Press Release: Summer’s hottest destination, the award-winning Chilli Fiesta

One of the original and biggest chilli festivals in the UK, West Dean Gardens' award-winning Chilli Fiesta is now in its 21st year. Chilli Fiesta is a hot weekend destination this summer as sizzling Cuban, Latin and salsa bands line up to perform over a three-day programme. Making their first appearance in the exciting line up of entertainment are tribute band Viva Santana, Panama, Jason Lee, Adriana Son G, Cuarto Elemento, Alex Latin Jazz, Salsa All Stars, and Mariachi Mezcal. The popular Groupo Lokito will be returning to Chilli Fiesta on Saturday night, which will close with a spectacular firework display.. Strictly Come Dancing professional dancers, Joanne Clifton and Giovanni Pernice (Jo & Gio), will be giving a salsa masterclass (Sunday).

Also returning this year are old friends Son Yambu, the Big Noise Community Samba Band and local duo Steel Strum. Music on the main stage will finish at 8.30pm (Friday), 10pm (Saturday) and 5.30pm (Sunday) and live music and DJ's will continue in the Los Amigos bar until 11pm (Friday and Saturday) and 9pm (Sunday) featuring Jason Lee, Steel Strum and TLM Rocio.

Around 25,000 visitors come to the family-friendly Chilli Fiesta (5, 6, and 7 August) to enjoy the full programme of live music, entertainment and food. Great camping facilities are on offer for the weekend in the spectacular grounds of the estate in the heart of the South Downs.

Visitors can pick up cooking tips in the Cookery Theatre with Rustie Lee, the celebrity Caribbean chef; Dean Edwards, ITV's Lorraine Resident Chef; Paul Wayne Gregory, Master Chocolatier; and Malcolm Riley, The African Chef. On Saturday, Rosemary Moon, popular Sussex cook and food writer, will be hosting a series of food demonstrations with a surprise celebrity guest.

Sarah Wain, West Dean Gardens' chilli expert, will be giving informal talks and tours around the Victorian glasshouses in the Walled Garden. Chilli-lovers can see around 250 varieties of chillies in the glasshouses and learn how to grow them at home. This year, Australian-born Sarah celebrates 25 Years of Glorious Gardening with a brand new, rare white chilli named Streuth! by growers Simpsons Seeds. Sarah has grown 300 plants which will be available exclusively to buy at Chilli Fiesta in support of the Save the Glasshouses Appeal.

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

With over 140 stalls - many new this year - there will be a great variety of quirky gifts on offer from hot and spicy foods to eat to chilli plants, seeds and produce so you can experiment with the dishes inspired by the Chilli Fiesta back at home.

WEEKEND PROGRAMME - see downloads below to access the full progarmme.

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 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).

The 3-night Weekend Glamping experience includes a full size bed, real mattress, sumptuous cotton bed linen, 13 tog duvet and handmade patchwork quilt blankets, together with tea and coffee making facilities and traditional deckchairs to soak up the summer sun.

Early Bird Prices saving 20% on the full price (available until 25 July)

Demand for tickets to Chilli Fiesta will be high, so early booking is advised.

Friday Day Ticket: Adult £11.20 (gate £14) Child 0.80p (gate £1.00)

Saturday Day Ticket: Adult £12.80 (gate £16) Child 0.80p (gate £1.00)

Sunday Day Ticket: Adult £11.20 (gate £14) Child 0.80p (gate £1.00)

3-day pass with camping: Adult from £80 (gate £100) Child £28.80 (gate £36) Note: camping books up fast.

3-night Weekend Glamping £550 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 8.30pm on Friday, 10pm on Saturday evening and 5.30pm on Sunday. Los Amigos Bar is open until 11pm on Friday and Saturday and 9pm Sunday.


Notes to editors

  • For media accreditation for Chilli Fiesta contact the Media Relations Team.
  • 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 copyright free for editorial purposes.
  • West Dean College is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.

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Media Contact Information

For further information, high-resolution digital images of filming opportunities, please contact

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


West Dean College, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ