Vegans, vegetarians, animal lovers and foodies are set to swamp Sunderland’s Stadium of Light to enjoy the North East Vegan Festival (Nevfest) this coming Sunday.
The event will see over 110 stalls selling hot and cold vegan food as well as cruelty-free crafts, cosmetics, and clothing. There will also be talks, films, workshops and cookery demonstrations, as well as stalls set up by various animal welfare organisations.
There will be a kids’ zone, on the third floor of the stadium, which will feature a puppet show.
The North East Vegan Festival, which is one of Sunderland’s largest annual events, attracts visitors and business from across the country. The festival was established by the animal rescue charity Farplace in 2013.
Kerri Turner, the events manager for Farplace, said, “We’re really excited about bringing the Nevfest back to Sunderland. The events here have been such a success we’re now running similar festivals all around the country.”
“But this is where it began and it’s always an amazing day for vegans and everyone else who comes along.”
“Everyone is welcome, whether they’re vegan or not. It’s a great chance to try some amazing food and drink, and meat eaters are surprised just how tasty vegan dishes are – we certainly don’t miss out.”
“There’ll be stalls selling everything from vegan hotdogs to cakes, sweets, and food from around the world.”
Even the bar at the Stadium of Light will switch to serving 100% vegan drinks.
As well as avoiding all types of meat, fish, and seafood, vegans also shun animal products such as eggs, milk, cheese and honey. Many also avoid wearing clothes made from animal products such as leather and wool.
Veganism seems to be increasing in popularity in the UK. According to the Vegan Society, there are now well over half-a-million vegans in Britain. The numbers of UK vegans increased from 150,000 in 2006 to 542,000 in 2016.
This means there are more vegans in the UK than members of the Labour Party (380,000) or the Conservative Party (150,000). Vegan cafes, restaurants and shops are also springing up across the country.
Around 3.25% of the adult population are either vegetarian or vegan, with about 1% fully vegan. According to Google Search Trends, the search term ‘vegan’ has doubled in popularity in the last year.
The North East Vegan Festival will be held at the Stadium of Light on Sunday, 12th February, from 10.30 am to 5.00 pm. Tickets can be bought on the door for £3. Tickets can also be purchased in advance for £2 by going to www.northeastveganfestival.co.uk.
All profits will go to help Farplace in their animal rescue work.