Make a hot date with The Festival by the Sea

Chillis at the ready at last year's chill eating competition.
Chillis at the ready at last year's chill eating competition.

Foodies have a hot date this summer, as the North East Chilli Fest returns in a new guise.

The seventh annual celebration of food, music and entertainment will have a new home and a new theme on July 13, 14 and 15.

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.

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.

Meggies Burn Fields offers a more compact and better-drained site, a main stage, an enormous marquee and 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 one of the organisers, Mark Deakin.

Bands and singers already confirmed include Smoove and Turrell, Colonel Mustard & the Dijon 5, Soulutions, Bloxed Beats, Skapones, Nick Pride and the Pimptones, JustSO, Eliza and – stars of the Doritos television ads – the Mariachis.

The weekend will also feature a traditional highlight – Rob Dumbrell’s infamous chilli eating competition.

Tickets start at £5 for adults and go up to £30 for a weekend pass and camping. Admission for children is £3. Visit www.chillifest-ne.co.uk