A SECOND food festival has been planned close to Winchester, with organisers insisting that it will attract a different audience to a similar event which has sparked opposition.

A premises licence application has been lodged to stage a two-day affair at Avington Park, in the Itchen Valley.

Organisers Marque 2 Media have said that Crave Festival is aiming to “create an entertaining and immersive culinary experience”.

Paul Mathers, chief executive and event director, said: “People think of food festivals as one thing but this quite different.

“This is about people that like food, it is not one of these live music events with food our focus is creating a fabulous experience for people that like food, we are going to be bringing some headline chefs.”

The company hope to be able to have events around the country but chose Hampshire due to a shortage of food festivals in the county.

The event will include cooking demonstrations, hands-on cooking workshops and exclusive chef’s table masterclasses.

Another food festival is being planned just six miles away at The Grange, in Northington, but the event licence is currently subject to court action.

A group of villagers want Winchester City Council to alter the licence granted in January so that it requires the events management plan (EMP), governing things such as traffic, alcohol sales and hours, be approved by the Safety Advisory Group, which includes the county council highways team, police and fire brigade.

Mr Mathers said that his event will attract a different audience to the one hosted by Brand Events.

“It is a bit more upmarket; we are looking for a more discerning audience. We identified Hampshire as being a country that didn’t really have the type of event that we are doing. We are really about food and wine."

He added: “My understanding is that it [The Grange event] is a much bigger music orientated festival and ours is not that.

“We are not trying to compete with that market. I think it is very different, I think this will attract a more discerning audience.”

The company has applied for a live music application but say that this is roaming performers rather than stages.

It is hoped that the festival in its first year on May 1 and 2 2021 will attract 10,000 people over the two days.