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Abergavenny Food Festival returns this month

Abergavenny Food Festival 2019. Credit: Artur Tixiliski

For the last 21 years, Abergavenny Food Festival has highlighted and celebrated Wales’ thriving food scene, and the chefs, producers, farmers, and growers who all work so hard to make it what it is.

Every year, the rural market town becomes a hub of activity, as staging in the Castle grounds is erected; new, locally-commissioned artwork is hung in the market hall; and more than 35,000 people flood into the town to enjoy a four-day extravaganza of food, drink and culture.

But this year, a global pandemic and social distancing measures mean that September 2020 will break with tradition. But whilst Abergavenny town centre won’t be the bustling hub of activity that it usually is – this bastion of the Welsh food scene will still go ahead, online.

Kicking off on 14th September and running for a whole week, ardent food-lovers can get a taste of festival life from the comfort of their own homes by attending the Virtual Abergavenny Food Festival 2020, and what’s more – most of the events are free.

#VAFF2020 Headliners

Today, it was announced that joining the line-up will be vegetarian cook, food writer and stylist Anna Jones, chef and bestselling author Sabrina Ghayour, award winning writer and broadcaster Tim Hayward, local chefs Steven Terry, Hywel Griffiths and Cyrus Todiwala, and food and drink writer Fiona Beckett. The festival will be opened by friend of the festival Kate Humble and there are more names yet to be announced.

Also joining the line-up are festival favourites Gower Cottage Brownies, Belazu, Caws Cenarth, Chase Distillery, Ultracomida, and many more.

Across the seven days, ticket holders will be able to enjoy access to all of the usual Abergavenny Food Festival highlights; from tutored tastings to debates, to cooking demonstrations, and access to insider info from some of the industry’s top talent.

The Virtual Abergavenny Food Festival will be free to attend, but spaces will be limited – more events will be added in the coming days.

The option to purchase food and drink to accompany the live tasting events will be made available later this week.

Kim Waters, acting CEO of Abergavenny Food Festival said today: “We know how many people keep this week free in their diaries year after year, so we wanted to send them a little postcard from us, to them. We hope to see some familiar faces, even if they are on screen, rather than in person.

He continued. “Cancelling this year’s ‘real life’ festival was a sad decision but the right one to make; and the silver lining is that it has given us and our sponsors even longer to make sure that 2021 will be the best year yet.

“In its 21-year history, the festival is used to navigating hiccoughs, from snowstorms to the foot and mouth outbreak. It is thanks to the supporters, stall holders, speakers, chefs, volunteers and sponsors that it continues to thrive, and it is a testament to them that this virtual version of the festival is going ahead.”

The full festival programme, timings and details on how to reserve a space are available on the Abergavenny Food Festival Website.