Press Release: Heat in the kitchen, West Dean’s 20th Chilli Fiesta

West Dean's Chilli Fiesta turns 20 this year. One of the biggest and original chilli festivals in the UK this year's event is on 7, 8 and 9 August (10.30am - 11pm, Sunday 9pm). It has grown from humble beginnings in 1995 to become something of a national treasure. Chillies take centre stage as celebrity chefs demonstrate their favourite recipes, with a chilli twist. Learn top tips and sample some delicious delights in the Cookery Theatre where popular Sussex cook and food writer, Rosemary will be joined over the weekend by; Malcolm Riley, The African Chef; Danish-born Master Baker, Troels Bendix; and Levi Roots, who appeared on Dragon's Den in 2007 and secured investment in his Reggae Reggae Sauce. Roots will be giving demonstrations in the Cookery Theatre on Sunday, making his famous Home Style Jerk Chicken Wings and his Hot and Fruity Caribbean Coleslaw. Also joining Rosemary will be Andy Lynes, food, drink and travel writer and author of How to be a Chilli Head. Andy will talk about 'inside the red hot world of the chilli cult'.

Chilli plants are the stars of the show and Sarah Wain, West Dean Gardens' chilli expert, will be giving talks and tours around the Victorian glasshouses in the Walled Garden, where you can see around 250 varieties of chilli, and learn how to grow chillies at home. Guest gardening experts from Sea Spring Seeds, Hot Headz and Simpson Seeds will be giving talks in the gardening Theatre throughout the weekend.

The Fiesta attracts around 22,000 people who come to enjoy the full three-day programme of live music, food and entertainment. It is a family friendly festival offering weekend camping in the spectacular grounds of the Estate in the heart of the South Downs National Park. As part of the 20th anniversary celebrations festival-goers will be treated to a spectacular firework display on Saturday.

Headlining this year's exciting line up of LIVE entertainment are Groupo Lokito, The Fontanas, charismatic singer and musician, Jesus Cutino and his band Son de Cuba and Brazilian/Latin group Sambossa. Several acts will be making their debut this year including Levi Roots, who will not only be bringing his culinary expertise to the cookery theatre but also leading his band on the main stage. Other acts debuting at this year's event are Tom & Ash, Adriana, Quinto, Lokandes, The Voodoo Love Orchestra, the famous Gypsy King Tribute Band, Bamboleo, Elisangela, and local bands Ed Goodale and Steel Strum.

Music on the main stage will finish at 9pm (6.00pm Sunday) and live music will continue in the Paradiso Latino Cabaret Tent from 9pm to 11pm (9pm Sunday) featuring; Latin jazz trio, Quinto, (Friday); guitarist, Nicolas, (Saturday) and trio Los Musicos, (Sunday).

Family fun will include the popular Vintage Steam Fun Fair, Face Painting, Punch and Judy shows, Rock School Workshops and NEW for this year The Great Chilli Throwing contest for younger festival-goers, and older ones too. Antonio the Tambourine Juggler will entertain children and adults alike on the main stage.

There will be a selection of bars around the site and lots of delicious chilli-related foods to enjoy and set your taste buds alight.

With over 180 stalls - many new this year - there will be a great variety of quirky gifts on offer for the chilli-lover in your life, hot and spicy foods to eat, chilli plants, seeds and produce so you can experiment with the dishes inspired by the Chilli Fiesta back at home.

Cookery Theatre Programme


11.15 Rosemary Moon with The African Chef, Malcolm Riley

13.30 Rosemary Moon with food, drink and travel writer Andy Lynes and author of How to be a Chilli Head

15.00 Rosemary Moon with The Hungry Guest

16.30 Rosemary Moon, Curry and Whisky Tasting


11.15 Rosemary Moon with The African Chef, Malcolm Riley

13.30 Rosemary Moon with food, drink and travel writer Andy Lynes and author of How to be a Chilli Head

15.00 Danish-born Master Baker, Troels Bendix of The Hungry Guest

16.30 Rosemary Moon, Curry and Whisky Tasting


11.15 Rosemary Moon with The African Chef, Malcolm Riley

13.30 Rosemary Moon and Levi Roots creator of Reggae Reggae Sauce

15.00 Danish-born Master Baker, Troels Bendix of The Hungry Guest

16.30 Rosemary Moon, Curry and Whisky Tasting

Please note: the programmes may be subject to change

Camping for the weekend

The campsite on the West Dean Estate is divided into different zones: Jalapeno (most popular general camping area, close to the event arena helping to enhance the festival atmosphere of the weekend); Pimento (quiet camping area away from the main arena ideal for a good night's sleep); Bell (family friendly and close to the toilets and showers ideal for the earlier-to-bed but up bright and early!) and Chipotle for caravans, camper vans and mobile home.

If putting up a tent is not your thing opt for the ultimate 3-night Weekend Glamping experience in a furnished bell tent for two nestled in a beautiful tree-lined corner of the campsite. Enjoy the full sized double bed with a real mattress, sumptuous cotton bed linen and snuggly 13 tog duvet, bedside lighting, an electric radiator (if it gets a little chilly at night), tea and coffee making equipment, towels to enjoy the onsite showers and two deckchairs to relax and soak up the summer sun.

Prices and booking information

Book your ticket in advance for the day or the whole weekend. Take advantage of Early Bird prices. Early booking for camping is strongly advised.

Early Bird Prices (available until 31 July)

Friday Day Ticket: Adult £10.00 (gate £12.00) Child £1.00

Saturday Day Ticket: Adult £12.00 (gate £14.50) Child £1.00

Sunday Day Ticket: Adult £10.00 (gate £12.50) Child £1.00

3-day pass with camping: Adult from £80 (gate £96) Child £30 (gate £36)

In addition…

Caravan/camper van pitch with power surplus £25

Caravan/camper van pitch without power surplus £10

Please note: camper vans and mobile homes are accepted over the three days and not for single nights only.

3-night Weekend Glamping

£555 for two adults (including festival admission and weekend camping pass).

Book online at
Note: Produce Stalls close at 6pm. Only food stalls and bars around the central stage area will be open after 6pm. Main Stage Music finishes at 9pm on Fri and Sat eve 6pm on Sunday. Paradiso Latino Cabaret Tent is open until 11pm Fri and Sat eve and 9pm Sunday.


Notes to editors

  • Chilli Fiesta was awarded Tourism Event of the Year Bronze Award at the Beautiful South Awards for Excellence 2014/15.
  • West Dean Gardens is part of the Edward James Foundation, a charitable trust No. 1126084, also comprising West Dean College, West Dean Estate and the West Dean Tapestry Studio.
  • All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.
  • To apply for media accreditation for Chilli Fiesta contact the Media Relations Team.
  • West Dean College is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.

Media contact information

For media accreditation or high-resolution digital images, please contact:

Irene Caswell, Senior Media Relations Officer +44 (0)1243 818301


West Dean College and Gardens, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ


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