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Eighties music icons Heaven 17 will be one of the many attractions at a new look North East Chilli Fest next year.

Organisers have confirmed that the ever-popular celebration of food, drink, music and entertainment will be bigger, longer and take place in a new spectacular location.

Tickets go on sale on Monday (12 December) through the 2017 Chilli Fest website www.chillifest-ne.co.uk.

“After five amazing years at Seaton Delaval Hall we want to take the Chilli Fest to a new level and for that we need a far bigger space,” said Mark Deakin.

But the festival, which each year has attracted thousands of visitors over a weekend, will not be moving far. Its numerous stalls, bars, marquees and stages will be set up on a 27 acre event site in Seaton Sluice overlooking the sea.

“We had lots of offers to go elsewhere,” said Mark “and it might have made sense, but we live nearby and know that so many people from around here really love popping along.”

The 2017 Chilli Fest – which for the first time is taking place on three days: 30 June, 1 and 2 July – also attracts people from all over the UK. A camping area will be set up next to the main site and festival goers are being offered early bird tickets to help them maximise their experience at a reasonable price.

“Given all the uncertainty about going on holiday abroad, I think 2017 will definitely be the year of the staycation,” said Mark.  “So we want to make it a festival to remember, with something for everybody.”

There will be tents devoted to comedy, cabaret and dance.  There is going to be a Kids Zone, an Alternate Zone and – in addition to Heaven 17 who headline on Friday night – numerous musical acts, including Smoove and Turrell, Nick Pride and The Pimptones, Dennis, SoShe and the Monster Ceilidh Band.

Although the Chilli Fest celebrates everything to do with our fiery favourite, the vast range of food available is designed to suit all tastes.

“I love Christmas as much as anybody, but at this time of the year when it’s cold and dark you also need something to look forward to and note in your diary,” said Mark. “That’s why we’re announcing it now.”

Tickets go on sale on Monday, with a pass for all three days costing £20.  There are a limited number of early bird tickets available for £15.  A weekend pass plus camping costs £30 person and there are a range of tickets available for each day from £8 – or £5 for an early bird discount. Tickets for children under five are free and it is £3 for children aged between five and 15.

As well as the Chilli Fest he is finalising details of a new event – the Great North Feast – which is being held in Bents Park, South Shields on 25-28 August.

“It’s going to be huge and amazingly exciting,” said Mark. “It’s going to be a massive celebration of food and drink but it will also bring together the community for a social eating experience which has never been seen before in the North East.  We’re also be trying to break loads of records.”

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