Every year the Coventry CIty Council put on a summer music festival called The Godiva Festival. The festival is fairly small but in recent years has had a few big name bands, including Biffy Clyro, Athlete, The Enemy, Kasabian, The Fratellis and many others. The festival is set across 3 days in early July, from Friday to Sunday.
The festival is set in the Memorial Park, just outside of the city centre, which helps to create a lively festival atmosphere within the city. It’s Coventry’s biggest annual event, attracting huge crowds from all over the West Midlands. The festival also supports local and up-coming bands, holding qualifying Battle of The Bands gigs in the months prior to the event. The bands contending this year included a range of styles, from bands such as Dark Actors and House of Rosslyn, to Know Your Rights and The Fallows.
The event provides a wide range of music genres and styles, with 3 stages hosting various acts throughout the weekend. The Main Stage holds all of the biggest acts, with the final headliners this year being popular Newcastle band Maximo Park, as well as former Coventrian Ghost Poet. The Rhythm Tent provides the stage for the unsigned acts, as well as adding a Reggae/Ska element which the city is very proud of since The Specials in the 70/80’s.
Due to this large mix of genres there’s always a very diverse crowd each year, but unfortunately the festival has a history of attracting a handful of unsavoury characters, meaning that in recent years the security of the festival has been improved dramatically with larger fencing and an airport style metal detecting system. However this provides a safer atmosphere for families and children to attend the festival. I found the wide range of stalls and shops this year more appealing, as there’s a very wide range available. The amount of different varieties of food on offer is reminiscent to the food quarter of Camden Market in London, but unfortunately seems slightly too overpriced compared to shops that can be found in the city centre.
Overall the music was good, with sound quality being a important feature at an open air festival. However some of the stages were too close to one another, with some of the music from one mixing with another that I found to be irritating when positioned far away from the stage I was watching. This didn’t become a problem with the main headline acts later on though, as the schedules were created to allow the crowd to converge on the main stage for the final band of each evening.
I enjoyed the festival this year, as it seems the organisers have done a lot of work to ensure bigger bands attend, and the event overall is much safer. It’s definitely more enjoyable on a hot summer’s day, with the weather making the whole event much less appealing unlike the larger UK festivals such as Reading and Glastonbury. In no way can it compete with these huge festivals, mainly due to lack of space and funds to support globally popular bands, but still a good day out in the end.