyone safe, and make sure it remains an enjoyable event for all, but Council leaders say it remains an important part of Coventry’s calendar as the city builds towards its year as UK City of Culture 2021.
Councillor Abdul Salam Khan, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Events, said:
“We’re really pleased to be able to confirm the festival dates for this year.
“The 2019 festival returns to its usual early summer dates as well, rather than the end of August, which was the case for last year’s festival, which enabled the city to play host to the BBC’s Biggest Weekend event.
“We’re really proud of the fact the Godiva Festival is massively popular. Importantly, we also know how beneficial it is for the city, generating an estimated £2.3m in direct economic activity for the area, which can only be good news for local businesses, traders and the wider local economy too.
“This year’s event will be broadly similar to 2018 but there is a conversation we need to have with partners and residents about the festival in the future.
“While we remain committed to the Godiva Festival, well documented financial pressures facing the Council along with additional costs to improve safety means that we may not always be able to continue to deliver the festival in the same way unless we increase sponsorship or increase other income generating avenues.
“Clearly, if there are partners out there who are keen to join us in delivering and supporting this fantastic event in the lead up to our year as UK City of Culture, then get in touch.
“I’m looking forward to another fantastic festival that will once again have something for everyone.”
Organisers are currently hard at work programming artists and attractions for the festival, which last year featured more than 70 artists, including big names such as Jonas Blue, Professor Green, Editors and Ronan Keating.
They joined a long list of star names to appear at the festival over the years, such as, The Stranglers, Example & DJ Wire, The Darkness, The Human League and AJ Tracey.
Last year, 92% of visitors rated the festival as good or excellent, and 90% said Coventry would make a good City of Culture. More than half those polled said they would be encouraged to visit Coventry again as a result and 87% praised the city as a good place for events and festivals.
This summer, as with previous years, the festival will provide a great stage to celebrate the huge and diverse variety of creative talent that exists in Coventry and Warwickshire.