VegfestUK, the Bristol veggie event, is adding a fringe-style festival to the mix this year, 21-29 May 2011.
The event features vegetarian and vegan food producers from across the UK. They will be joined by week-long series of activities, cookery demos, films talks, stalls, discounts, special menus and evening events plus a three- day outdoor event staged alongside Bristol’s historic harbourside. Headline acts will include Ms Dynamite, Goldie Lookin Chain, The Selecter, Aswad and Black Roots.
“The Fringe week is a whole new concept for us,” said Tim Barford, the organiser of VegfestUK.
“We wanted to get more of the Bristol community involved and also bring the benefits of the veggie/vegan lifestyle to an even wider audience. There’s a lot of people love coming to our big weekend outdoor event in the amphitheatre – but there’s also an amount of people who are unable to get to the festival including the elderly and those that are not enjoying the best of health – these are often the people who would benefit most from the health benefits of the vegan lifestyle.”
The weekend event is free to the public from 11am-5.30 pm on 27 May and 28 May – a move Barford thinks will see significant extra numbers attending.
“People in Bristol love free food and free stuff,” he said. “We are expecting larger numbers than ever before to come and sample all the fantastic vegan food on offer – much of it free to taste.”
The festival then becomes a paying event in the evenings from 6pm to 11pm, when the headline acts will be playing. Admission is £10 each night in advance or £12 on the gate.
The vast range of food on offer is probably the highlight of the show for many visitors to VegfestUK, said organisers. It will feature 15 specialist veggie caterers offering Cajun’, Caribbean, Indian, Middle Eastern, Nouveau Cuisine, Creole, Chinese, Mexican, Spanish and Moroccan cuisines plus a vegan fish and chips van and a donner kebab stall and vegan ice cream stalls.
“The food is amazing at VegfestUK,” said Barford. “That’s often because veggie caterers have to try a little bit harder in order to stand out from the crowd. We are lucky to have so many talented chefs on hand all at once, and it’s a bit hard to choose where to eat next sometimes.
“We know from reading the feedback and also the forums that many of our visitors eat at least 5 times or more when at the event – they spend literally the whole day eating. This is often because it is still hard to find quality veggie/vegan food when out and about in the UK, and for may of our vegan visitors especially this is the highlight of the whole year for them – they can come with the whole family and eat vegan for a weekend, safe in the knowledge that everything at the event is 100% plant based. For some, this is paradise on earth.”