West Dean Gardens award-winning Chilli Fiesta returns for its 22nd Year from 11th - 13th August. The UK’s biggest chilli festival attracts 25,000 visitors who come to enjoy the three-day programme full of food, live music and entertainment. The family-friendly festival takes place in the spectacular grounds of West Dean Estate and glorious West Dean Gardens. With a sizzling selection of live performances, 140 market stalls, cookery demos by top chefs, and garden tours, visitors can expect to party and dance to live Latin music, watch cookery and gardening demonstrations, and dine on delicious chilli foods.
Live Latino music and dance performances start at 10am on all three days and finish at 9pm on Friday, 10.30pm on Saturday and 9pm on Sunday.
Some notable performances for 2017 include: Andalus; the leading Gipsy Kings tribute band, Kongo Dia Ntoltila, the rumba, afro-jazz band, all girl Rock ‘n’ Roll band; The Daisy Chains as well as The Fontana’s – the Afro Brazilian live band. Big Noise Band, the community Samba Band will be returning by popular demand, as will the steel pan, acoustic guitar and percussion trio - Steel Strum.
Festival-goers will be dazzled by the legendary Latino Strictly Come Dancing professional, Oti Mabuse, as she takes centre stage on Sunday 13th August at 13:15, 14.45 and 16.30.
Salsa dancers Debbi and Francisco will be turning up the heat with interactive dance workshops and reigning UK Latin American Dance Champions Ryan and Ksenia will be returning this year to perform throughout the weekend.
Visitors can pick up new culinary skills in the Cookery Theatre as they experience live food demonstrations by a host of incredible top chefs. Recognisable faces such as Dragons Den’s most renowned entrepreneur Levi Roots, the most recent MasterChef winner Saliha MahmoodAhmed and previous Professional MasterChef champion Steven Edwards will be among those offering top tips and demonstrating their culinary skills.
Learn the true art of growing chillies with West Dean Gardens’ very own Gardens Supervisor and chilli expert Sarah Wain.
Sarah along with her husband, Gardens Manager Jim Buckland, have managed the award-wining gardens for the last 26 years. In their Victorian glasshouses 150 chilli varieties will be on display. In the Garden Theatre Sarah will be joined by another chilli expert from the Chilli Alchemist, who make unique chilli products to compliment all types of taste buds. They will be revealing information about how and why our bodies react to the fiery fruits. Edible Ornaments, the team behind The Cherwood Chilli Ranch, will also be taking to the Gardening Theatre stage along with Sea Spring Seeds, who will be teaching the audience how to pick the perfect pepper.
Demand for tickets to Chilli Fiesta will be high, so early booking is advised.
Note: Children age 4 and under enjoy free entry, up to age of 16 requires a child ticket. Children are to be accompanied by a paying adult.
Weekend family-friendly camping offers full top of the range campsite facilities (including showers, flushable toilets and running water). Camping tickets must be purchased online prior to arrival as pitches are limited.
The campsite on the rolling West Dean Estate is split into three zones and is picked on the day of arrival:
A limited number of pitches are available so early booking is essential.
For more about the West Dean Chilli Fiesta, click here. Or visit this page for information on other food festivals in England.