Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry's Godiva Festival could charge entry fee

Crowds at the Godiva Festival 2011 Image copyright Coventry City Council
Image caption Coventry's Godiva Festival attracts over 100,000 people each year

People could be charged to visit the Godiva Festival if they live outside Coventry under new proposals.

Coventry City Council said it wants to boost revenue streams to "attract headline acts" to the three-day event.

The festival, which attracts over 100,000 people each year, would remain free for Coventry taxpayers.

The authority said it is considering introducing the charge in order for the festival to "continue to be successful".

If approved by councillors, the new charge would come into force from 2020.

Last year's 20th anniversary show saw performances from Tony Christie, Gabrielle and Ronan Keating.

Image caption The Fun Lovin' Criminals were one of the biggest acts to play the festival in recent years

The council spent £460,000 staging the show in 2018 - three times higher than its original £150,000 budget.

It has set aside an extra £400,000 funding for this year to make a "more realistic" budget of £550,000, it said.

However, Councillor John Mutton, the council's cabinet member for finance, has said the funding increase is not sustainable and other income streams would be looked at.

"It is a lot more realistic this year, but we cannot keep on putting it in year on year so we have also to look at how we can increase the income," he said.

A 'Coventry Card', which would enable free entry to the festival for residents, is also being looked at.

Plans will go before the city's full council on 19 February.

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