Gallery: Sausage festival is a hit with record numbers at Jimmy’s Farm

Jimmy's Farm Sausage and Beer Festival 2015

Jimmy's Farm Sausage and Beer Festival 2015

Around 18,500 people enjoyed beer, live music and a lot of sausages at Jimmy’s Farm at the weekend.

The ever-popular event drew in large crowds to the 100-acre farm, just outside Ipswich at Wherstead.

Aimed at families, foodies and music-lovers, the Sausage and Beer Festival gave people the chance visit a farmers’ market and see top chefs cook up tasty gourmet treats in the Cookhouse.

CBeebies television stars Justin Fletcher and Mr Bloom opened the main stage – with the kids’ area full of activities for children including entertainment from The Flying Seagulls, a craft camp, Peppa Pig, animal petting and den-building.

Music was provided by Toploader, Athlete, Chas and Dave and The Shires, with local young band Polar Collective also performing.

Chief organiser, Kate Cotterill, said: “We had the most incredible day on Saturday with 10,000 people through the gates. It was great, it absolutely belted it down with rain but we were still really full here yesterday despite the weather. People were in wellies and coats and had the great British spirit.

“The sausage eating competition was hilarious on both days and yesterday we announced that Simon’s Sausages had won the coveted sausage award after a blind taste test.”

Most Read

A little high culture was on offer with the Red Rose Chain’s Theatre in the Forest production of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.

An acoustic stage was home for many visitors and weekend campers, delighting in the relaxed farm atmosphere.

Mrs Cotterill added: “Lots of people have been enjoying craft beer and cider and pulled pork. It has been a great success, it’s just a shame that we cannot book the weather.

“We started the event eight years ago as a farmers’ market and had 300 people a day. The event has grown and grown and now is a massive celebration of sausages, beer, good times and family.”

Last year’s event saw the organisers become finalists in the 2014 UK Festival Awards for best small festival and best family festival.

Jimmy Doherty has been running the farm for more than 10 years. He has presented food and farming television programmes on the BBC and Channel 4.

-Weather and traffic problems:

There was “traffic chaos” around Ipswich on Saturday as people flocked to the festival despite day tickets having already sold out.

Kate Cotterill, chief organiser of Jimmy’s Sausage and Beer Festival, said numerous warnings had been posted on social media, through email newsletters and on the event’s website telling people not to come unless they had tickets for Saturday.

Major traffic congestion was reported at the A12 Copdock roundabout and the A14 Wherstead junction.

Police said they sent officers out to help ease the traffic problems – with a member of the public describing the situation as “chaotic”.

Mrs Cotterill said: “We told people that we had sold out on Saturday but some people chose to turn up. Our licence is for a certain capacity and we are not prepared to break our licence. We put it out there but unfortunately some people showed up without tickets.”

Addressing the congestion, she said: “We are a major festival, you should expect some driver time to get there. The longest people had to wait to get into the festival was 40 minutes which is not too bad.”

Festival campers braved “apocalyptic” weather conditions on Friday evening when strong gusts ripped tents up from the ground.

Mrs Cotterill praised the hardy spirit of festival-goers and staff who “worked through the night”.