The Fontanas Live at Chilli Fiesta 2018

Press Release: The Hottest Talent at West Dean's Award Winning Chilli Fiesta

"Live Latin bands and dance demos, plus gardening workshops and a vintage fair mean there's plenty of fun even if your tastes are more korma than Demon Red." The Daily Telegraph, Top 20 UK food festivals for 2018

From 10th -12th August 2018, the UK's biggest chilli festival returns for its 23rd year. As well as chilli tasting and expert cookery demonstrations, there will be guided tours of the gardens, an outdoor cinema, champagne and cocktail bars, Latin music, flamenco dancing, face painting and a vintage funfair. West Dean's Chilli Fiesta is a family friendly festival set in the beautiful grounds of West Dean, with full camping facilities in the grounds of West Dean Estate, in the heart of the South Downs National Park. The Estate is home to West Dean College of Arts and Conservation and the glorious West Dean Gardens.

There will be over 30 dance and music acts performing at the Chilli Fiesta. World Champion dancers, and stars of BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, Neil and Katya Jones will make their Chilli Fiesta debut. Katya was the winning professional in this year's Strictly Come Dancing! Immersive entertainment from local vintage queen, Dawn Gracie, will transport you back to the 50s and 60s. Whilst festival favourites, The Fontanas, bring their trademark funky Brazilian and afro Latin vibes to the festival.

Other acts include: Dust Blues, Manfred, Fire & Rain, Viva Santana and The Wayfarers. Throughout the weekend, there will be Flamenco performances and workshops with professional dancers, including Latin American, Salsa, and Belly Dancing.

A wide range of chilli-related food stalls can be found onsite. With over 140 stalls, visitors can expect a great variety of quirky gifts available to purchase, from hot and spicy foods of the world to chilli plants, seeds and gifts. To cool down, there will be local ice cream on offer as well as a selection of bars including Champagne, Cocktails, Los Amigos, Craft cider and ales, and The potting shed, for gins and matching tonics. This is the culinary event of the year, not to be missed.

What else is on?

  • "Goblet of Fire" Pyro display followed by a Pyromusical (choreographed Fireworks display)
  • Outdoor cinema, with showings throughout the day
  • Camping and acoustic campsite entertainment

    Cookery Theatre
  • Hosted by Giles Thomson former Executive Head Chef of the Ritz Hotel, and Owner and Executive Chef of The Earl of March
  • Guest chefs include actor and Strictly Come Dancing Winner, Joe McFadden; Executive chef of Stein Restaurants, Jack Stein; Award-winning vegan chef and author Jackie Kearney; MasterChef 2018 contestants Anthony O'Shaughnessy & Sweta Choudhury, Chef and Author of Japaneasy, Tim Anderson, and the UK's only singing chef Jean de Rien
  • The Chilli Alchemist, will be giving a talk entitled 'How to pick a hot sauce?

    Gardening Theatre
  • Gardening talks and demonstrations from a panel of experts including Mark Diacono, Lia Leendertz and West Dean Gardens' resident chilli expert Sarah Wain
  • 150 chillies on display in the Victorian Glasshouses
  • A guided tour of the Walled Gardens
  • Advice on how to grow your own chillies

    Children's entertainment
  • NEW for 2018: Juggling and circus skills with Dan the Hat workshop
  • NEW for 2018: Drop-in art centre
  • Outdoor cinema with popular family films all day
  • Vintage funfair (additional charge)
  • Face painting
  • Punch and Judy shows


Camping Wake up in the beautiful grounds of West Dean and make a weekend or mini break of it. Full camping facilities include great showers, flushing toilets and a 24-hour shop. The campsite on the rolling West Dean Estate is split into three zones: Jalapeno (close to the event arena and enhancing the festival atmosphere); Pimento (quiet camping area away from the main arena ideal for a good night's sleep); and Bell (family friendly and close to the toilets and showers).

A limited number of pitches are available so early booking is essential, tickets are available for the full weekend (three nights) or for one night (Saturday).

Ticket Information

Ticket information: early bird rates shown (20% off full price)* *Early bird offer ends on 27 July 2018 Friday Day Ticket: Adult £14.40 Saturday Day Ticket: Adult £16.00 Sunday Day Ticket: Adult £14.40 Child Ticket (any day): £2.00 3-day pass with camping: Adult £92.00 Child £28.00 Note: Children age 4 and under enjoy free entry, ages 5 - 15 require a child ticket. Children are to be accompanied by a paying adult.

Book online at:

Notes To Editors

  • West Dean Gardens is part of the Edward James Foundation, charitable trust No. 1126084, also comprising West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, West Dean Estate and West Dean Tapestry Studio.
  • West Dean College is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.

For further information and press opportunities, contact: Annie McGrath Golden² Consulting [email protected] +44 (0)207 439 2822