Tickets for Bolton’s hugely popular Food and Drink Festival will go on sale today (Monday 22 May).

The event takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend (August 25 to 28), and there is sure to be high demand for tickets.

The packed weekend will open on Friday with two Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines, and feature cookery demonstrations from Strictly Come Dancing star Ainsley Harriott, co-presenter of Channel 4 Sunday Brunch Simon Rimmer and festival favourite James Martin.

The event is organised by Bolton Council in association with Aldi. Last year, more than 263,000 people attended and the festival won a coveted national award for having the best food market in the country.

The 10th annual Bolton Food and Drink Festival, Victoria Square, Bolton, Lancashire. Star attraction on the final day was chef James Martin, who couldn't resist a selfie with the Fred Dinah statue in the town. Picture by Paul Heyes, Monday August 31, 2015.
Picture by Paul Heyes

Tickets will be available from Bolton Octagon Theatre, via or by calling 01204 520661. The box office is open 9am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday.

Tickets for the celebrity chef cookery demos cost from £10 (adults) and £5 (child). Organisers have also added new special ticketed events this year. Highlights include:-

A trio of top regional chefs

Michelin starred chef Aiden Byrne will open a ‘Made in Bolton’ pop-up restaurant on Saturday (August 26) in the main festival marquee.

The chef behind Manchester House and The Church Green in Lymm, as well as the forthcoming Cunard House in Liverpool, will deliver a three course menu designed especially for the festival (tickets £60).

The 10th annual Bolton Food and Drink Festival, Victoria Square, Bolton, Lancashire. Chef Andrew Nutter leads the Conga to close the festival. Picture by Paul Heyes, Monday August 31, 2015.
Picture by Paul Heyes

Aiden will also be having a cook-off competition with award winning Rochdale chef Andrew Nutter who runs Nutters restaurant in Norden, and Great British Bake Off former winner and patisserie specialist John Whaite will also demonstrate his most popular recipes in the regional chefs marquee (tickets £5).

Family friendly

This year children are in for a zany treat with a ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ in ‘Alice’s Wonderland’ marquee.

Actors from The Octagon Theatre and the festival team will entertain younger visitors.

They will be able to play croquet with the Red Queen, share a snack with Alice and a cup of tea with the March Hare, experience a lively interactive Alice in Wonderland musical, and enjoy a specially prepared picnic.

Cost is £5 per child (per session) – all children must be accompanied by an adult (£2.50).

Celebrity chef galore

On Saturday, Simon Rimmer will also showcase recipes and host a ‘Saturday Brunch’ event. Cost is £20 (child £10). A beer and special festival Carrs pasty tasting is also on the menu (£15).

Wine critic Simon Woods will be hosting a wine tasting session with Ainsley Harriott at 6pm in the main festival marquee on Sunday (August 27). Tickets are £25. Headline sponsors Aldi will be supplying some of their wines for the event.

On Sunday, Ainsley will be the special guest at a Slattery afternoon tea at 2pm, which includes a demo with Bake Offf winner John Whaite. Tickets are £25 (£10 for child).


A selection of premium seats will also be available at each of James Martin’s demos on Monday for £16 – guests will receive a special cocktail or mocktail, and a festival glass.

Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: “The food and drink festival is a highlight of our calendar and this year we have again pulled out all the stops to get the best chefs and make the whole weekend an amazing event for all the family.

“The festival is fast approaching and I would urge people to secure their tickets as soon as possible to avoid missing out. Tickets are on sale from Monday and in past years they have been incredibly popular, so please act quickly. We do not want people to be disappointed and there are limited numbers for all of the fantastic attractions.”

For updates:

Visit, follow Bolton Food and Drink Festival page on Facebook or @boltonfoodfest on Twitter.

Festival sponsors and partners:

Sponsors are: Aldi; University of Bolton; Stateside Foods; Willmott Dixon, and Grosvenor Windows.

Partners include: Arts Council; Bolton College; Bolton Library and Museum; Bolton Market; Carrs Pasties; Crompton Place; Greenhalghs; Last Drop Hotel; Octagon Theatre; Rowland Homes; RRG Group, and Slattery.