West Midlands Vegan Festival 2011 - Wolverhampton, October 28th, 2011
By Shari Black Velvet
2011's West Midlands Vegan Festival was the biggest and best yet. Doors opened at 11am and from then until nearly closing time at 5pm it was jam-packed full of people. Opened by Adrian Ramsay, the vegan Deputy Leader of the Green Party, the stalls in the main Wolverhampton Civic Hall were rammed as visitors perused and purchased an array of items such as sweets, cosmetics, clothing, drinks, footwear, campaign merchandise, accessories, bodycare and more. Elsewhere there were musical performers (Rob Jackson and John Curtin both played acoustic guitar-based songs while Elly Kingdon impressed with her ukelele), poets (Seasoned wordsmith Dominic Berry did what he does best while Rebecca Burke also took to the stage with some of her own poetry), cookery demonstrations and talks on everything from vegan nutrition, the power of living foods and the miracle of fasting for supreme healthy and vitality. It was a tough decision on occasion who to go and see/watch. Liz Hughes was kept busy for most of the day doing cookery demos - those attending got to sample her food once it was made.
At 2.30pm there was a cupcake competition in the cafe/bar area with three submitted cupcakes being critiqued. Cupcake Jo won after receiving the highest score from three judges. This year's event also saw a speed meeting/dating session, push-up competition and a belly dancer.
Festival sponsors were The Vegan Society, Moo Free Chocolate, Create A Good Life, Lakeside Ethical Treats and Animal Aid while the event also included many other voluntary helpers making sure the festival was a success. It was organised by Midlands Vegan Campaigns who did a great job putting it altogether. The event also included caterers such as Veggies, Shambhu's, Green Garden Cafe and Something Fishy.
We, like many others, left with heavy bags full of products that we couldn't resist buying. Some vendors had special discount offers that were well worth grabbing.
A special shout-out goes to Ethical WARES who offered to sell some of our Save A Scream wristbands on their stall. Thanks to them and also anyone that bought one.
The evening continued at Clarendon Hotel where an after party/benefit gig showcased live sets from Contempt, Martin Livewire and Yam Yam Acoustic Punk.
Overall this year's West Midlands Vegan Festival was thriving with great products, talented performers, forward-thinking people, educational activities, good vibes and a shared passion to stop all animal cruelty.
Make sure you get to next year's West Midlands Vegan Festival if you missed this one.
For more info, visit www.midlandsveganfestival.org.uk