Festivals are go as chefs sign up in droves

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Will food festivals be allowed to take place this summer?

Related tags Festivals Kantina Weekender Bigfoot Festival Sam Buckley Mary Ellen McTague Simon Martin Chefs Manchester London

UK festival organisers are hoping to put on events as early as May and have already signed some of the biggest names in the industry to provide food and drink.

Held over the May bank holiday weekend (28 - 31) at Manchester's Depot Mayfield, the Kantina Weekender features chefs including Sam Buckley, Mary Ellen McTague, Simon Martin, Stosie Madi, Brad Carter and Gary Usher. 

Restaurant brands offering food include Higher Ground, Tast, Ombra and Dishoom with natural wines supplied by Top Cuvée’s Shop Cuvée and cocktails supplied by Three Sheets. 

Tickets are £35 per person, which is redeemable as credit to spend at Kantina Weekender. 

The festival is from the team behind Escape to Freight Island an ‘inspiring urban landscape and vast industrial fairground of food, drink, music and entertainment’ that was ‘the standout success in COVID safe hospitality last year’.

Taking place between 18 - 20 June is Bigfoot Festival, which saw its inaugural run cancelled due to the pandemic last summer.

It’s billed as the UK’s first ever craft beer music festival and will be hosted entirely outdoors at ​Ragley Hall​, a stately home in Warwickshire, with Primal Scream taking the headline spot. 

The line up of restaurant brands and chefs include 10 Greek Street, Patty & Bun, Scully, Andrew Clarke and Club Mexicana with more to be announced soon. 

Co-founder Greg Wells says that the ‘utmost priority’ will be placed on the safety of the festivals patrons.

“I can’t think of a better way to recover from COVID, Brexit and Trump, than for us all to get together in the great outdoors at the height of English summer time, drink locally-made world-class beer, and watch one of the all time great bands.”

The roadmap announcement​ has paved the way for events with large crowds to take place in the summer. 

The best case scenario will see social distancing measures fall away entirely on 21 June but there is a risk large events won't be able to take place if the Government is forced to delay the reopening of society. 

There's also a lack of clarity about so-called vaccine passports, which may be part of the strategy for events, live venues and the night time economy. 

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