With 2019 being touted Year of the Vegan, Adelaide’s Vegan Festival is more than just a food festival.
As director and festival coordinator, Lea McBride says it’s about celebrating the vegan lifestyle and providing an education to the wider community, showcasing how mainstream veganism has become.
Being held on the weekend of October 26 and 27, the festival will make its way to Rundle Park for the first time after being located in Victoria Square in recent years. With the very first Vegan Festival being held in 2007 at Brighton Primary School, Lea describes how the move highlights just how big veganism is becoming worldwide.
“We were based in Victoria Square for the past few years but have outgrown it with crowds getting bigger and the demand for all things vegan greater than ever.
“[Veganism] has come so far globally in recent years and you can’t go too far without seeing vegan options in cafes, restaurants or supermarket shelves,” she says.
With 85 stalls on offer there will be something for everyone to enjoy.
The vegan food scene has definitely expanded and, as Lea explains, is “no longer all about the lentil and chickpea salads.” Some of the delicious food on offer will be supplied by Delicia Acai & Protein Bar, the award-winning Cherry Darlings Bakehouse, Lord of the Fries, vegan yiros sensation Staazi and Co, and pizzas by V Spot Pizza.
You can also expect to see a Tony and Mark’s stall offering their fresh fruit and vegetables as well as a range of vegan cheeses and mock meats, alongside Balfours showcasing their new vegan range. As Lea suggests, businesses like these, who have not traditionally specialised in vegan cuisine, are recognising the strong request for vegan products and are accommodating to meet the rising demand, showing how much society is changing.
Squatters Collective will be there to satisfy your fresh juice and cold brew coffee cravings, and there will be a range of vegan alcoholic beverages at the Vegan Bar overlooking the main stage entertainment.
Lea further explains how the festival has a strong educational purpose. “As a long-term vegan, I find there are still things that I can learn to help me further reduce my carbon footprint on the planet,” she says.
There are multiple opportunities to speak to vegan activists and learn about their journey as well as attending one of the many workshops over the weekend that show how easy it is to live a healthy, cruelty free lifestyle.
Numerous cooking demonstrations will feature, including healthy options with Nourish Food & Wellness and the inspirational Adam Guthrie. Social media sensation, Zacchary Bird, brings his interesting take on vegan cuisine to Adelaide. Showcasing his signature cooking style, he will create dishes that look like meat but are all plant-based. Think deep fried tarantula and unicorn steak… we won’t knock it till we try it!
There are also many activities for the kids, with the hopes of teaching them how to lead a healthy respectful and kind lifestyle. To name a few, there will be kids cupcake decorating classes by international vegan baking ambassador Sara Kidd, a banner and chant workshop presented by Mippy Valentine that will encourage children to stand up for what they believe in, a giant inflatable panda filled with story telling by artist Evelyn Roth, plus giant chess and an imagination playground.
Vegan Festival Adelaide also has a range of events in the lead up to the weekend to get you in the mood. Francesco’s Cicchetti will be catering a 6 course Veguastation dinner at Prohibition Gin on the 16th October. Or you can join a cooking demonstration with Zacchary Bird on the 18 October at the Adelaide Central Markets.
The festival will also including a VIP breakfast on Sunday October 27 and a plant-based dining experience on November 1 at the newly opened Allegra Dining Room, where part of the proceeds will go towards a chosen animal charity. For more information on these and to keep updated, visit their Facebook and Instagram pages.
So, whether you want to enjoy a range of delicious dishes, buy some incredible vegan products or simply learn more about the increasingly popular vegan lifestyle, the Vegan Festival combines this all in one location for you to soak up the vegan vibes.
For more information and the full program of the events occurring, visit their website at www.veganfestival.info/2019-programme.
The Vegan Festival will occur on the weekend of October 26 and 27 at Rundle Park in the Adelaide Park Lands.