In Events

We’ve got something to tempt your tastebuds in Essex this summer! There’s an array of great food and drink festivals and fairs taking place across the county, with some fantastic tipples to try and delicious food to indulge in.

Lazydays Festival, Southend-on-Sea

Taking place from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th of July, this festival in Southend-on-Sea will have a wide range of drinks on offer, from craft beers and ciders to local gin & tonics and Essex wines. Live music highlights include BBC DJs Craig Charles and David Rodigan, indie rockers The Futureheads, and 90's band Sleeper. Lazydays Festival will span for four sessions across the weekend: Friday night, two sessions on the Saturday, and a long Sunday session. Each session requires a separate ticket, or you can buy a pass for multiple sessions.

Smoke and Fire Festival, Maldon

A favourite annual event for both locals and visitors, the Smoke and Fire Festival is one of the best food festivals in Essex, promising a sizzling family weekend! Enjoy award-winning street food, witness the Great British Open Freestyle BBQ Championships, and learn fire-cooking from international pros. Live music features DJs playing Afrobeats, classic hits, and 90s-00s R&B. With a dedicated kids zone, rides, and circus workshops, this is the perfect day out for the whole family. Take part in fun challenges such as the bucking rodeo bull contest or engage in extreme chilli and hot wing eating or relax in VIP lounges. Camp onsite for the full experience! Don't miss this fiery fun at Maldon Promenade Park, taking place Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th of August.

Essex Food Craft Fair at Cressing Temple Barns

Running for over 20 years, this well-established food and drink event in Essex will be taking place at Cressing Temple Barns from Saturday 15th to Sunday 16th of June. Explore an amazing range of delicious treats and tipples – there will be something to suit everyone’s taste! As well as some great food and drink to indulge in, enjoy live cooking demonstrations and tastings throughout the day for no extra cost. There will also be some craft and gift stalls at the event for you to peruse.

Epping Ongar Railway’s Real Ale Festival

The Real Ale & Cider Festival will be returning to Epping Ongar Railway this year on the Friday 26th, Saturday 27th, and Sunday 28th of July! What’s great about this venue is the amazing connecting London vintage bus service from Epping Station and Shenfield on all days of the festival, meaning you can leave the car at home and safely enjoy over 70 real ales and 15 real ciders on offer. Experience real ale bars on board their trains, with tickets that offer unlimited travel on heritage train and bus services. Their heritage steam and diesel hauled train services will be in operation for all three days of the festival, operating later hours on the Friday and Saturday, so there’s no rush to end the fun!

The Gibberd Garden Beer Festival, Harlow

Celebrate summer with craft beers and delicious food at the 17th Gibberd Garden Beer Festival! This popular event features a variety of breweries, including Redchurch and a local CAMRA branch offering real ales. Enjoy great food and drink in a beautiful outdoor setting, perfect for beer connoisseurs and casual fans alike. Tickets are £8 (includes a glass!) and sell out fast, so grab yours now!

Foodies Festival in Chelmsford

Food and drink enthusiasts will be in their element at the Foodies Festival in Chelmsford taking place at Hylands Estate from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd of June. This 3-day extravaganza will feature cooking demos from celebrity chefs and rising stars – learn tricks from TV favourites and savour sweet treats in the Cake and Desserts Theatre. Shop local produce, explore international flavours, and watch expert-led masterclasses in the Drinks Theatre. The kids can even get involved with their own cookery school! As well as all of this, take part in the chilli eating competition, Fire Pit BBQ sessions, and silent discos.

Chelmsford Summer Beer & Cider Festival

Sip on beer and cider in the Essex sunshine at the Chelmsford Summer Beer & Cider Festival taking place from Tuesday 16th to Saturday the 20th of July. Despite the name, there’s a lot more to this festival than just beer and cider! Enjoy the gin outlet and wine stand or enjoy a non-alcoholic beverage alongside tasty food available from a variety of stalls. A fantastic day out full of great music, drinks, and food for friends and family.

Music & Beer Festival at the Vulcan, Southend-on-Sea

Back for a second year, the Music & Beer Festival at the Vulcan returns to London Southend Airport on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd of August. Enjoy live music, delicious street food, and local brews, all against the amazing backdrop of the Southend Vulcan. Tickets include a festival glass and discount on your first drink with Black Box Brewery! Free parking will be available, or arrive by bus (routes 7, 8, 9) or train (10-minute walk).

We hope you’re ready to drink, eat, sing, dance and laugh to your hearts content at some of these amazing food and drink festivals in Essex this summer! To find out about more upcoming events, visit our What’s On page, or subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive updates on all things Essex. 




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