Press Release: Age is just a number; 20th Anniversary, West Dean Gardens’ Chilli Fiesta by numbers

West Dean Gardens' Chilli Fiesta turns 20 year this year. It has grown from humble beginnings to become the UK's biggest annual festival celebrating the fiery chilli. The family-friendly festival takes place within the beautiful South Downs landscape with a backdrop of the historic West Dean House. As the popular Chilli Fiesta leaves behind its teenage years here are 20 significant facts about West Dean's much-loved Chilli Fiesta (7, 8 and 9 August 2015).

1. 300,000 visitors to the Chilli Fiesta since it began

2. 250 varieties of chilli grown in the …

3. …13 Victorian glasshouses at West Dean Gardens

4. 200 firework effects in chilli-themed display to celebrate 20 years (Saturday night)

5. One Beautiful South Tourism Event of the Year Award

6. 100 Salsa dance displays and masterclasses over the years but …

7. … just ONE Salsa masterclass with Brendan Cole, Strictly star (Sunday)

8. 10,000 pints of milk consumed over the years by the real chilli heads

9. 180 stalls selling food, drinks, plants, seeds and produce

10. 3,400 - average number of steps danced by the average Chilli Fiesta go-er

11. 500 music acts in 20 years

12. 14 days to set up then clear up the Chilli Fiesta

13. 90 acres of award-winning gardens

14. 200,000 pints of beer and cider consumed by Chilli Fiesta goers

15. 13-tog duvet included in the glamping package for chilly British summer nights

16. 10 tonnes of ice used to cool festival-goers' drinks

17. £12 Adult early bird Saturday ticket (until 31 July. Gate £14.50), Child £1

18. 22 rides on the big wheel by one person in one day - a Chilli Fiesta record!

19. 4 different camping zones from family-friendly to caravan areas.

20. ONE original Chilli Fiesta, but plenty of imitators!

The 20th Chilli Fiesta is the hot summer destination as sizzling salsa and Latin bands line up to entertain over a three-day programme (10.30am to 11pm Sunday 9pm) including Groupo Lokito, The Fontanas, Jesus Cutino and Son de Cuba and Brazilian/Latin group Sambossa. Debut acts include Levi Roots; Adriana; Jenny; Lokandes; Atlantico; The Voodoo Love Orchestra; Rocio; Cuban Tropicana; Bamboleo the famous Gypsy King Tribute Band and more. Music on the main stage will finish at 9pm (6pm Sunday) and live music will continue in Paradiso Latino Cabaret Tent from 9pm to 11pm (9pm Sunday) featuring; Latin jazz trio, Quinto (Friday); guitarist, Nicolas (Saturday); and trio Los Musicos (Sunday).

In the Cookery Theatre popular Sussex cook and food writer, Rosemary Moon, will be hosting a series of food demonstrations with guests; 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.

Pick up tips on growing chillies at home in the Gardening Theatre with Shaun Hamblen the 'Kitchen Gardener' and Laura Hughes from the West Dean Gardens' team. Shaun and Laura will be joined by guest experts from Sea Spring Seeds, Hot Headz, Simpson Seeds and food and travel writer, Andy Lynes, author of How to be a Chilli Head, throughout the weekend.

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

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. Antonio the Tambourine Juggler will entertain children and adults alike on the main stage.

Early Bird Tickets (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 £95) Child £30 (gate £36)

For full information and to book online at

Demand for tickets to the 20th Anniversary Chilli Fiesta is high, so early booking is advised.


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 evening (6pm Sunday). Paradiso Latino Cabaret Tent is open until 11pm Fri and Sat eve and 9pm Sunday.


Notes to editors

  • West Dean Gardens is part of the Edward James Foundation, Charity 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.
  • West Dean College is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.
  • For further information and high-resolution digital images, please contact

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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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