THE organisers of a touring food and drink festival have a treat in store for pet owners.

The Foodies Festival, which is heading to Hove Lawns over the weekend of May 4 to 6, will feature a new “dog arena”.

The latest addition to the festival will include a variety of fun games and activities so canine companions are entertained while visitors browse the food stalls.

Events on offer for pup pals will include the “doggleganger” lookalike competition and a “dog’s got talent” show where pets can show off their special skills.

Members of the Foodies Festival team, based in Edinburgh, were inspired to give dogs a place to have fun by their own office dog Bertie.

Festival director Sue Hitchen said: “We want the festival to offer something for all, including four-legged visitors.

“Bertie never fails to raise a smile and is such a pleasure to have about when we are very busy.”

Visitors attending the Foodies Festival will be able to walk their dogs around the stalls, but the dog arena is a place where they can be left if people fancy going into areas where food is being displayed.

The decision to make the festival dog-friendly has been applauded by the RSPCA, which is currently campaigning to stop owners leaving their dogs in the car.

An RSPCA spokesman said: “This year, as part of the Dogs Die In Hot Cars campaign group, we’ve developed guidelines for event organisers running summer events on how to ensure the safety of their four-legged visitors.

“It’s great to hear that Foodies Festival will be dog-friendly and that families can bring their faithful friends along to the enjoy the events with them.”

Kate Toomer, chairwoman of Brighton Dogwatch, which works to reunite lost pets with their owners, and owner of Brighton Dogs Club, said: “Brighton Dogwatch is delighted to hear that the Foodies Festival this year in Brighton will be dog friendly.

“We totally encourage and support all our local shops, cafes/restaurants and indeed events within the city to be dog friendly.

“Our local dog-loving community is very passionate about dogs’ happiness and welfare and we love to take our dogs out to enjoy a day with us.”

MasterChef winner Kenny Tutt, from Worthing, will be in at the Foodies Festival, cooking up delights for hungry punters.

Meanwhile there will be musical entertainment from the likes of Scouting For Girls and Boyzlife.

For tickets and more information visit