Chilli Fiesta

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Join the party at the UK's biggest chilli festival. Dance to live Latin music, watch cookery and gardening demonstrations and taste delicious chilli foods 'til your tongue sizzles. Make the most of the family-friendly festival atmosphere and camp onsite with great facilities.

Included in The Telegraph's top 20 UK food festivals for 2019

Live Latin music, spicy foods from around the globe...and dancing give this festival in pretty West Dean Gardens...a distinctive flavour and a feel-good factor.

What's on?

  • NEW See Strictly Come Dancing's Graziano Di Prima dancing live with his partner Giada Lini
  • NEW Rob Heron and The Tea Pad Orchestra
  • NEW Cookery stars Miranda Gore Browne, Chetna Makan and Steven Carter Bailey
  • NEW Wildlife gardening expert Kate Bradbury
  • NEW West Dean Gardens' Head Gardener Tom Brown
  • NEW Slackline and circus skills workshops
  • NEW Isabella's Story Cycle
  • Live music including DJs and Latin bands
  • Latin dance demonstrations and workshops with professional dancers
  • Over 140 shopping stalls selling chilli gifts, plants seeds and produce
  • Five different bars to find refreshments
  • Vintage funfair
  • Workshops, music and dance
  • Children's activities
  • Camping
  • Explore the gardens
  • Outdoor cinema with films for all the family

Opening Times: Friday: 10am-9pm, Saturday: 10am-11pm, Sunday: 10am-8.30pm

Download the programme

Cookery demonstrations

See top chefs demonstrating their culinary expertise with creative chilli based recipes in the Cookery Theatre.

Miranda Gore Browne, finalist on the first series of BBC's The Great British Bake Off, and author of 'Biscuit' and 'Bake Me A Cake As Fast As You Can' will be hosting and demonstrating throughout the weekend.

On Friday Jane Devonshire, author of Hassle Free Gluten Free, will be cooking up some delicious gluten free dishes.

Chetna Makan, author of 'The Cardamom Trail' and 'Chetna's Healthy India', and The Great British Bake Off semi-finalist (2014) will be demonstrating her cooking skills on Saturday and Sunday.

Steven Carter-Bailey will be demonstrating on Saturday, 'Bake Off' finalist from series eight and winner of the The Great New Year's Bake Off 2019.

On Saturday Chilli Fiesta also welcomes back Steven Edwards, chef owner of etch. in Brighton and winner of MasterChef: The Professionals in 2013.

Using ingredients from all over the world and ideas you can easily recreate at home, they're guaranteed to make your mouth water.

Gardening talks and tours

Hear from a variety of experts with gardening talks and demonstrations in the Gardening Theatre. Mark Diacono will be hosting the Gardening Theatre this year and will be giving talks on his book 'Taste of the Unexpected'. Visitors can learn about unusual, delicious edibles that anyone can grow - everything from Szechuan pepper to Carolina allspice.

Mark will also be running Garden Cocktail tasting sessions, where he'll share his expert knowledge on how to grow herbs and incorporate them into delicious cocktail recipes.

Wildlife writer for The Guardian and author of 'The Wildlife Gardener', Kate Bradbury, will be talking about her passion for organic wildlife-friendly gardening, and Lia Leendertz will also be appearing in the theatre over the weekend and discussing the month of August from her 2019 Almanac.

There will be talks from chilli-growing experts throughout the weekend including West Dean Gardens' Tom Brown, and opportunities to see displays of a huge variety of chilli plants in the Glasshouses on the daily tours with the West Dean Gardeners. Browse the plant sale at the Gardens Shop for chilli plants to take home and grow (and eat!) for yourself.

Live music and dance

Live music

Music on the front lawn stage plays from 12pm each day and until 9pm Friday, until 10pm Saturday and until 7.30pm on Sunday. Music continues in the Los Amigos Bar until 11.00pm Saturday and 8.30pm Sunday.

Music for 2019 includes Kalison and Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra on the Friday. Enjoy Lokito and a pyromusical finale on the Saturday. On the Sunday you can hear the Crawley Millenium Concert Band finale.


Dazzling dance acts include Strictly Come Dancing's Graziano Di Prima and his partner Giada Lini, who will be performing on Sunday 11 August, and Brazilian and Flamenco dance performances across the weekend.

Children's activities

There's plenty to keep children entertained at Chilli Fiesta including:

  • New slackline and circus skills workshop
  • Drop-in art centre
  • Outdoor cinema with popular family films each day
  • Vintage funfair inc. smaller childrens' rides e.g mini Austin cars and train ride
  • Face painting
  • Isabella's Story Cycle (walkabout and storytelling, also featuring goodnight stories in the campsite)

'Isabella's Story Cycle was an enchanting, captivating and intricate piece of performance'
Marion Harrison, Eden Live Project Lead


Wake up in the beautiful grounds of West Dean and make a weekend or a mini break of it. Full camping facilities are available throughout the Chilli Fiesta weekend (including great showers and toilets and 24 hour shop). 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).

"We came last year and enjoyed it so much, we said let's do it properly and camp next year."

"A weekend away with lots of chillies and dancing, lots of fun!"

Pick your camping zone (on the day you arrive):

  • Jalapeno - most popular general camping area, close to the event arena helping to enhance the festival atmosphere of the weekend.
  • Pimento - quiet camping area away from the main arena ideal for a good night's sleep.
  • Bell - family friendly close to the toilets and showers, ideal for the earlier to bed but up bright and early.

Book your camping tickets now

In order to responsibly preserve our beautiful parkland, we have now reduced the capacity of caravan and campervan pitches and are therefore unable to offer these to the public for this year's Chilli Fiesta.

Chilli Fiesta and Camping FAQs

Chilli Fiesta FAQs

Here are a few of our top tips and FAQs:

Q. Is it possible to pay on the gate?
A. It is possible to pay on the gate for day tickets but campers need to buy tickets in advance.

Q. Do I get tickets sent to me?
A. No, Chilli Fiesta tickets are now issued electronically and will be emailed to you. Print off the email confirmation which should show a reference number and bring it with you on the day.

Q. Can I just show you the e-ticket on my phone?
A. Yes. Please ensure your booking reference number is on show.

Q. What age range is a child ticket?
A. Children age 4 and under enjoy free entry, 5 -15 requires a child ticket. Children are to be accompanied by a paying adult. 16+ require an adult ticket.

Q. What camping facilities are there at Chilli Fiesta?
A. The campsite is complete with showers, flushing toilets, drinking water and a small shop for basic amenities. Showers will operate 24hrs a day. The campsite crew will be on site throughout.

Q. Can I get to the Chilli Fiesta by Bus?
A. By bus: the number 60 bus runs from Midhurst to Chichester bus station (opposite Chichester railway station) every half hour Monday - Saturday. On Sundays buses are every hour. For an up-to-date timetable visit the Stagecoach website. You can find our location on Google maps.

Read the full list of FAQs here

Read the Chilli Fiesta Drug and Alcohol Policy

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West Dean Gardens is part of a registered charity and its upkeep and care are only possible with the support of generous donors, friends and legacy gifts.

If you share our passion for the gardens and gardening excellence,
please find out how you can help support their upkeep.