COVENTRY’S bid to become the next UK City of Culture has been launched in style – in front of the crowds at last weekend’s Godiva Festival.
The team in charge of the bid took to the main stage on the Sunday after taking over the Rhythm Tent for the weekend to host the best music, theatre and dance Coventry has to offer.
The newly dubbed #ThisisCoventry tent welcomed more than 10,000 visitors on the Sunday of the festival, while a further 2,000 watched performances taking place outside the tent.
Proceedings started at midday, with acts including the JLR brass band, Cletic Feet, Those Among us are Wolves, and acclaimed dance theatre company Motionhouse.
Describing the event as the ‘perfect public launch’, chair of Coventry City of Culture Trust and man behind the bid, said there has already been a outpouring of support from residents keen to see their city scoop the coveted title.
David Burbidge said: “The people of Coventry have shown that they are truly behind our bid to be City of Culture and it was great to be able to showcase such a wide variety of artists and performers from every corner of the city.
“It really was the perfect public launch.
“We had more than 40 acts in total and the feedback from people was absolutely phenomenal – many were taken aback at the array of talent that Coventry has to offer.”
“The Godiva Festival itself is a great example of what Coventry can achieve and even those who didn’t get chance to come into the #ThisisCoventry Tent will still have been exposed to the bid with well over 100,000 people through the gates over the three days.”
A successful City of Culture bid could be worth up to £80 million to the economy in one year alone, and it would ensure a positive social and cultural legacy for the city.
Key partners of the bid including Coventry City Council, the University of Warwick, Coventry University and Jaguar Land Rover, while Friargate, Coventry Building Society, the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and CEF (City Electrical Factors) are all bid event sponsors.
“We are grateful for all of the support we have had so far – from the public, from the media and from businesses, whose backing made an event like this possible,” Mr Burbidge added.
“But this is just the beginning.
“We are determined to win this title for Coventry and that means getting as much support we possibly can, including on social media because, when all said and done, this is the people’s bid and it will be the people of Coventry who get all the benefits of UK City of Culture.”