The UK’s Largest BBQ festival experience is coming to Colchester in 2021

PUBLISHED: 6 November 2020

Date issued: 6 November 2020
Colchester Events is proud to announce that ‘Smoke and Fire’, the largest BBQ festival experience in the UK, is coming to Colchester for the first time in its four-year history.

The three-day event, in aid of Essex and Herts Air Ambulance, will take place in Colchester Castle Park on 20-22 August 2021.

This alternative and all-inclusive food festival will be hosting the first annual British Open BBQ Championships, where expert judges and the public will get to decide who will be crowned the undisputed British BBQ Champion 2021. 

The festival will also feature some of the true legends of USA, European and British BBQ and open-fire cookery, pitmasters, live demonstrations, and masterclasses – sparking interest in the alchemy and techniques of cooking with smoke and fire. 

Visitors can explore new and exciting taste sensations from a wide variety of BBQ’d and open-fire cooked food, wine and dine in one of many fire-cooked or pop-up BBQ restaurants, enjoy music and dancing with live bands and international DJs, and enjoy a wide selection of bubbles, cocktails, wine or local craft beer and cider.

Ashley Peniston-Bird, Festival Director, said: We can't wait to bring Smoke and Fire to Colchester, which was a popular choice among the team. We think that most families will want to put this year behind them and will be ready to let their hair down and enjoy themselves, and we plan to make next year’s festival one to remember! With cooking and eating competitions, children's fun, games and entertainment, live music and dancing the event will provide an unforgettable summer weekend for everyone to enjoy.”

Councillor Theresa Higgins, Portfolio Holder for Commercial Services, added: “It’s great news that this exciting three-day festival is coming to Colchester in the summer of 2021. In these challenging times, it’s vital to have something to look forward to and this celebration of food, music and entertainment will not only attract festival-goers from far afield but, with many visitors staying in the area over the three days, is sure to help local businesses too.”

The Colchester event is part of a UK-wide ‘Smoke and Fire’ festival tour, which takes in Southport, Hastings and Weston-Super-Mare.

Early bird tickets, available from now until 21st March 2021, cost £12.50 per adults and children 0-12 years go free. To book visit:

Page last reviewed: 6 November 2020


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