COVENTRY CITY Council (CCC) is looking at new revenue streams for its annual Godiva Festival, after expenditure for last year’s event overran by £460,000, according to a financial report.
The free-admission festival had a budget of £150,000 for its 20th anniversary year, but costs reached £610,000, an overspend of more than 300 per cent.
An estimated crowd of 88,000 attended the festival on its busiest day over the newly-scheduled weekend at the end of the summer, up from 70,000 the previous year, with headliners including Ronan Keating, Jake Bugg and the Editors.
“There seems to have been a complete failure to control costs by the council,” says the council’s Conservative opposition leader Cllr Gary Ridley on the Coventry Live website. He is calling for a viable plan and suggests the council doesn’t yet have one.
But a CCC spokesman says the festival attracts 30,000 visitors from outside the city, has an economic impact for the local community of £2.3 million and will form part of the build-up to Coventry being City of Culture in 2021.
The event returns to its traditional July slot in 2019, while revenue measures considered in the report include charging for parking, offering naming rights – possibly worth £150,000 over three years, and increasing its merchandise offer with a view to generating £75,000 annually.
Read more in sister publication Festival, issue 29.