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New look for chilli festival

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A new-look North East Chilli Fest will keep alive Northumberland’s foodie spirit in 2018.

On July 13 to 15, the seventh annual celebration of food, music and entertainment will have a new home and a new theme.

In recognition of its location at Meggies Burn Fields at South Beach in Blyth, the North East Chilli Fest this year presents The Festival by the Sea.

Previous North East Chilli Fests have attracted thousands of people from all over the UK to Northumberland, and ticket sales for 2018 are already strong.

“It’s fantastic to bring so many people to the area,” said Mark Deakin, one of the organisers.

The first five North East Chilli Fests were held at Seaton Delaval Hall, but because of its growing size it moved last summer to a 17-acre site between Seaton Sluice and Blyth, with iconic 80s band Heaven 17 topping the bill.

Meggies Burn Fields offers a more compact and better-drained site, a main stage and an enormous marquee, providing virtually continual entertainment over the three days, along with ample space for motorhomes, caravans and tents.

“Chilli is still a mainstay – as is all the food and drink provided by our fantastic producers – but what’s different about this event is the mix of food, music, entertainment and comedy,” said Mark, who with his wife Shelley also runs the highly popular Proper Food and Drink Festivals in the North East. Last year they launched the Great North Feast in South Shields.

The bands and singers already confirmed for The Festival by the Sea include Smoove and Turrell, Colonel Mustard & the Dijon 5, Soulutions and more.

The weekend will also feature a traditional highlight of Chilli Fest – Rob Dumbrell’s infamous Chilli Eating Competition.

For tickets see www.chillifest-ne.co.uk