A summer or two ago I was peering over a wheatgrass shot at the proliferation of bodies on Hove Lawns and I suddenly thought: what created this? At what point in recent history did swarming at hot food stands, forcing delicacies into an already overburdened digestive tract to the sound of skiffle, become a hot recreational pursuit?
The food festival craze seemed to have sprung from nowhere, but in the back of my mind I knew that in Brighton and Hove, at least, it was in no small part down to the hard work of Nick Mosley, Managing Director of Brighton and Hove Food and Drink Festival.
The festival celebrates its fifteenth birthday next year, and until Nick joined the team five years ago, it was pretty much the same format as most other local festivals – a one-time-a-year hotchpotch of events, council funded and run by volunteers. In recent years, however, the festival’s activities have expanded like popcorn. The team put on events year-round and for their next, over August Bank Holiday (21st-31st August), 60-70,000 people are projected to attend. The biggest draw is their bi-annual ‘Sussex and the World Market,’ which incorporates over 100 stalls hosted by restaurants, producers and street food vendors; a Children’s Festival; Live Food Show and a Sussex Wine and Beer Marquee. The next, which is free to enter as always, runs from Sat 29th to Mon 31st August at Hove Lawns.