VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Behind the scenes of Harvest at Jimmy’s

See entertainments writer WAYNE SAVAGE’S video of Charlie Simpson, The Kooks, the amazing Yum Cha Cha food cabaret and chef Richard Corrigan

Early Bird tickets for next year’s Harvest at Jimmy’s are already really selling well, say organisers.

There’s no word yet on the line-up for the festival on September 7-10, but visitors can be guaranteed another great menu of mouthwatering food demonstrations and top music acts.

“We had 10,000 on Saturday and Sunday at this year’s event; visitor feedback has been brilliant,” said director Eloise Markwell Butler of promoters Big Wheel.

The three-day event at the Wherstead farm showcased the best in local produce and Suffolk musicians such as Charlie Simpson, alongside some of the countries best-known performers.

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Headliners Eliza Doolittle and The Feeling wowed crowds on the Saturday night, while The Kooks took to the stage on the Sunday.

Chefs taking part included James Martin and Richard Corrigan; as well as top gardeners such as Monty Don and guerilla gardener Richard Reynolds.

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Among the food stalls, celebrity chefs including Martin and Gennaro Contaldo hosted master classes, while Jamie Oliver was spotted getting involved in the fun activities.

The weatherman’s prediction of downpours and gales did nothing to dampen the spirits of festival-goers who flocked to the event earlier this month.

If you fancy a weekend break to round-off the summer next year, it would be hard to beat Harvest.

Just minutes from the centre of Ipswich, the festival is geared-up for families with no Glastonbury-style mud baths, overflowing latrines or mosh pits to be seen.

The children’s area offered plenty of entertainment to keep youngsters, teens and even adults amused.

Meal times were a dilemma. Walking along the market area, where the finalists of the British Street Food Awards were based, and circling the music arena, it was difficult to decide quite what to have.

Mr Tumble - from CBeebies for those not in the know - went down a storm, getting everyone up on their feet with his clowning and child-friendly songs.

Adult activities for the day included a question and answer session with eloquent and passionate gardener Monty Don, who held the crowd in his rapture for over an hour.

This was followed later by a session with Monty and wife Sarah on the cooking stage making pesto and other garden goodies and a closing cookery session with the formidable Richard Corrigan, who cooked grouse with greengages and a divine pig cheeks dish which some were lucky enough to try.

Harvest really is food nirvana, with a good dose of family entertainment and music thrown in.

If you want to celebrate the final throes of summer in style and begin autumn on a high note a weekend at Jimmy’s is a must.

Celebrity pig farmer Jimmy Doherty, said the event had been a massive success.

“It has been the most amazing three days,” he added.

“It was like the world’s greatest garden fete but with top bands, top chefs and this year some top gardeners, including my wife’s favourite Monty Don. It is great to see the kids having so much fun. They went nuts for Mr Tumble and the Gruffalo.

“And the weather held off today too. Can’t wait to see everyone at next year’s event.”

One of the highlights was the Yum Cha-Cha collective’s comestible cabaret.

If the food at Lily Vanili’s Peace of Cake Diner wasn’t enough to make your eyes pop out of your head Marawa the Amazing’s climb up a ladder of swords barefoot, making a fruit salad on a blade, while she did it was, well, amazing.

Before the event, Eloise said: “The idea came about because we’ve all been to festivals where the music was great but you’d have to pay a tenner for a bad burger. We thought the time had come to combine good music and food in a chilled-out family-friendly atmosphere.”

The festival was nominated for Best New Festival and Family Festival Award when it debuted in 2009.

Click on the videos for footage of food cabaret act Yum Cha Cha, music and a chat with Simpson, music from The Kooks and chef Corrigan’s tips on making food last longer.

Did you enjoy Harvest at Jimmy’s? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or send an e-mail to

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