VegFest returns to Brighton this March offering everything from plant based shopping to live entertainment . We catch up with one of the local organisers Alan to learn more about whats on offer this year
Who and what inspired Veg Fest, where did it start and how long has it been running?
VegfestUK was founded by Tim Barford back in 2003, as a good excuse for a party that is at the same time 100% vegan. VegfestUK enters its 16th year in 2018 with 3 big shows in Brighton, Bristol and London, with each show averaging around 10,000 visitors and around 220 stallholders.
What would a first time visitor to Veg Fest find that they may not quite have been expecting to see at a Vegan Festival ?
(1) Dozens of vegan comedians at the Vegan Comedy Festival
(2) The FxEctive Factor (pronounced “eff-fective”) vegan talent contest on Saturday, with 8 musicians vying for the top prize in front of 5 celebrity judges: Rozalla, Jasmine Harman, Wendy Turner-Webster, Marc the Vet and Peter Egan.
(3) Veganuary party on Sunday, with “class of 2018″ participants to Veganuary mingling over cupcakes, chocolates and other snacks, chilling out over light music and consolidating their commitment to veganism after Veganuary.
(4) Vegan Activists Corner showcasing a dynamic mix of activists with their unique forms of activism
(5) An Art Exhibition with art pieces centered on animals and compassion
(6) Panel discussions on thought provoking subjects: this year there are altogether 3 panels, namely:
– The Welfare Myth
– Veganism in the Media
– Inclusivity in Vegan Spaces
Have you noticed a major change in both the number of attendees at last year’s events and people’s willingness to try veganism over the past 12 months ?
Thanks to the huge efforts of several amazing people over the years, the country is slowly but steadily riping up to the idea that no one needs to consumer animal products to be healthy and happy – the iPSOS Mori poll by The Vegan Society published in 2016 suggested that the decade prior to that had seen the number of vegans in the UK soar by 350%.
Feedback to our previous post-show surveys has been consistently encouraging and suggests that
– around 70% of our visitors were vegan prior to visiting our events, with the other 30% pre-vegans
– around 30 – 35% of our visitors were new to the event prior to visiting
– around 90 – 95% of our visitors are committed to returning to our events afterwards
For those attending who are not vegans what’s your top tip for them to taste, buy or experience at Veg Fest ?
Their perception of vegan items is likely to undergo a transformation after a VegfestUK experience!
fishless “fish” and chips
freshly rolled makis stuffed with sweet potatoes, avocado or vegan “chicken”
deep-fried seitan burgers
dairy and egg free crepes
dairy and egg free waffles
dairy free Mac’N Cheese
meat-free vegan hot dogs
raw vegan cheesecakes
dairy-free ice cream
Items to keep an eye out for:
Raw vegan chocolates
Dairy-free vegan cheese
Vegan branded T-shirts
Vegan perfumes and cosmetics
Vegan wines, beers and ciders
Free samples are available for many of the food items listed here too. Many items are also available at one-off special discounts only at the show.
The iAnimal virtual reality experience at the Animal Equality stall is an eye-opener for many of those who have not witnessed before the reality behind the treatment of farm animals.
And finally what’s your Sussex Top Five Favourite Places to Eat:
Purezza – really lovely 100% vegan pizzas with a huge range of flavours and toppings
Food for Friends – 100% vegetarian place with vegan items clearly labelled
Terre a Terre – 100% vegetarian restaurant that caters well for vegans aiming for dishes around the top end
Rootcandi – (before its recent closure) offered assortments of vegan tapas with a wide variety of influences from around the world
The George pub – 100% vegetarian pub with plenty of vegan options for those looking for generous portions
Tickets are available now from the VegFest website https://brighton.vegfest.co.uk/tickets/