This article appeared in the June 2016 issue. It is posted here for reference.
This year’s Godiva Festival is set to take place in the War Memorial Park between 1 and 3 July. The UK’s largest free festival will feature a full bill of live music alongside funfairs, crafts, charity and community information and other family-friendly attractions.
Friday 1 July 6pm – 10.30pm
Coventry indie rock band The Ellipsis start things off at 6.15pm on the Main Stage, followed at 7.05pm by alternative prog-rockers Luna Kiss. Revitalised purveyors of edgy pop Space provide the evening’s main support from 8pm, when they are likely to play material from their new album, Give Me Your Future, alongside some of their ten top 40 chart hits such as Neighbourhood and Female of the Species. The Liverpool band has sold more than two million albums of quirky, tongue-in-cheek songs to date and this will be a perfect opportunity to become reacquainted with their sound. The Boomtown Rats enjoyed a string of hit singles and albums during the late 1970s and early 1980s before disbanding in 1986, after which charismatic front man Bob Geldof’s fundraising activities with Live Aid became bigger than the band ever were. The Rats got back together in 2013, sadly without pyjama-wearing pianist Johnnie Fingers or guitarist Gerry Cott. Expect to hear the Brit and Ivor Novello Award-winners run through some of their most well-known songs, like Rat Trap, Like Clockwork and international chart-topper I Don’t Like Mondays.
Meanwhile, over in the Rock Tent, there will be sets from two of this year’s Godiva Calling winners before Coventry pop-punk quartet The Prophets take over at 7.54pm. The main support and headline act were still to be confirmed at press time but the Paradise Tent has an evening of comedy from 8pm, introduced by compère Howard Read. First up is winner of ITV’s Show Me the Funny, Patrick Monahan, who has been described by the Daily Mail as ‘Omid Djalili meets Dave Allen’. He’s followed at 8.50pm by Mock the Week star Ava Vidal, after whom Tiernan Douieb takes over compère duties to introduce self-obsessed glittery queen Jonathan Mayor at 9.25pm and leading musical satirist Mitch Benn from 10.05pm.
Saturday 2 July 12.00noon – 10.30pm
The Main Stage opens on Saturday with a couple of winners from the Godiva Calling competition, before hardworking locals The Session perform from 1.30pm. With more than 80 original songs already written, the band is currently working on material for a sixth album. Also hailing from Coventry is teenage rock band Idle Noise. They’ll probably play songs from their recent debut EP, 18 when they take the stage at 2.10pm. Nuneaton’s April is up next at 2.55pml, then post punk trio Ravens at 3.45pm and Fronteers at 4.40pm. Birmingham’s Rebekah Pennington and Rebecca Wilson bring brief relief from the onslaught of guitar-led rock bands at 5.45pm, appearing in their guise as dance-pop duo Ekkah. At 6.50pm, it’s the turn of The Subways, who have spent the last couple of months on an extensive North American tour. Mystery Jets will promote new album Curve of the Earth from 7.55pm before The Charlatans close the stage with a set starting at 9.15pm. During their 25-year career, the band has released eleven albums, with a twelfth, Modern Nature, on the way. Playing a British take on classic American soul, the band’s rousing choruses find a perfect home on festival stages.
As last year, the Rock Tent is renamed as the Rhythm Tent and features a reggae, hip-hop, urban and rap line up, starting at 12.15pm with The Larrks, who released their first single She’s So Special back in February. The Paradimes are on at 1pm with some original ska and rocksteady tunes, before General Chaos play songs from their album, General Chaos on the Streets from 1.45pm. At 2.30pm pop-punk trio The Tuts seem a little out of place among the rest of the line up, with their new wave influences. It’s back to the business of the day at 3.20pm with the Jamaican roots meets London bass of Kiko Bun, followed at 4.20pm by Easy Star All-stars, who are celebrating the tenth anniversary of their album Radiodread, is a dub reggae reworking of Radiohead’s OK Computer. The band specialises in tribute releases, with other albums titled Dub Side of the Moon, Lonely Hearts Dub Band and Thrillah. A pair of Godiva Calling winners follow, before garage artist Jevon at 6.40pm, Mugun at 7.10pm and Sox & Jaykae at 7.40pm. Rapper Jay Prince, whose Be For Our Time EP has been streamed over three million times, showcases his new recording Beautiful Mercy at 8.15pm and then Yungen appears from 8.50pm. The tent’s headline act, drum ‘n’ bass/jungle MC D Double E, closes the day with a set from 9.35pm.
It’s street theatre day in the Paradise Tent, with plenty to keep the kids entertained, with two short shows from each performer. Compères Garaghty & Thom introduce popular clown Wolly at 1.10 and 3.40pm, hula hoop performer Angie Mack at 1.30 and 4pm, slapstick duo Comedy Waiters at 1.50 and 4.20pm, comedy juggler The Great Dave with his tea obsession at 2.10 and 4.40pm and acrobat and contortionist Kiki Bittovabtisch from 2.25 and 4.55pm. Garaghty & Thom are back to close the show from 5.15pm. The tent becomes the venue for the popular Silent Disco from 7pm.
Sunday 3 July 12noon – 7pm
Much of Sunday’s line up was still to be announced at press time, with only the Main Stage acts known. Opening at 12.10pm with another two Godiva Calling winners, pop singer/songwriter and Internet star Emma McGann performs at 1.15pm, followed by Cliff Hands at 1.55pm. Folk-rock duo Sound of the Sirens counts Chris Evans among their fans and appeared on the first episode of his Channel 4 show TFI Friday last October. They’ll perform their engaging songs from 2.45pm, after which the platinum-selling Pigeon Detectives return from an extended break with hook-filled songs from 3.40pm. Reformed indie rockers Milburn provide the main support from 4.40pm, before million selling pop band Scouting for Girls close the both the stage and the 2016 festival.
Besides music, there are plenty of other attractions at the festival. There will be craft stalls, a vintage market, stalls selling food and non-alcoholic drinks, an Urban Youth Tent with more music and advice for young people, a Family Field on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, petting farm for children, Charity Village with representatives of various national charities, the Community Stage will showcase local dance groups and other performers, Life and Times and Greenspace areas, a Make Space Tent with craft activities, as well as the always-popular fairgrounds and the return of the bungee.
Up-to-date information about the 3-day event is available on the Godiva Festival website.