The home of Bristol City football club hosted its largest non-matchday event on May Bank Holiday Weekend May 26-27 with one of the UK’s biggest vegan events VegfestUK being staged at Ashton Gate stadium for the very first time in 2018.
The Bristol edition of Vegfest, which had previously been held at the outdoor Lloyds Amphitheatre for 10 years, was traditionally a combination of daytime vegan information and shopping, followed by evening entertainment from a diverse array of musical genres, and the new guise of VegfestUK Bristol was no different. Around 9,000 people (5,000 on Saturday and 4,000 on Sunday) came to this newly formatted event, and they were not only spoiled for choice with VegfestUK’s usual colourful array of stalls and caterers located in 3 big indoor concourses, but also treated to the new venue’s excellent facilities, including:
- the popular vegan pizza menu and 100% vegan alcoholic drinks from the Doughballers Pizzeria and Sports Bar,
- the South Stand seating area with space for up to 4,000 people,
- the Hospitality Lounges on Level 3 in the West Stand,
- 3 big talks rooms / entertainment lounges on Level 2 in the West Stand, and
- a vast outdoor arena playing host to 2 musical stages, kids cookery classes, a talks tent focusing on activism, alongside 30 other outdoor traders and street food caterers.
Global influences from the street food caterers present include Thai curries, Jamaican, Indian curries and snacks, pizzas, ice cream, wraps, burgers, sushis, Chinese barbecued mock meats and churros, alongside a variety of vegan alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Other vegan products on offer range from cosmetics, clothing and jewellery, to subscription boxes, homeware and magazines, plus many more. There were a myriad of one-off show specials available at many of the stalls too.
There was also the Art of Compassion Exhibition with art posters and exhibits dedicated to animals and veganism, with all proceeds going to the League against Cruel Sports.
In terms of the music lineup, the Saturday evening was headlined by Judge Jules, Dr. Meaker and Smith & Mighty, whilst the Sunday evening featured Baby D, Don Letts (DJ set) and Mikee Freedom).
Visitors travelling from afar also got to enjoy a dedicated shuttle bus service running from Temple Meads rail station via Bristol City Centre to the new venue on both show days.
The organisers added, “We would like to extend huge thanks to Ashton Gate stadium for their hospitality and willingness to accommodate our requirements for such a huge event. We really appreciate their assistance throughout the planning and preparation for the big occasion and of course we love the exemplary facilities for one of the most important vegan events of the year in this country.”
The organisers would like to extend massive thanks to the event sponsors: Ecotricity, Vivo Life, Bute Island, Out of Hand and Yaoh.
More photos from the event can be accessed at the link here: https://www.facebook.com/273528119324884/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1921058977905115
(credit: 11 Eleven)