One of Europe’s biggest vegan events comes to Brighton & Hove this month. Featuring over 160 stalls, demonstrations, displays and a range of activities revolving around health, lifestyle and campaigns, it’s the perfect weekend for anyone interested in sustainability, animal welfare or nutrition.
After five fantastic years in Hove, Vegfest UK is moving to the modern and prestigious Brighton Centre. Food, shopping, entertainment, inspiration, education and socialising will all come together under one roof, this year being opened by Caroline Lucas MP.
The new venue allows for a number of exciting new features, including the UK’s first vegan comedy festival, party political conference, global food sustainability conference, a hemp expo, the TeenVGN Zone and a Yoga Area.
As always there’s a plethora of special guests offering inspiration and guidance. This year they include endurance master Wim Hof, Everton and Swansea City’s Neil Robinson, award-winning indie music commentator John Robb and comedian Andrew O’Neill. Also appearing are sportsperson Fiona Oakes, TV Presenter Anneka Svenska, model Victoria Eisermann and singer Pola Pospieszalska.
New to 2015, the event introduces a comedy venue, featuring vegan beers served from Pitfield Brewery and vegan hotdogs by Vegusto. Comedians including Carl Donnelly, Chris Stokes, Donal Coonan, Gary Tro, Harriet Kemsley, Alasdair Beckett-King, Andrew O’Neill and Angie Belcher will also be cracking up revellers at the festival.
Numerous practical applications for hemp provide a range of innovative and extraordinary products on display this year. Amongst the exhibitors are stylish hemp clothing, delicious and nutritious hemp-based food, medicinal cannabis and a UK-wide contracting company who specialises in hempcrete.
Moderated by Green Party Councillor Martin Fodor and Julian Jones from Bristol Friends of the Earth, the politics area offers workshops, discussions and possible solutions. Health, the environment and animal welfare will all come under the spotlight.
The LifeWell Hub will offer presentations from a number of high-quality holistic health experts, all promoting health, happiness and well-being. This year also offers a range of excellent short films shown in the cinema on the ground floor, including examinations of the use of whips on animals, the food chain and animal research.
Also on the ground floor, Vegfest UK’s resident pirate Captain James Tea Cook is on hand with some kids cookery classes, all of them 100% plant-based. Older kids still get a look in, with the introduction of TeenVGN Zone, a place for teenage veggies and vegans to hang out with like-minded friends.
Grown up chefs can devour the large number of cookery demos, with plenty of culinary tips on plant-based cuisines to pick up. ‘Chocolatey rainbows’, African fusion cooking, herbal home remedies, raw weight loss recipes and energising meals are all discussed and prepared.
In case your taste-buds can’t wait, The Food Village returns, offering attendees a chance to consume anything, from noodles to kebabs, cider to patties – it’ll all be vegan and delicious.
An enormous part of this event is the sharing of ideas and information. 2015 will see talks on child nutrition, the benefits of raw food, vegan baking, skincare and exercise. There’ll also be a series of talks on vegan lifestyles and the latest campaigns.
Some fantastic live performances will be entertaining the ground floor, including speed dating, theatre, music, vegan bodybuilding contests and new product showcases.
There’s plenty of entertainment and inspiration at Brighton’s Vegfest UK to keep you spellbound through the weekend. Every one of the event’s exhibits are imaginative, ethical and 100% vegan-friendly, and enough to delight even the most demanding of dietary habits or palettes.
VegFest runs Sat 28th – Sun 29th March