Coventry’s music scene will be celebrated this summer as the city builds towards 2021.
Coventry Music Month is a new campaign, which has been created to throw a spotlight on the talent and creativity from Coventry, as well as highlight the city’s venues and festivals.
Starting on Making Music Day, it will promote events across a month from 21 June until 21 July, with a full and inclusive listings being collated of all music events and activities which are taking place in a range of places and spaces across the city.
It will begin and end with a spotlight on communities and local talent, finishing the day after International Busking Day, which will include a range of performances across the city giving local musicians the chance to showcase their talent.
In partnership with Coventry City Council, the BBC and the Coventry Music Network, Coventry City of Culture Trust will spearhead the campaign to celebrate music and musicians from across the city, supporting the development of the music sector and throwing a spotlight on upcoming events.
Events already planned in the city include The Specials’ gigs at Coventry Cathedral – when the city, and the world, celebrates the 40th anniversary of the birth of the 2 Tone movement.
Music Month will also include Coventry Godiva Festival, from 5 July to 7 July, which is a huge event in the city’s musical diary and takes place in the War Memorial Park with tickets now available to buy in advance at www.godivafestival.com/tickets
Other stand-out events include the relaunch of the Coventry Music Network, by The Tin Music and Arts; Take the Square, a free ticketed, urban music event curated by young people in University Square on 13 July; and International Busking Day on 20 July.
Music Month will also celebrate the wide range of different grassroots and community music events taking place, from Bands in the park to Coventry Mela in Millennium Square.
It will also take in everything from the Coventry Music Hub summer showcase at Warwick Arts Centre, which will celebrate the city’s finest young classical music talent, through to the Big Reggae Brunch with DJs and MCs – and Caribbean cuisine – at Catch 22.
Coventry City of Culture Trust is currently calling all promoters and producers to share any listings they have for events taking place in Music Month.
Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director at Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “Coventry has always been a Music City, with a rich heritage of big sound systems, carnival, rave, orchestral, jazz, folk, pop and world sounds.
“With the accolade of being UK City of Culture, this is a chance for us to present the rich diversity of talent from across the city and show the value music has for our citizens, young and older, and our identity in the world.
“Our programme in 2021 will promote the best of our local talent both at home in Coventry and away in other parts of the world. We want our artists, professional and non-professional, to benefit from UK City of Culture and to help us tell our story.
“In 2021, our musical soundtrack will reflect the times we are living in. Forty years ago the 2 Tone label was invented in Coventry. It was a response by white punks and black reggae musicians to a bad time in our social history with racism rife across the UK and apartheid still happening in other parts of the world.
“Musicians and artists from across the world stood up for freedom and democracy. Artists from Coventry were leaders in this movement for freedom – activists for change. And the music they produced was great too.
“This summer we start our journey of putting Coventry’s music, attitude and spirit of activism on the world stage.
“There’s so much great talent and so many events taking place in hidden places and spaces all over the city. Music Month is a chance for us to throw a spotlight on all this talent and activity.”
Jon Davis, Senior Producer at Coventry City of Culture Trust, will be leading on Music Month activities for the Trust.
He said: “We’ve already collated an incredible list of music, festivals and events taking place in the city and we will be creating our own programme to complement that. City of Culture has supported the Sunday programme for the Coventry Godiva Festival, creating a fusion stage of amazing music from South Asia, Africa and the UK. We will reveal more events in coming weeks.
“We really want to hear from anyone who is staging a music event – no matter how big or small – during the month so that we can ensure that it gets added to our listings and becomes part of a really exciting period of activity.”
Councillor Abdul Salam Khan, Council Cabinet Member for Events added: “It’s great that Music Month will be celebrating the exciting range and diversity of music across the city in such a positive way.
“Coventry is well known for putting on great events and Godiva Festival is just one example of bring people together in a celebration of our city and promoting local talent in Coventry and Warwickshire.”
Music Month will also feature Dave Marshall Barrett presenting BBC Coventry & Warwickshire’s 2 Tone Story, an hour documentary about Coventry’s musical revolution, including stories from the original members from The Specials and The Selecter and the people who lived through the birth of a musical genre. It will be broadcast on Friday 21 June, from 6pm until 7pm on BBC Coventry & Warwickshire.
While Coventry DJ Paul Morrell, who was behind one of the biggest hits of 2019, Sweet but a Pyscho, will be in conversation with Letitia George on BBC Coventry & Warwickshire on Friday 12 July between 7pm and 8pm. He’ll be taking Letitia through his music collection and sharing some jaw dropping stories.
For more information or to submit events to Music Month, go to www.coventry2021.co.uk/music-month
Article courtesy of Advent Communications