Big Feastival: Why you should go in 2022
Big Feastival, presented by M&S Food celebrated their 10th year anniversary with their best festival yet, hosted in the middle of the Cotswolds on Alex James’ farm. Alex’s musical background as the bassist for Britpop legends, Blur, combined with his culinary and farming skills in running a successful farm and cheese-making business has created the perfect vision of a blend of incredible food and unmissable live music. Alongside a star-studded line-up of musical talent was an equally stellar range of chefs headlining their own stage, bringing recipes and cooking tips to eager crowds of foodies, and family-friendly entertainment for the young ones.
This year's headline acts were the Multi-Platinum DJ Sigala, the funk and soul behemoths Nile Rodgers and Chic, and the BRIT Award Winner Rag ‘n’ Bone Man. The supporting acts were a range of new up and coming talents such as 2019 BRIT-award Breakthrough-Act Tom Walker, and returning old school favourites Sophie Ellis-Bextor, All Saints, Morcheeba and Reef among many others.
Big Feastival lives up to its name with a full range of food-related experiences available, with cooking demonstrations by chefs ranging from Catertainment celebrity BBQ Smokemaster DJ BBQ to two-star Michelin Chef Nathan Outlaw. Alexandra Dudley of the podcast Come For Supper and How To Host A Dinner Party also hosted the M&S Food Cookery School, where you can learn about the provenance of the products that are expertly sourced for M&S Select Farms and learn to create seasonal dishes for you and your loved ones to enjoy. And for the young ones, there is a family-orientated highlight with M&S Little Cooks tent providing an opportunity for kids to learn about food and get involved in the cooking process from selecting ingredients from the onsite “Allotment” to transform into a delectable dish back in the kitchen.
Street food vendors bought a range of excellent, award-winning food trucks to the Big Feastival, covering all bases from Made of Dough’s wood-fired pizzas, Poor Boys deep-south inspired Louisiana cuisine, the Caribbean inspired fried chicken from Only Jerkin’, Korean-Taco fusion from Mexican Seoul, and Burger and Beyond providing one of a selection of other vegan options, amongst an exhaustive list of other vendors which needs a limitless appetite and far more time to experience all there was to offer.
Big Feastival was also the breakout year for Liquid Diamond who ran a stand selling premium quality Prosecco and rosé Prosecco, which proved a huge hit among the thirsty festival-goers who yearned for something with a bit of fizz and a lot of flavours. This was not the cloyingly sweet cheap prosecco we’ve been experiencing these past few years, but a product that the company has gone to painstaking lengths to source direct from growers in Italy and designed with heart and compassion, with a percentage of their profits supporting mental health charities.
Alongside the main bars run by Freedom and Sharps were smaller cocktail trucks from Funkin’ and a range of great quality non-alcoholic options so designated drivers and others not drinking can still enjoy drinks to go with their evening and company.
The Highlight of Big Feastival 2021 though, has to be the newly introduced rustic dining experience Feast on the Farm. The Philleigh Way Cookery School in Cornwall is a modern cookery school specialising in Farmhouse Cookery Style, and laid on a feasting menu highlighting some of the finest Cornish produce. The excellent Cornish Mackerel Pate and fresh Porthilly Oysters brought the best of the sea; the Cornish Pasties, mainly of Smoked Beef Striploin and tomato salad, promoted the land.
For further information on the next Big Feastival visit HERE
Words by Tim Yu
Editor Jheanelle Feanny