North East Chilli Fest to heat up weekend

One of the biggest outdoor events of the Northumberland summer takes place next weekend.

The seventh North East Chilli Fest – a celebration of food and drink, music and comedy – opens at 5pm on Friday (13 July) and runs until 6pm on Sunday.packed-crowds-at-the-2017-north-east-chilli-fest

It has a new home, Meggies Burn Fields at South Beach in Blyth, and in acknowledgement of its location the event is being called The Festival by the Sea.

Chilli remains hugely important – with one of the highlights Rob Dumbrell’s infamous Chilli Eating Competition – but the event has become an opportunity for the thousands of festival goers to try different types of food and drink and listen to live music to suit all tastes.

They will also be richly entertained by some of the UK’s best stand-up comedians, who for a change will be performing under canvas rather than in a club.

Fans of cabaret acts and retro dance music are also in for a treat, and – if you have not had your fill of football – the World Cup Final will be shown on a giant screen on Sunday afternoon.

“The festival keeps evolving and we want it to have as broad an appeal as possible,” said organiser Mark Deakin. “Our producers will still be demonstrating some amazing uses of chilli, but there’s also food to try from every corner of the planet.  There are a great selection of drinks to enjoy and we’re really excited about our line-up of performers.”

Last year one of the stars of the comedy tent was Tyneside’s Lee Ridley – better known as Lost Voice Guy, the winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2018.

This year a BGT finalist from 2015 – comedy impressionist Danny Posthill from Hartlepool – will be performing at the festival.  His career has taken off on the back of his impressions of programme presenters Ant and Dec.

Like Danny, the other comedians performing at the festival this year – who include Gavin Webster, Luke Benson, David Hadingham and the Viz comic co-founder Simon Donald – are all well-known and successful performers on the comedy club circuit.

Over the three days music will be provided by bands including Smoove and Turrell, Colonel Mustard & the Dijon 5, Soulutions, Bloxed Beats, Skapones, Nick Pride and the Pimptones, JustSO, Eliza and – stars of the Doritos television ads – the Mariachis.

A range of tickets are available, starting at £5 for adults and up to £30 for a weekend pass and camping. There is a Kids’ Zone and a child’s admission to the festival is just £3. You can pay on the gate or buy tickets through the event’s website