The UK’s biggest chicken wing festival returns this weekend – and it’s only an hour from Leeds

Guests can expect a seriously saucy line-up for 2023, with wings from returning champs Eat The Bird, and local favourites Yard & Coop.

The ultimate chicken wing showdown returns this weekend.

Just one hour from Leeds city centre in Manchester, Love Factory is preparing to host Wing Fest, aka the biggest chicken wing festival in the UK.

Championing street food traders and restauranteurs from across the UK, over the course of the weekend there’ll be more than 100,000 drums and flats churned out from kitchens as they compete for the titles of Best Buffalo Wing, Best Wild Wing, and the Best BBQ Wing, a brand-new category for 2023.

Taking place this year on 12 and 13 August, this year will see the introduction of a new format inspired by the classic beer festival, reports The Manc.

Organisers have taken on feedback from previous years about queue waits, and for 2023 Manchester Wing Fest will be divided into sessions with reduced capacity – starting with a Saturday afternoon, followed by an evening session, then finishing with a bang on Sunday afternoon.

This means less time waiting, more wings, and a more seamless festival experience. Expect profound poultry eating, music thumping, axe throwing, beer and bourbon drinking of epic proportion. 

Guests can expect a seriously saucy line-up for 2023, with wings from returning champs Eat The Bird, and local favourites Yard & Coop.

wing fest
Wings at this year’s London event. / Image: Wing Fest
wing fest
Image: Wing Fest

For those wanting wings from further afield, Poor Boys will be showcasing flavours from the big smoke, alongside Birmingham wing slingers, Filthy Wings.

All traders will be competing to win your vote and guarantee their spot in the Hall of Flame, chicken wing fans will have the opportunity to cast their votes across each of the two categories.

Wing Fest’s legendary competitions will be held on both days, and it’s set to get seriously heated with the deadly Lava Wing Challenge.

Hosted by Clifton Chilli Club, it’s the UK’s hottest wing challenge, renowned for the carnage it causes and strictly for the brave. If you’re a true wing aficionado, then it’s time for the Sweet Baby Ray’s Wing Eating competition hosted by Food Review Club.

Competitors who are hungry enough compete against each other to see who can eat the most chicken wings in the fastest time – easily the messiest spectacle across the two days.  

Not just a festival for Wing aficionados, expect plenty of beer from Tiny Rebel, some of the best bourbon around from Horse With No Name, and whiskey from Jameson Black Barrel. 

Entertainment includes axe throwing, beer puppeteers, chicken pinatas, and donut eating challenges, alongside live music – best enjoyed with a wing or two in hand.

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Tickets are on sale now from £21 (entry is free for under 12s) and can be purchased via the Wing Fest website here.

Featured image – Wing Fest

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