VegfestUK Bristol – May 2011

Bristol has hosted Europe’s veggie event for some 8 years now, and once more the City welcomes vegan food producers from across the UK and beyond to a week long round of free fringe festivities, activities, cookery demos, films talks, stalls, discounts, special menus and evening events before culminating in a huge 3 day outdoor event in the heart of Bristol by the historic harbourside, with headline acts Ms Dynamite, Goldie Lookin Chain, The Selecter, Aswad and Black Roots capping off the evenings with outdoor concerts in The Amphitheatre.

‘The Fringe week is a whole new concept for us’ explains 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. Fringe week sees a series of talks, films and cookery demos and food sampling across Bristol from May 21st – 27th, and all the daytime events are free to the public, bringing them right into the heart of Bristol and easily accessible to all’

The weekend event is also free to the public from 11am – 5.30 pm on Saturday May 27th and Sunday May 28th – a move which Tim thinks will see significant extra numbers attending.

‘People in Bristol love free food and free stuff’ jokes Tim, ‘ and 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 pay event in the evenings from 6pm to 11pm with the headline acts playing, with admission a very reasonable £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 though, with 15 specialist veggie caterers coming, each specialising in their own style, including Cajun’, Caribbean, Indian, Middle Eastern, Nouveau Cuisine, Creole, Chinese, Mexican, Spanish, Moroccan, and even a vegan fish and chips van and a donner kebab stall, not to mention two specialist vegan ice cream stalls. Plus there’s juice bars, cake stalls, cafes, burgers and snacks……and this is the perfect time to come and try out some of the best veggie food in the country (certainly at a festival!), especially if you are more than just a little sceptical still about how good veggie food can taste.’

‘The food is amazing at VegfestUK’ adds the organiser Tim ‘and 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!’

And with all the amazing cookery demos, talks, workshops, nutritional advice (there’s even a Detox Clinic this year, which sees the organiser himself deliver a talk entitled ‘A Street Guide to Detox) plus the fact that it is free admission up until 5.30pm, plus a whole range of entertainment during the daytime too, its hard not to be drawn towards at lest a couple of hours at Europe’s biggest veggie event for 2011!

VegfestUK Bristol is on May 27th – 29th at The Amphitheatre and Waterfront Square Bristol BS1 5DB. Admission is FREE to the public from Saturday and Sunday 11am – 5.30pm. From 6pm – 11pm Friday Saturday and Sunday it becomes a pay event for the headline acts, price £10 each evening in advance, £12 on the gate.

VegfestUK Bristol Fringe Week takes place at various venues across Bristol from May 21st – 28th, including FREE talks and Films at The Polish Club from 1pm – 5pm Monday May 23rd – Friday 25th, and FREE Cookery Demos from 2pm – 5pm all week at Café Kino in Stokes Croft, plus themed fundraisers every evening at The Polish Club. Full details of the whole weeks activities can be found on the event website – see for details

The event is sponsored by Fry’s, Bute Island, Nakd, The Vegan Society, Yaoh, Out of Hand, Moo Free Chocolates, Vitamix, Marap, Ecotricity, BizzyBee, Provamel, Vegan Emporium, Kara Dairy Free, Natural Vitality, Greta Loves Mabel.