Vegan international dishes, free recipes and factsheets, workshops, films, cookery demos, talks, one-to-one nutritional advice and goodies (edible or otherwise...) all under one roof? If this appeals to you then Viva! Vegan Festival might need to be pencilled in the diary. If you’re in the UK you have no excuse, with the roadshow scheduled to be in Bristol, Cardiff, Birmingham and Nottingham all in the next 365 days, as well as the Viva! Northern Vegan Festival in Manchester and the WinterFest Vegan Festival in Leeds. Brighton, Birmingham and Liverpool have already taken place.
It seems that the fair, previously known as the Incredible Vegan Roadshow, is gaining in popularity. In April 2016, the show hit Birmingham with the best attendance for any Viva! regional event, ever. Nearly 3,000 people showed up, particularly fortunate to have seen internationally renowned physician, author and public speaker Dr. Michael Greger, who came to the event as one of the three venues for his UK sell-out speaking tour Uprooting the UK’s Leading Causes of Death. Although Dr. Greger’s tour has finished, what else is there to be missing out on?
What was on offer at the Viva! Vegan Brighton Event?
At the recent Brighton Viva! Vegan Festival, there was lots on offer. Vegan cupcakes were available from the multi-award-winning Ms. Cupcake as well as the multi-award-winning Vegan Cakery. Vdogs served up their freshly cooked-to-order hot dogs. Viva La Vegan were selling statement vegan clothing and accessories. Arbonne provided makeup and skincare products. WEAR YOUR VOICE had their hand-designed vegan t-shirts available (donating a chunk of their profits on to good causes - win-win!). DermaEnhance had their cruelty-free non-steroidal vegan deep moisturiser. Pomodoro E Basilico served up homemade seitan burgers and doughnuts… The list goes on and is nowhere near exhaustive, with the event hosting around 120 stalls, talks, workshops, films and cookery demos. There was also a beer, wine and cider festival with live music in the evening, just in case everything else wasn’t enough.
While the events are great for those who are already vegan, it is also a fantastic opportunity for veggies and omnivores considering making the switch. Indeed, one of the main focuses of Viva! is to equip people with the information they need to reduce their intake of meat, fish, dairy and eggs through roadshows and their triannual journal Viva! Life.
Founder and director Juliet Gellatley is not new to this as founding director of The Vegetarian and Vegan Foundation alongside Tony Benn and Tony Wardle. Her work has not gone unnoticed, winning the Linda McCartney Award for Animal Welfare in 1999 and with Viva! enjoying the patronage of Martin Shaw, Heather Mills, Michael Mansfield QC, Jerome Flynn, Hayley Mills and Paul McCartney since its formation in 1994.
Upcoming Viva! Vegan Festivals
So that is the Viva! Vegan Festival and it’s organisers in a nutshell. If this sounds like it’s up your street then below is a list of dates so that you can reserve the day and prepare yourself physically and mentally for a day of all-vegan overindulgence!
- Bristol: Saturday 19th November 2016, 10:30 – 16:30
- Leeds WinterFest: Sunday 27th November 2016, 11:00 – 17:00
- Cardiff: Saturday 4th February 2017, 10:30 – 17:00
- Birmingham: Saturday 15th April 2017, 10:00 – 18:00
- Nottingham: Saturday 6th May 2017, 10:00 – 18:00