Feast of food and music at park festival
A feast of sizzling entertainment is lined up for a food festival this summer.
The Foodies Festival, described as the UK’s ‘biggest celebration of food, drink and live music’ returns to Cannon Hill Park from June 21 to 23, and is expected to attract more than 30,000 food-lovers.
Boyzlife will be headlining the musical acts and top chefs including Birmingham's Glynn Purnell.
Organisers say they promise to make this year’s event the ‘biggest and best’.
Michelin Star restaurateur Glynn, star of Channel 4’s My Kitchen Rules and affectionately known as the ‘Yummy Brummie' siad he was looking forward to attending.
Glynn, owner of Purnell’s in Birmingham, said: “Foodies Festival is the biggest celebration of food and drink in the UK and it takes place right here in Birmingham, so it’s fantastic to be able to represent Brummie talent!
“It’s always good fun. You get to meet and see other chefs who you might not have seen in a while and mingle with the crowds.
“Birmingham is the centre of the universe, but it used to be the culinary desert of Britain. The ironic thing is, is that Birmingham is actually twinned with Lyon which is the home of gastronomy.
“It’s also twinned with other fantastic food cities such as Chicago. Now we can actually stand shoulder to shoulder with these cities and be able to stick our chests out and be as good as them.
“I can proudly say that Birmingham is full of foodie talent which will be demonstrated at The Foodies Festival.”
For a second year the festival will host the Musicians Against Homelessness (MAH) celebrity music stage and extended opening times to hear bands play into the night.
Headliners are power group Boyzlife, comprising Westlife star Bryan McFadden and Boyzone member Keith Duffy as well as The Specials favourite The Neville Staple Band.
Joining them will be a host of emerging bands and soloists who will have foodies singing and dancing into the night.
Brian McFadden said: “Keith Duffy and I are delighted to bring our Boyzlife tour to Foodies Festival, where we’ll perform many of our favourite Boyzone and Westlife hits. It’s a perfect day out – wonderful food, summer sun and music everybody knows and loves.
“We’re proud to be headlining the Musicians Against Homelessness stage in support of Crisis, the national charity for homeless people. Homelessness is a growing problem all over the UK and every penny raised helps save lives. We are looking forward to seeing many of our fans there.”
Neville Staple added: "We're rudies and foodies, so this is going to be a super party performance, with songs from my 40 year career anniversary as The Specials, Fun Boy Three, Special Beat and Rude Rebels.
"Be ready to eat good things, to dance, prance and smile, with Sugary Staple, the Neville Staple Band and me, the Original Rude Boy."
Other Birmingham chefs cooking up a storm include Brad Carter, of the Michelin starred Carters of Moseley, James Waters of Three Church Road in Edgbaston, members of the team at canalside eatery Ju Ju's Cafe, and Daksha Parekh of Surti by Chef D.
Also on the menu is Spanish celebrity chef Omar Allibhoy of the Tapas Revolution, nutritional therapist and the brains behind the website Wholefood Warrior Eva Humphries, and Solihull-based private chef Jacques van der Merwe.
It’s the fifth event at Birmingham and organisers have a feast of family entertainment in store with more than 200 exhibitors and award-winning artisan producers.
Other attractions include a street food village, cakes and desserts theatre, kids cookery school, healthy living area, chef’s theatre, vegan beer tent and new dog arena with fun competitions as well as Food and Drink masterclasses and chilli eating contests.
Festival director Sue Hitchen said: “We stage food festivals up and down the country and absolutely love coming to the Midlands.
“Warm-hearted Brummies give us such a wonderful welcome and for Cannon Hill Park, we have laid on our biggest programme of activities to date.”
MAH provides opportunities for up-coming talent while raising funds for UK homelessness charity Crisis.
Tickets, including VIP packages, are now on sale.
For every ticket sold, the festival will make a donation to the homeless cause. There will also be merchandise on sale giving a further boost to funds.