Godiva Festival

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Godiva Festival
Location(s) War Memorial Park, Coventry, England
Years active 2002-present

The Godiva Festival is a free weekend-long music festival held each year in the War Memorial Park, Coventry, England, named after the city's famous former inhabitant Lady Godiva. It first appeared as a day-long event in 1997 and became a 3-day event the following year in 1998. It is the largest free family music festival in the UK.

Godiva processions[edit]

The Godiva Processions started in 1678. Earlier in the 17th century a new character, Peeping Tom had been introduced to the Legend and his effigy was paraded at each procession. Although the earlier festivities may have ignored puritan sentiment, city historians stress that the procession have always been seemly; once even the horse wore trousers.[1] In 1861, the artist David Gee painted The Godiva Procession Leaving St. Mary's Hall, the picture is now on display in the Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry.[2]


The modern three-day music festival is a non-profit making event organised by Coventry City Council. It is widely marketed as the biggest free festival in the Midlands, as well as the biggest free family festival in the UK.

The festival attracts more than 75,000 visitors each year to a 12-acre (49,000 m2) site in Coventry City's War Memorial Park.

The festival includes a dedicated 'electric' main stage which has played host to a wide array of mainstream and independent acts including Kasabian, The Fratellis, Shed Seven, Mercury Rev, The Enemy. Separate Stages and 'nights' cover the spectrum of reggae, folk, hip hop and contemporary dance music genres. A comedy tent, kid's tent, main arena, fair, craft market and green space attracts families as well as the music goer.


Coventry Godiva Festival 2016 was confirmed in January 2016, and will take place on 1-3 July in the War Memorial Park.[3] The Friday night headline will be the Boomtown Rats supported by Space.[4] The Saturday headline will be The Charlatans supported by Mystery Jets.[5] The Sunday headline will be Scouting for Girls,[6] who will be supported by The Pigeon Detectives.[7] The full line up can be seen at www.godivafestival.com/lineup


The 2015 Godiva Festival took place from 3 to 5 July.[8] The headline act for Friday is Fun Lovin' Criminals, Saturday The Wombats and Sunday Embrace, also featuring bands such as Coventrys own The Broken Rebels, featuring talented drummer Kiran Sharma [8] and Ranking Roger


The 2014 Godiva Festival took place from 4 to 6 July.[9] The headline act was the Happy Mondays.[9]


The 2013 Godiva Festival took place from 5 to 7 July 2013.[10] Friday was headlined by Echo & the Bunnymen who were to headline in the 2012 cancelled event. Saturday was headlined by Maxïmo Park and Sunday starred the Loveable Rogues and Amelia Lily.[11] The festival claimed to have broken attendance records with over 125,000 visits being estimated over the three days.[12]


The 2012 festival was scheduled to take place Friday 30 June to Sunday 1 July,[13] but bad weather has forced the event to be cancelled.[14]

Friday was scheduled to be headlined by Echo & the Bunnymen with Space in support.[13] Saturday was scheduled with Cast as headliners, with support from The View and The Pigeon Detectives.[13] Sunday evening was scheduled to link in with the arrival of the Olympic Torch Relay and the lighting of the Olympic Beacon in the park.[15]

The festival was cancelled by Coventry City Council on 29 June 2012, owing to the recent 'bad weather conditions causing unstable ground'. The Olympic Torch procession continued unaffected.[16]


The 2011 Godiva Festival took place from Friday 1 July to Sunday 3 July. The headline acts were Heaven 17 and Athlete,[17] attended by a record breaking crowd of 120,000 people.[18]


The 2010 Godiva Festival took place from Friday 2 July to Sunday 4 July.


Electric Main Stage on Friday 3 July 2009

The 2009 Godiva Festival took place from Friday 3 July to Sunday 5 July, headlined by Scottish alternative band Idlewild.

Day Electric Stage Rhythm Tent


  • Jason Wood
  • Cole Parker
  • Jimmy McGhie
  • Carl Donnelly (compere)


  • Freefall Collective
  • Seckou Keita
  • Drumalicious
  • Asian Strings, Skins and Spices
  • The Salsa Samba Sensation
  • Blind Pirates rhythm and blues band
  • Hip Hop - Coventry MDC


  • Newton Faulkner
  • The King Blues
  • The Yeah You's
  • The Austin Francis Connection
  • A-Cappella Fellas
  • April Elizanbeth
  • PJ Wright
  • Thom Kirkpatrick
  • Fiona Cox
  • Rachel Challis
  • Jonny Darley
  • Sarah Ruddick
  • Stylusboy


The 2008 Godiva Festival took place from Friday 4 July to Sunday 6 July, headlined by the Coventry band The Enemy.

Day Electric Stage Rhythm Tent Spotlight Tent Market Stage


  • Johnny Mac
  • Rosko Pico
  • Jay Nana
  • DJ Christo
  • Akeal
  • The Bellows
  • Fiori
  • The Illchemists
  • Men in Caves
  • Shadowplay
  • Shakletons
  • Wes Finch and the Dirty Band


  • Kanda Bongo Man
  • Mankala
  • Buffalo Soul Jah
  • Los Tropicales
  • Vamos
  • Claudio Kron
  • Kano
  • Yogz
  • Brotherman
  • KOF
  • Parly B
  • Unfriendly Neighbours
  • Reggiimental
  • TLG
  • C.O.Vs
  • DJ Frogeye
  • Kombat Breakers
  • Ricta
  • Italia UK
  • Charlie Healy
  • Zanity Dance Group
  • Evivo
  • Mc Dee & Crew
  • YIP Group
  • Hillz Fm
  • P’Nology (Warm up)
  • Woodend DJ’s


  • Jez Lowe and Kate Bramley
  • Joe O'Donnell's Shkayla
  • Rob Halligan
  • The Oddsods
  • The QP
  • Dark Island
  • Kristy Gallacher


A stage at the Godiva Festival 2007
The Electric Stage the Godiva Festival 2007
Superficial mud at the Godiva Festival 2007
Kristy Gallacher performing on the Market Stage at the Godiva Festival 2007

The 2007 Godiva Festival took place from Friday 13 July to Sunday 15 July with headliners Super Furry Animals.[19] It was also the 10th year for the festival.

Day Electric Stage Rhythm Tent Spotlight Tent Market Stage


  • Mark Watson
  • MC Michael Legge
  • Topping and Butch
  • MC Dan Atkinson
  • Stuart Goldsmith
  • Sun, Zoom, Spark
  • DbMA
  • The Hearing
  • Men In Caves
  • The Carter Manoeuvre
  • Jamsons Nook
  • The Crooks
  • Little Girl Screaming
  • Decatone
  • Kifaru
  • Shakes & Shivers
  • Ottogono
  • What About Cube?
  • The Juliana Down


  • Ozomatli
  • Siyaya
  • Drumalicious
  • Caliche
  • Hamana Bjemakan


  • The Syd Lawrence Orchestra & Singers
  • Back to Basie Orchestra
  • Sean Cannon
  • Isambarde
  • Jim Crawford
  • Clarksville Mountain Band
  • Abi Lanigan
  • Harbour Lights
  • Justine
  • Thom Kirkpatrick and the Beautiful Noise
  • Fools Paradise


The 2006 festival took take place from Friday 14 July to Sunday 16 July with headliners Mercury Rev.[20]

Day Electric Stage Rhythm Tent Spotlight Tent Paradise Tent


  • Decatone
  • The Great Blind Degree
  • Death by Miss Adventure
  • Fiori
  • Trailer
  • hobo hotel exile
  • 7th Wave
  • What About Cube?


  • Calusio Kron De Brazil
  • Drumalicious
  • Shri Live & DJ Badmarsh
  • Siyaya
  • Brazilica
  • TY
  • Paragon
  • Big P
  • Skeme
  • Milliondan
  • Beat Poets


  • Spires Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus
  • Spires Winds
  • Swarb Lazarus
  • The Oddsods
  • Rob Halligan and Gareth Davies-Jones
  • Joe O'Donnell's Shkayla
  • The Coventry Mummers
  • Eric Bogle
  • Carter Chapman
  • Dark Island
  • Pete Willow
  • Breaks Co-op
  • Misty's Big Adventure
  • Men Daimler
  • Devon Sproule
  • Vijay Kishore
  • Don't Move!
  • Tawt
  • Sumladfromcov
  • Cliff Hands
  • Laura Bettison
  • Lewis Garland
  • Lee Glasson
  • Wes Finch
  • Suzy-Indygo


The 2005 festival took place Friday 8 July to Sunday 10 July.[21]

It was the first time the comedy stage appeared and featured Shappi Khorsandi. Also on the Friday night Nerina Pallot performed and John Burnside recited poetry.

On Saturday the main stage lineup was:

Whilst EcoRhythm consisted of:


The 2004 festival took place Friday 11 June to Sunday 13 June

The Saturday night main stage line up was:[22]


The 2003 festival took place Friday 6 June to Sunday 8 June.

The Saturday night main stage lineup included:[23]


The 2002 festival took place Friday 7 June to Sunday 9 June. It was the fifth year the festival had taken place.

Bands who played include:


  1. ^ Warner, Marina (10 July 1982). "When Godiva streaked and Tom peeped". The Times. 
  2. ^ "Reader offers". Coventry Telegraph. 26 November 2001. 
  3. ^ "It’s official - Coventry Godiva Festival confirmed for 2016!". Coventry City Council. 26 January 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  4. ^ "Revealed: Sir Bob Geldof's band The Boomtown Rats to headline Friday night at Godiva Festival". Coventry Telegraph. 8 March 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  5. ^ "Indie legends The Charlatans to headline this year's Godiva Festival". Coventry Telegraph. 25 February 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "Godiva Festival lineup 2016: Who is playing?". Coventry Telegraph. 6 April 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2016. 
  7. ^ "Pigeon Detectives to support Scouting for Girls at Coventry Godiva Festival". Covenrty Telegraph. 8 April 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2016. 
  8. ^ a b "Godiva Festival 2015: Who's playing?". Covenrty Telegraph. 24 April 2015. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "Coventry's Godiva Festival to return for 2014". BBC News (BBC). 6 March 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  10. ^ "Save the date!". Godiva Festival. 20 November 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "Godiva Festival 2013". Godiva Festival. 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "Godiva Festival attracts record numbers to park". BBC News (BBC). 8 July 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c "The Godiva Festival 2012 - Line-up revealed". Coventry City Council. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "The Godiva Festival 2012 - Cancelled". Coventry City Council. 29 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  15. ^ "Olympic Torch Relay Evening Celebration Event". Coventry City Council. 2012. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  16. ^ "Godiva Festival 2012 cancelled due to bad weather". Coventry Observer. 29 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  17. ^ "Godiva Festival: the full line-up of what's on when". Coventry Telegraph. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  18. ^ "Organisers confirm record-breaking crowds for Coventry's Godiva Festival". Coventry Telegraph. 5 July 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  19. ^ Line-ups and rumours - search results
  20. ^ Line-ups and rumours - search results
  21. ^ Coventry Godiva Festival 2005
  22. ^ BBC - Coventry and Warwickshire Features - Godiva Festival in Pictures
  23. ^ BBC - Coventry and Warwickshire Features - Godiva Festival 2003

External links[edit]