With all the talk about environmental foot-prints, veganism and ethical lifestyles there has probably never been a better time to launch an international ethical living show. But this has caused a bit of a headache for the organizer of The 5th Bristol Vegan Fayre, Tim Barford from Bristol based Hemp food company Yaoh and The Bristol Tourist Board.
“We are planning for up to 20,000 people which is 3-4 times the previous number,” says Tim.
At the previous 4 festivals they have often found difficulties finding enough suitable accommodation for all the exhibitors, speakers and visitors. This year the festival has doubled in size over 2 days and has many new attractions such as live bands, a fashion show, a floating bar and a Hemp Expo. It’s expected many more visitors will come from outside the Bristol area, not just from the UK but from abroad, particularly America where veganism has already captured many peoples’ hearts and minds.
The organizers of the International Environmental and Ethical Lifestyle Festival have approached Destination Bristol for help in finding suitable venues in Bristol for a potential 15,000 Vegetarians and Vegans descending on Bristol for the world’s biggest ever Vegan Festival. The event is set to be staged at Waterfront Square on June 9th and 10th shortly after National Vegetarian Week in May (also set to be the biggest ever).
Helen Davies, Manager of Conference Bristol, part of Destination Bristol said, “We were delighted to be approached by organisers of the Bristol Vegan Fayre to assist in sourcing their accommodation for what is a wonderful event for Bristol. An on-line accommodation booking system has been set up especially for the festival, providing attendees with an efficient way of selecting and researching a hotel specific to their needs and a quick and easy booking procedure.”
The show organisers may need to find over 10,000 spaces for speakers, performers, exhibitors, nutritionists and visitors who have above average expectations of vegan food. They are expecting visitors from all over the world and are in touch with an American Travel Agent Green Earth Travel who are organising group bookings.
Tony Bishop-Weston from Foods for Life says, “Many of these people were previously meat eaters and are not prepared to tolerate lower standards of quality and value for money than they were previously used to before they became vegan. They still expect to be thrilled. Destination Bristol have been invaluable in helping us with this mammoth task and have been working hard to research facilities and match them with our delegates specific ethical needs.”
We are hoping that Bristol Hoteliers will rise to the challenge and join in the national celebrations for National Vegetarian Week coordinated by The Vegetarian Society as a warm up for our international event on June the 9th and 10th.
Last year Asda, Morrisons and even Marks & Spencer got involved, this year the Vegetarian Society are rumoured to be secretly planning a full flush with backing from their patron Sir Paul McCartney. Meanwhile the Bristol based Vegetarian and Vegan Foundation have big plans for National Vegetarian Week too.
Current market trends research shows that more people than ever before are eating vegetarian and also actively avoiding dairy – meanwhile all the signs are that sales of new foods such as hemp oil, hulled hemp seed, hemp protein and Yaoh’s new Hemp milk maker are going through the roof. There is even a sugar free hempseed chocolate bar.
An ex hotelier himself, Bishop-Weston says, “We think it’s time the Bristol Tourist industry cashed in on this market – many cultural groups such as Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Jews and Rastafarian ital followers also look to vegan food to help comply with their dietary preferences and there are so many great visitor attractions nearby to make a short break very attractive.”
The Bristol Cancer Advice Centre have used a vegan diet for many years to help cancer sufferers help rebuild their immune systems.
Meanwhile there are now many high profile vegans. A vegan has just won the UK Savate Kick Boxing Championship Title, vegans such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin, Moby, Benjamin Zephaniah, James Cromwell, Morrisey, Joaquin Pheonix, Bryan Adams, Alicia Silverstone, Woody Harrelson and a host of new vegan cookbooks have all helped raise the profile of the benefits of a vegan diet over recent years.
Concern over the environment is said to be a major factor for new converts.
The Vegan diet and lifestyle has already enjoyed unprecedented positive media coverage this year featuring on a BBC Diet human experiment, Newsnight and as a solution offered by Ben Bradshaw Environment minister to combat global warming.