Coventry Moves taking place on 5 June with City of Culture year starting on 15 May.


Coventry City of Culture Trust has confirmed that the year of culture will start on 15 May 2021 and run for 12 months and has given an update on what the opening weeks will include.

Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 will open on 15 May with a celebratory moment, designed to showcase the city and be enjoyed from home in line with COVID 19 restrictions, kicking off the year of major cultural events.

The signature event, Coventry Moves, will now take place on 5 June following consultation with partners and stakeholders across the city – including West Midlands Police.

Martin Sutherland, Chief Executive of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “We continue to monitor closely the wide range of challenges that are associated with planning such a hugely significant event during a pandemic.”

Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “Coventry Moves will be an experience created in the city and enjoyed by audiences online and via broadcast.

“We have been planning the event for several months, to be delivered safely within the restrictions in place, and 5 June has been widely agreed as a date that allows us to deliver the best moment for the city.

“While the detail of how we will open on 15 May remains a secret for now, from that day onwards as the UK’s City of Culture, we remain committed to ensuring Coventry has a year to remember.”

The opening on 15 May will be followed by a significant festival of street art and artist-designed shop windows to welcome visitors as they start to return to the City Centre, as well as a range of events from partner organisations, including the Belgrade Theatre, Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, and Warwick Arts Centre.

Coventry Moves on 5 June 2021 will kick-start a Summer of Surprises which will also feature events previously announced by the Trust including Tides Within Us, a stunning outdoor experience in Charterhouse Heritage Park, a celebration of community radio, and a major Sound Systems event showcasing Coventry’s rich cultural links with Kingston, Jamaica.

This update follows a series of programme announcements, with further announcements and tickets becoming available later in April.