Garden Event

Chilli Fiesta

The UK's biggest chilli festival returns. Join the party and 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.

"Plenty of chances to taste chilli food, plus live Latin music and a family-friendly festival atmosphere"
The Daily Express

What's on?

  • Live music including DJs and Latin bands
  • Los Amigos, champagne and cider bars, cocktail camper van
  • Browse over 140 stalls offering chilli gifts, plants seeds and produce
  • Cookery demonstrations with top chefs
  • Gardening talks and Gardens tours
  • Children's activities
  • Explore the gardens
  • Camping
  • Family area
  • NEW Hidden cinema
  • NEW Art installations
  • NEW Pop-up restaurants
  • NEW Workshops - dance, drumming, food and childrens cookery.


Live music

Music on the front lawn stage plays from 11am until 9pm Friday, from 10.30am to 9.30pm Saturday and from 11am until 7.30pm on Sunday. Music continues in the Los Amigos Bar until 10.30pm Saturday and 9pm Sunday.

New music for 2017 includes Latin four piece band Cuban Cuban, Kongo Dia Ntotila, Oye Santana and Andalus who are the leading Gipsy Kings tribute band. Enjoy Latin jazz with the Manana Collective and the traditional Mexican sounds of Mariachi Tequila. We also welcome back Chilli Fiesta favourites; the fantastic Fontanas, Steel Strum, and Big Noise Samba Band.


Dance acts incude Latin American ballroom Strictly dancer Oti Mabuse who will be performing on Sunday. Pro-Latin dancers, Ryan and Ksenia will be performing on Friday and Saturday. Get put through your paces with Debbi and Francisco and join their salsa workshops, on all three days.


During the weekend there will be many more music, dance and performance acts to watch, listen and join in with. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep up-to-date.

Cookery demonstrations

See top chefs demonstrating their culinary expertise with creative chilli based recipes. Giles Thompson, chef/owner from The Earl of March will be hosting a fantastic line-up in the Cookery Theatre including Levi Roots, of Dragon's Den fame, who will be bringing his Caribbean inspired recipes, 2017 Masterchef winner Saliha Mahmood-Ahmed, Dan Doherty, Rosie Birkett, Steve Edwards and West Dean College's very own Head Chef, Dan Frowen. 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. Don't miss out on the rare opportunity of a guided tour of the Walled Gardens and discussion about growing your own chillies. See the 150 chillies on display in the Glasshouses and browse the plant sale area for chilli plants to take home and grow (and eat!) for yourself.


Hands-on workshops

This year there are a number of activities to try for yourself in our workshops including music, dance and cookery. We are also offering workshops for children with chilli pot painting on the Saturday and cookery on Sunday with authors of The World In My Kitchen, Sally Brown and Kate Morris.


Shopping, Eating and Drinking


Browse over 140 stalls, offering a variety of quirky gifts as well as chilli foods, chilli plants, seeds and produce. The West Dean Gardens gift shop is also open each day.

All shopping stalls close at 6pm each day, but a range food and drink stalls stay open into the evening while the entertainment continues.

Eating and drinking

Pop-up restaurants

NEW for 2017 are a choice of two pop-up restaurants, one serving a delicious Mediterranean menu and the other serving a variety of seafood with the option of champagne to accompany your meal.



Food stalls

Sample spicy and exotic food from a selection of food stalls to keep you going throughout the day. There will be plenty of options for those less keen on the hot stuff and local ice cream if you need a little help cooling down! Hot and cold drinks include speciality coffees, tea, hot chocolate, fresh fruit smoothies and more.

The Gardens Restaurant

Choose from a variety of freshly prepared meals, snacks and cakes and sit either indoors or outside on the terrace. Open until 6pm daily.


Enjoy a selection of beers, ales and wines, as well as soft drinks at one of our onsite bars located close to the main stage. Bars include Los Amigos, cider bar, cocktail campervan, and the Potting Shed.


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). A limited number of pitches are available so early booking is essential.

"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!"

2017 Campers

Pick your camping zone: This is done on the day you arrive and not in advance.

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.

The camping shop will be open 24 hours.

Sadly, due to restrictions from Natural England we now have reduced capacity of caravan and campervan pitches and are therefore unable to offer these to the public for this year's Chilli Fiesta.

Camping tickets are available for the full weekend (three nights) or for one night (Saturday).

Enter the best dressed tent competition

WIN a Chilli Fiesta family/group camping pass for 2018 and a Chilli Fiesta hamper.

For your chance to win a camping pass for two adults and up to three children for Chilli Fiesta 2018, PLUS a Chilli Fiesta hamper, dress up your tent!

Involve the whole family or your group, and have fun! In the spirit of Chilli Fiesta please keep it family-friendly and colourful, the brighter the better. We are looking for the most vibrant and creatively decorated tent.

To enter please register your tent when you check in at the campsite, ensuring you pick up a number to attach to your tent so the judges know where you are. Judging will take place on Saturday 12 August from 5pm. The winner will be announced at 5.30pm at the campsite reception tent.

Read the T&Cs here

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 bar code/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.

Read the full list of FAQs here

Twitter Competition T&Cs

To enter to win 2 adult day passes for 1 day at Chilli Fiesta 2017, re-tweet and reply telling us who you would bring. Competition closes midnight 24 July 2017 (GMT).

Twitter Competition T&Cs

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