Disappointed musician Ross Millard praised Sunderland's City of Culture 2021 bid team after Coventry earned the treasured prize.
The guitarist and songwriter was one of dozens of supporters eagerly watching a large TV screen at Pop Recs, in Stockton Road, when the result was announced.
Speaking afterwards, Ross, who has played guitar for city bands The Futureheads and Frankie and the Heartstrings, said: "It is a bit deflating, isn't it. You cannot really lie about that.
"But you just have to say fair play to Coventry. You knew all along there was one winner and five cities in the mix.
"I do have a lot of feelings and sympathy for the bid team and Rebecca Ball and the gang down in Hull because they have done an amazing job and really galvanised this place."