Godiva Festival headliners Sister Sledge rescued by taxi

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Sister SledgeImage source, Coventry City Council
Image caption,
Sister Sledge headlined Godiva Festival on Sunday

A taxi driver came to the rescue of Sister Sledge after their vehicle broke down on the way to headlining a festival.

The iconic band, known for hits such as We Are Family, were due to close Coventry's Godiva Festival on Sunday.

Driver Raja Naveed said he had picked up the "beautiful singers" in Hemel Hempstead.

They arrived with minutes to spare and "got to do some singing in the cab," founder member Debbie Sledge said.

"We had many adventures on the way here... we had a breakdown, we had to wait for a taxi, the taxi took its time coming and he was very careful to drive and we understood that," Ms Sledge said.

Image source, Marcus Pendleton
Image caption,
Members of Sister Sledge were picked up in Hemel Hempstead by the driver

Mr Naveed said he was "very happy" to have driven the performers.

Tour manager Bernard Young said the band faced some difficulty with a "messed up car", and once they arrived, he said the band were "jumping around trying to put clothes on".

The women had applied make-up in the car, "that's the one thing they could do on their way down," Mr Young added.

Image source, Marcus Pendleton
Image caption,
Sophie Ellis-Bextor also played at the festival

An estimated 50,000 people attended the three-day festival at the city's War Memorial Park.

The city council said it was "the largest single event in our year as UK City of Culture."

Image source, Marcus Pendleton
Image caption,
The We Are Family hit-makers arrived just in time

City events manager Jon Hogan said it had been "emotional" bringing the festival back after the coronavirus pandemic cancelled the 2020 event.

"That we're able to do this, to put Coventry back on the map [during the] year of culture and bring the party to the city."

Other acts across the weekend included Supergrass, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and The Selecter.

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