Coventry was chosen as the UK’s City of Culture for 2021.
The bid team said their plans were “about changing the reputation of a city” as well as hosting a year of cultural celebration. The title is awarded every four years and Coventry was able to emulate the success of Hull, which was UK City of Culture in 2017. Well known for its long history of car manufacturing and heavy industry, but less well known for its artistic endeavours. Coventry is the birthplace of Philip Larkin, one of England’s finest poets, electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire and best-selling author Lee Child. Not to mention one of the top universities in the country. It’s also the home of the Two Tone ska movement through bands like The Specials and The Selecter. Infact former Special Neville Staple and his wife Sugary contributed enormously to the bid with public appearances and the infectious “Minute to win it” campaign song, recorded here at Planet Studios.
Venues included Warwick Arts Centre, the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum and the Belgrade Theatre, which launched the Theatre In Education movement in 1965. It’s also the home of the UK’s first Shop Front Theatre and boasts the UK’s largest free family music festival with the Coventry Godiva Festival.