Chilli Fiesta draws thousands to town

Anna Barness and daughters Kate, 11, and Isabel, eight, after trying some chilli sauce. DM1514536a
Anna Barness and daughters Kate, 11, and Isabel, eight, after trying some chilli sauce. DM1514536a

MORE than 3,500 people attended Shoreham Chilli Fest for what the organiser has dubbed a ‘weekend of pain’.

Alexander Mustang celebrated the fifth anniversary of the festival, which began in Shoreham, during the weekend.

He said: “In 2010 David Steadman wanted to bring something to Shoreham to uplift it, and it just grew from there.

“We have now done it around the country, some people have even said we created a mini-economy, a mini-chilli-economy.”

Chilli Fest UK is a non-profit group which aims to bring communities together via their events, and help support chilli product manufacturers in all shapes, sizes and levels of hotness.

“We help countless chilli producers, from the established to those just beginning,” added Mr Mustang.

The festival sells a variety of chilli products including jams, cheeses and chilli Mojitos, and has gained popularity mainly through social media and word of mouth.

Approximately 2,500 people attended on a sunny Saturday, while the weather turned grey and rainy on Sunday, but according to Mr Mustang this was not a deterrent.

He said: “If there had been a tornado, I think they still would have come because they weren’t just passers-by, they were real chilli lovers.”

For more information and future events, see www.chillifest.net or follow on Twitter @chilli_festival