THOUSANDS enjoyed a three-day food and music festival, despite the occasional downpour.

Dubbed the Gastro-Glastonbury, punters descended on Preston Park in Brighton for the sold-out Foodies Festival.

Despite intermittent rain, more than 200 exhibitors showcased their produce, providing festival-goers with the opportunity to sample the best of the region.

Stall holders Pavla Kislerova and Owen Jones, owners of Somerset-based foraged ingredient business Hejgro, said they hope the exposure would lead to more sales in the city.

“This is the first year we’ve ever been here,” Owen said. “Our products are in Infinity Foods in Brighton, so it’s a good way of making the local people more aware of the product.”

The Chilli Pickle chef Alun Sperring said: “I have been coming to the Foodies Festival for a few years now and it just seems to get better every year.

“The ethos and support for local restaurants alongside showcasing food offerings is something to be applauded and it's a great day out.”

However, Tristan Absalom, of The Arundel Cheese Company, said sales had been “hit and miss”.

“A lot of people are coming in and trying the cheese and leaving,” he said. “Some hours it has been chocker busy, next hour I’m getting nothing.

“But Sunday was better than Saturday – even with the weather.”

The bank holiday event celebrated food, drink, music and theatre, with a line-up featuring MasterChef champions, stars of The Great British Bake Off and TV cooking show experts.

Hugo Norman, of non-alcoholic brand Maverick Drinks, said he was disappointed with the lack of purchases.

“The footfall and type of punter is slightly lower than where we’d like it be, so sales are a lot slower,” he said.

“We’d expect on a bank holiday weekend to be doing a hell of a lot more than we are.

“There seems to be a lot of people coming for the samples rather than the buying.”

This year’s event hosted MasterChef: The Professionals 2021 champion Daniel Lee, fellow finalists Aaron Middleton and Daniel Marreiros, MasterChef 2021 champion Tom Rhodes, and 2018 MasterChef winner Kenny Tutt.

Among the music line-up was Scouting For Girls, The Feeling and Lee Ryan and Simon Webbe from boy band Blue.

Festival director Sue Hitchen said: "Foodies Festival Brighton celebrates the start of summer, and we are delighted to be back at our new venue Preston Park.

“The festival has become a meeting point for friends and family to enjoy a great weekend of delicious food, live music and fun.”

A host of award-winning chefs were also in attendance, including Alun Sperring from The Chilli Pickle and Michael Bremner from 64 Degrees, Brice Lenglet from The Salt Room, Duncan Ray from The Little Fish Market and Isaac Bartlett-Copeland from at Isaac At 6,

The event ran from April 30 to May 2.