Preview: Godiva Festival 2016

It might not be Glastonbury but Godiva is a pretty big deal in Coventry – fingers crossed for the sunshine!

Coventry is home to the UK’s biggest free music festival so we’re here to give you a preview of what to expect in the festival’s 18th year.

The three-day event (1st–3rd July) is held at the historic War Memorial Park and is always jam packed with live music, entertainment, and craft stalls.

From local talent to musical legends, the festival always tries to cater for all and if you still need convincing here are just a few acts who have taken to the stage before: Biffy Clyro, Kasabian, The Human League, Newton Faulkner, Kano, Toploader and Coventry’s own, The Enemy.


The main stage kicks off in alternative fashion with Space and the headliners, Bob Geldof’s band, The Boomtown Rats playing to the Friday night crowd.

You can watch firm summer festival favourites The Subways on Saturday so expect the occasional stage dive and call for mosh pits.

And they are followed by the penultimate act of the night, Mystery Jets who keep on reinventing themselves from classic indie pop to psychedelic rock.

Our Saturday night headliners are The Charlatans, who with 25 years, 11 albums and a ‘whole lot of history’ behind them, are surely going to end – or even start – your night in style!

Sunday is always considered the chill out day of a festival but we dare you not to dance to pop-favourites, The Pigeon Detectives and Scouting for Girls who will be taking to the stage to close Godiva in style.

If the main stage acts don’t take your fancy, you can check out the other stage in the main field! On Friday night it is the Rock Stage with guitars and skinny jeans quite literally everywhere, and pop-punk band Neck Deep will be headlining.

But on Saturday it transforms into the Rhythm stage, with a mix of artists from grime, reggae, R&B and other musical backgrounds. ‘The Greatest Grime MC of All Time’, D Double E is performing on Saturday night with his unique vocal style and Dubstep influences.

And for those wanting to just chill out with a cold drink and take in the atmosphere, check out the Acoustic Stage with acts playing all weekend.

Home-grown talent

So we’ve mentioned the big names that you’ll be able to see, but what about the up and coming Coventry artists that will be showcased all weekend!

The Ellipsis have had a pretty big year so far – playing to 30,000 rugby fans at the Ricoh Arena and events like TEDx – but now they’ve been selected to open the Godiva Festival, so no pressure lads!

Following a sell-out acoustic set at Fargo Village and ahead of their August tour, The Prophets are a 4-piece female front rock/pop-punk band (think Paramore but edgier) who will also be rocking out on Friday.

Somewhere in between Fleetwood Mac and Primal Scream, you will find Coventry band The Session who feature a brother and sister vocal duo. They’ve racked up roughly 400 gigs so they know how to put on a show!

This year’s Godiva Calling winners for the indie and pop section will both be taking to the main stage on Saturday so go along to congratulate Tell Me I’m Pretty and Quarry for taking the prize.

And there are many more local talents to check out across the weekend.

Coventry City of Culture 2021 bid

To launch Coventry’s bid to the become the UK’s City of Culture in 2021, they are taking over a tent on Sunday to showcase the incredible skills and talent from across Coventry and Warwickshire.

Expect the unexpected and discover acts that you know and love alongside some hidden gems. From JCB diggers to drama, boxing to baking, enter the tent to experience #ThisIsCoventry.

Laugh a minute

On Friday, Godiva Festival will be hosting a line-up of comedy that can’t be missed including the winner of ITV’s Show Me The Funny, Patrick Monahan, and a star of Mock the Week, Ava Vidal.

Jonathan Mayor’s larger than life personality and Mitch Benn with his guitar complete the comedy billing.

Street Theatre

From clowning around to everything you needed to know about hula hooping, there all different types of performance happening across the weekend including silent comedy, an obsession with the tradition of tea and a contortionist!

Other activities

You can take centre stage yourself in the Paradise tent on Saturday night with the silent disco, and enjoy the fairground all weekend long until you go green in the face.

There are so many food and drink stands with international cuisine and even a vintage tearoom; you’ll never know what will pop up in the next field.

There’s so much more to talk about – the petting farm, Coventry Bears rugby league taster sessions, and falconry displays – but why don’t you go explore what Godiva Festival has to offer for yourself!