IT SEEMS an unlikely partnership: the celebrity chef and the former rock and roll wild boy.
But for lovers of food and music, it is one of the top events of the summer.
After their successful collaboration last year, TV star Jamie Oliver and Blur bassist Alex James are once again teaming up to present their Big Feastival.
And they are promising this year’s festival will be bigger and even better.
Taking place at Mr James’ farm at Kingham, near Chipping Norton, from August 31 to September 1, the two-day event will feature music by dance music act Basement Jaxx, pop duo Rizzle Kicks and singer-songwriter KT Tunstall.
There will also be sets by light-hearted pop band The Feeling, DJ Norman Jay and Caribbean comic three-piece The Cuban Brothers.
Culinary entertainment comes courtesy of Mr Oliver’s mentor, the Italian chef Gennaro Contaldo; French chef Bruno Loubet, formerly of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and Le Petit Blanc; top British chefs Valentine Warner and Mark Sargeant; and foodies Sabrina Ghayour and Gizzi Erskine. There will also be a cookery demonstration by Mr Oliver himself.
Tickets for the event go on sale today.
Musician-turned celebrity cheesemaker Mr James said: “I’m very excited to have such great foodies and musicians back on the farm. The whole weekend was so enjoyable last year and Jamie and I are working to make it even better for 2013.”
Father-of-five Mr James first hosted a food and music festival on his 200-acre Cotswold farm in 2011. However, the company organising the event, Big Wheel Promotions, collapsed, owing £57,000 to local firms.
Last year’s festival was organised by Taste Festivals, and proved a great success, attracting 20,000 people. It will also be organising this year’s event.
Head of Taste Festivals Justin Clarke said: “We hugely appreciate and value the support and goodwill we received and are looking forward to working with local producers and companies again.
“We’ve been working with Alex and Jamie on a fantastic line-up of musical and foodie talent and have a host of new and exciting features.”
Mr Oliver said: “Last year the atmosphere was incredible and it really was fun for all ages.
As well as live music and culinary demonstrations, festival-goers will be invited to tuck into food from local producers, join cooking classes, improve their barbecue techniques and taste Mr James’ own cheese.
Countryfile TV presenter Adam Henson from the Cotswold Farm Park in Gloucestershire, will set up a Little Dudes Den with animals and activities, and there will be art and craft workshops, children’s kitchen masterclasses, country games, welly wanging, and a vintage funfair.
- Adult tickets are £60 for the Saturday, £50 for the Sunday, or £100 for the weekend. There are discounts for teenagers, and under 12s get in for free. Go to thebigfeastival.com or call 0844 995 9673.