Thousands of food and music lovers braved sweltering temperatures and torrential rain to enjoy Coventry BID’s Food Festival and Music Live events at the weekend.
Coventrians and people from further afield flocked to the city centre for the return of the BID’s Coventry Food Festival, last held in 2019.
They basked in soaring temperatures on Friday, braved pouring rain on Saturday and finished the weekend with a mild Sunday that brought crowds into Broadgate. There they enjoyed food from around the world, including burgers, mac’n’cheese, Caribbean cuisine and more. Traders dished up curries, noodles, gyros and paella, with sweet treats including churros, waffles and brownies. For thirsty visitors, several bars served up tasty tipples including beer, cider, cocktails and more.
Top chefs Glynn Purnell and Paul Foster led a packed programme at the festival’s cookery theatre, which also saw local award-winning chef Sophie Hyam show off her skills to eager onlookers. The theatre was also home to the first ever ‘Coventry Cook Off’, judged by local comedian and content creator ‘Funny Francis’ and local food blogger Ellen Manning.
The contest was won by Caribbean restaurant Leave it to Esmie, while other entries included fellow FarGo Village business Bib Noodle Bar as well as Earlsdon’s Bun & Steak. ‘Meet the Trader’ moments also gave stallholders the chance to showcase their offering.
The festival offered fun for all the family, including children’s entertainers, balloon modelling and face painting, as well as a DJ playing party-starters to get visitors dancing in front of the famous Lady Godiva statue in Broadgate.
The fun didn’t stop there, with top acts coming to Coventry’s Assembly Festival Garden for two Music Live nights organised by the BID. On Friday night, dance music fans enjoyed sets from top DJs including Paul Oakenfold and Eddie Halliwell, alongside Paul Morrell, KKlass – both remixers for top stars including Kelly Clarkson, Rihanna and Whitney Houston – plus popular Coventry DJ Simon Baker.
Saturday saw a throwback feel at the venue with performances from acts including: M People’s Heather Small; British dance group Bootyluv; Katherine Ellis, the voice behind English duo Freemasons; and Rozalla – the voice behind hit single Everybody’s Free.
Joanne Glover, Interim BID Manager at Coventry BID, said: “It’s safe to say a good weekend was had by all. Despite some of the hottest temperatures we’ve seen this year on Friday, contrasted by pouring rain on Saturday that could have stopped play, Coventry came out in force to enjoy great food and drink right here in the heart of our city.
“From top chefs doing demonstrations to our own great local restaurants showcasing what they do, as well as the opportunity to try food from around the world from our great traders, have a few drinks or pick up some produce, there really has been something for everyone. This year also saw the addition of the Music Live events, which saw hundreds of people enjoy great music at the Assembly Festival Garden on both Friday and Saturday.
“It’s been a real thrill for us to bring the food festival event back to Coventry city centre after being unable to do so for the past two years, so we’re delighted so many people turned out for it. Here’s to making it all even better next year.”