The hottest music and entertainment festival of the summer is just over a week away.
From 30 June to 2 July the North East Chilli Fest will feature live music from acts including 80s icons Heaven 17, Smoove and Turrell and The Baghdaddies.
There will also be stand-up comedians, cabaret stars, a discotheque and plenty of fun and entertainment for children. “The North East has never seen anything like it,” said organiser Mark Deakin.
The festival, which is in its sixth year, has a new 27-acre site – opposite Gloucester Lodge Farm in Seaton Sluice – and is running for an extra day to fit in all the performers. Lovers of all things chilli-related – and those with an appetite for milder tastes – are catered for by dozens of the best producers of street food.
“It began life as a Chilli festival, but the music and entertainment aspect has grown and grown,” said Mark, who organises the event with his wife Shelley.
“We had five fantastic years in the grounds of Seaton Delaval Hall, but we needed more space for the stages, marquees, stalls and our camping area,” she said. Hundreds of festival-goers are expected to stay on the site all weekend. A range of flexible tickets are still available, with options ranging from as little as £5 to £30. Tickets for children cost £3.
Heaven 17 and Smoove and Turrell top the bill on Friday and Saturday. The Baghdaddies are Sunday’s headline act and numerous other performers, including SoShe, Iceni, Nick Pride and The Pimptones and 4 Worried Men, will be taking to the stage over the three days. More acts are expected to be announced.
Visitors will also be richly entertained by Chris Cross’ Flaming Hot Cabaret Club – starring magicians, jugglers and dancers – The Jumping Hot Comedy Tent, a retro Discotheque as well as The Famous Skool Disco, and a Kids’ Zone.
There will be a producers’ market featuring some of the UK’s top chilli producers selling chilli inspired food and drink and – for those with a more sensitive palate – tasty delights provided by the very best artisan producers. A Street Food Zone and numerous bars will help keep people going over the three days.
“And there will be a chilli eating competition on each of the three days, which will not be for the feint-hearted,” said Mark. “This is the North East Chilli Fest after all.”
Further details and tickets are available through the 2017 North East Chilli Fest website www.chillifest-ne.co.uk.