The 83rd International Baked Bean Festival at the O2 Arena in London erupted in chaotic scenes as fights broke out between rival groups over the Finest Accompaniment To Baked Beans Award category.
Adherents of toast were particularly vociferous, and charged a rival group who supported beans as an essential constituent of the traditional Full English Breakfast, resulting in a mad scramble among yellow jacketed security stewards, who were accused of being biased in favour of eggs.
"It's just wrong is this," one perplexed steward grunted as he repulsed a full on assault by a group of sausage supporters. "Who cares what people eat with beans? I mean, it's not really all that important, is it?"
It seemed at one point, as the main exhibition hall became littered with riotous detritus, and the warring factions temporarily backed off that the crisis had passed.
But then a new faction, apparently The Sausage And Mash Brigade who all appeared for some mysterious reason to be wearing brightly coloured odd socks waded into the fray with renewed vigour, causing hostilities to resume.
Top telly chefs, Jamie Gulliver and Gordon Ramjet could only cower behind their stalls as fistfuls of mashed potato and multiple pounds of sausages were hurled in anger.
"Fucking hell!" Ramjet gasped. "I never realised people could be so passionate about beans! It's all a bit mad is this!"
Jamie Gulliver agreed:
"It is all a bit mad Gordon. Maybe we should collaborate and write a book together telling people how to make the most of baked beans."
The latest reports suggest that The Police have thrown a cordon around the O2 Arena, although they are fighting off a last minute raid by an alliance of Pickled Beetroot and Grilled Back Bacon enthusiasts, who are said to have military control of several neighbouring streets.
Jamie Gulliver and Gordon Ramjet's book - Fun With Beans - will be in all leading book outlets from Monday.
Who would ever have anticipated that baked beans in tins could ever be such an emotive issue?
"Not me, for a start," admitted a flustered steward.
More as we get it.