Everything we’re looking forward to at The Big Grill BBQ festival this weekend!

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    The Big Grill BBQ & Food Festival in Herbert Park, Ballsbridge is back and bigger (and better!) than ever! More than 25,000 visitors are expected through the gates over the four days, running from Thursday 11th until Sunday 14th. Some of the biggest names in barbecue and food from the USA, UK and Ireland will be on hand cooking over live fire, taking part in demos and chats along with a great drinks and entertainment lineup.

    When and where?

    11th-14th August 2022, Herbert Park, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

    • Thursday: 4.30pm- 10.00pm

    • Friday: 4.30pm- 10.00pm

    • Sat: 12.00 – 4.30pm / 5.30pm – 10.00pm

    • Sun: 12.00 – 4.30pm / 5.30pm – 9.00pm

    Tickets from the website or at the gate (except for sold-out days) from their website.

    What’s new this year?

    For 2022 the festival has added a new upgraded area Rancho Relaxo and the family friend activity has been turned up a notch with dedicated ‘Little Grillers’ entertainment for Saturday & Sunday day sessions (12.00 – 4.30 pm) – more details on these additions below. For the first time, there will be official Big Grill Merch available to buy at the festival designed by Irish artist Hephee and some rather big news – the festival currency ‘Smokins’ are officially no more and have been banished to the burn pile!

    This year Square is delighted to be partnering with the Big Grill Festival 2022. Powering the festival with their payment system will mean shorter queues and smooth and easy transactions whenever people are buying their food and drinks. From contactless, chip and PIN and mobile payment, Square has you covered. This means no more queuing for ‘Smokins’, festival goers can just tap to enjoy all the delicious food and drink on offer.

    What’s on the food menu?

    There will be 20+ restaurants at the festival, the one rule is everything must be cooked over live fire, and no electricity or gas will be used. Some of the highlights over the four days include:

    • Chris Lilly & the Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q Competition Cooking Team (winners of 17 World BBQ Championships) serving his Barbecue Chicken with Original White BBQ Sauce & Chargrilled Corn

    • Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ all the way from Austin, Texas serving Smoked Barbacoa Taco

    • Billy Durney’s Hometown Bar-B-Que from Brooklyn, NYC serving a New York x Cork Cheesesteak: Woodfired Tri Tip, caramelised onions & Smoked Gubbeen Cheese Sauce – a collaboration between Billy Durney and Fingal Ferguson.

    • London’s From The Ashes BBQ serving Smoked Pork Shoulder Doughnut

    • Neil Rankin’s new plant-based venture Symplicity Foods serving The Symplicity Kebab with chilli & garlic sauce & Turkish onions (V)

    • Mister S’s Smoked Castledermot Lamb & Charred Gem, Black Garlic Caesar & Hot Sauce

    • Lignum’s Flambadou Connemara Oyster with Dashi & Brown Butter

    • Aishling Moore’s Goldie Fish Kofta with garlic scape sauce

    • Our Table’s Peri Peri lamb Nyama Chóma

    More details on the food lineup each day can be found at this timetable.

    What about drinks?

    What’s a barbecue without a few cold ones? The Big Grill prides itself on offering one of the best festival drink selections and this year is no different. There will be craft beer bars from Black Donkey, O’Hara’s, Dot Brewing, Galway Bay, Kinnegar Brewing, Porterhouse, Rye River, and Wicklow Brewery along with thirst-quenching ciders from Dan Kelly’s, Legacy Cider and MacIvors, Irish-made ginger beer from Zingibeer, honey refreshers from Beekon Batches and Kinsale Mead. The Big Grill is buzzing to welcome Neighbourhood Wine to the festival, who promise they will ‘play the hits’ when it comes to pouring great bottles to go with barbecue including Matsu, Combel la Serre, Gut Oggau, Craven, Le Grappin, Craven and Hacienda Lopez de Haro along with launching new vintages from Selene Beaujolais, Chin Chin Vinho Verde and Splash! Pet Nat.

    The Big Grill’s new dedicated ‘Brewcamp’ stage will be hosted by award-winning bartender Gillian Boyle who’s shaken and stirred cocktails at some of Ireland’s best bars including Hang Dai and Bar 1661. Gillian will be joined by some of the best in the business to mix drinks, run masterclasses and chat about all things drinks related. The full timetable for each day can be found here: https://biggrillfestival.com/timetable/

    On Sunday Brewcamp will host the inaugural Big Bloody Cocktail Competition. Bartenders will put their Best Bloody Mary recipe forward and battle it out for judges Lisa Doyle from Intrepid Spirits, Cal Byrne and Brian Treacy. Click here for more information or to enter!

    Cocktail fans will be spoilt for choice with bars from Jameson, Dingle Gin, Schweppes and Mil Gin and there will be a great lineup of on-site pubs including a Guinness x Baste collab, Franciscan Well and local pub The Bridge joining forces with Ashai.

    What are Offside dining experiences?

    Perfect for the food devotees, the festival’s Offside dinners are back. Offside offers an intimate, private dining experience with a focus on nose-to-tail eating, cooked on the Parilla grill alongside carefully curated drinks. Nick Solares & whiskey expert Ger Garland will present A Matter of Time, a journey through dry-aged steak and whiskey and Karl Whelan (Saltwater Grocery) and Shane Murphy (Neighbourhood Wine) will present LAND SEA AIR FIRE an exploration of live fire cooking & wine. On Saturday & Sunday, Offside will host long table feast legend, Ben Quinn from Canteen, Cornwall for Ben Quinn’s Woodfired & Friends. Tickets are now live with limited spaces available here.

    What’s Rancho Relaxo?

    The festival has also added a brand new upgraded element Rancho Relaxo to the festival for anyone looking for a more premium experience featuring a private bar, fire pits, guaranteed seating (unreserved), DJs, garden games, posh loos and two complimentary drinks on arrival. You’ll also get fast track entry to the festival via the dedicated Rancho Relaxo lane here.

    What about entertainment?

    On the main stage, the wildly popular chilli eating challenges are back. Watch brave souls who think they can take the heat live on stage every day at 7 pm. One of the best things about The Big Grill is always the access you get to the chefs and experts at the festival across the weekend, whether it’s watching them cook in their open live fire kitchens or catching them at Bastecamp, the smoking hub of the festival. Food writer Dee Laffan, our head of catertainement DJ BBQ and Meat Life presenter Nick Solares will host talks, tastings and demos all weekend with some top-notch talent like outdoor expert Ray Mears, founder of Hardcore Carnivore BBQ, Jess Pryles, Genevieve Taylor, one of UK’s leading live fire experts, BBQ legend Chris Lilly from Big Bob Gibson’s, Alabama, Kimberly Plafke, head butcher of The Meat Hook, Brooklyn and Ben Quinn of Canteen & Woodfired Canteen, Cornwall, Billy Durney from Hometown Bar-B-Que, Jordan Bailey from 2 Michelin starred restaurant Aimsir, Fingal Ferguson, JP McMahon, Nico Reynolds, Birgitta Curtin, Jess Kelly, Kwanghi Chan, Neil Rankin, Lily Ramirez, Karen O’Donoghue, Cumali Aydin, Jess Murphy, Marcus O’Laoire and plenty more! On Saturday night at Bastecamp Marcus O’Laoire will debut his first Big Grill Bangers & Mash – where he will be cooking & DJing late into the night!

    There is music across the weekend from Code of Behaviour Brass Band, Toshín, Rugs Ukelele, Bazza Ranks, Marcus O’Laoire & DJ BBQ.

    Can I bring my kids?

    Yes! Under 12’s always go free and we’ll have dedicated Little Grillers entertainment on Saturday and Sunday including Daring Dames a magical cabaret show, Fruity & Dishy Circus featuring jugglers (with fruit), spinning plates, hoops and clown fun, Me & The Moon arts & crafts, Planet Science Kidz workshops, experiments and rockets, Slime Labs, Candy Science candy making workshops, Genie Mackers face painting and balloon modelling, Discovery Playtime sensory play for toddlers, Bubble Disco and on Saturday a very special family Sing Along Social.

    What else do I need to know?

    The ticket price covers entry and all the entertainment. Food and drink are purchased separately. Dishes start from €7, bear in mind, that the higher the quality of meat and produce, the higher the price will be. Craft beer is from €3.50  a glass and €6.50 for a pint. Long drinks and cocktails start from €8. There are water stations onsite for drinking water.

    Further details on the festival and tickets (from €24) for the event are on sale on the website; kids under 12 go free.