COVENTRY’s annual Godiva Festival will go ahead this year and remain a free event despite widespread council cuts.
Amid heavy government funding cuts to Coventry City Council, some councillors have for years raised the possibility of Godiva Festival cutbacks, or potential charging.
Another proposal had been to stage the three-day music and culture festival in the War Memorial Park every two years rather than annually.
But Coventry City Council has today announced the festival – attended by over 100,000 people annually – will definitely go ahead as usual this June.
The festival costs Coventry council taxpayers more than £300,000 per year – which is the difference between income and expenditure on the event.
The Godiva Festival has been a jewel in the city’s cultural crown for two decades and is attended by people from the West Midlands region and beyond.
The city is bidding to become the UK capital of culture in 2021 and it is thought the Godiva Festival will play a significant part in the bid.
Memorable performances over the years have come from The Enemy, Happy Mondays, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Echo and the Bunnymen, Slaves and Kasabian.
David Burbidge, chair of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “We are extremely pleased to see the announcement of Coventry Godiva Festival for 2016.
“It’s a real jewel in the city’s crown and what has really emerged from the workshops we have carried out around the City of Culture bid is just how much it means to people – especially young people in the city.
“Godiva is a great showcase for the city’s diverse cultural mix and draws people from Coventry, the surrounding region and from further afield.
“We wish the city council and all of those involved with the organisation of the Godiva Festival every success for this year’s event and I am sure it will, once again, be very well attended and supported by the city.”