How was it?
Here is a bumper guest post by Sonja Ter Horst, one half of Australian vegan band Love Like Hate.
Love Like Hate launch their UK wide tour today as part of my vegan roadshow, calling in Nottingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Oxford, Bristol and London. Check out more info and grab some tickets here.
Now, on to Sonja’s guest review of London Vegan Beer Fest 2015.
London Vegan Beer Fest smashed it out of the park this year, a stunning triumph when you remember its humble beginnings in a small east London venue for 200 guests.
In just three short years London Vegan Beer Fest has become a beast in its own right. I witnessed a long line snaking down the main street of King’s Cross, leading drinkers to this sold out event with a crowd of over 900 piling into the historic Camden Centre.
Those lucky (or rich) enough to have VIP entry were spared the entry lines and given all area access to the upstairs balconies holding theatre seating and a bird’s eye view of the colourful bunting, the mass of jumbling bodies in a sea of beer and the onstage entertainment.
London Vegan Beer Fest hosted eight breweries and a wine bar, a first for the much loved event. Punters were handed a branded pint glass and beer tick sheet upon entry. The breweries were given a run for their money with people desperate to drink before voting for their favourite beers and breweries in an online poll.
The backstage area was turned into a makeshift meeting room for people to take part in the ‘meet the brewer’ sessions. I saw people enjoying sessions on topics such as beginner’s guide to beer, how to start your own brewery and even a ‘guess that beer’ game. I was impressed by an attentive audience with so much beer debauchery flowing in the main hall.
After performing at last year’s event, we found our way onto the stage in the main hall for the 2015 show. Audiences were filled with a lot of vegan love for soloists Grace Banks and Ellis Slater, as well as comedian Jake Yapp and my band Love Like Hate. We headlined to a rowdy, joyous and good spirited audience. Mytch Parks closed the event out with an impressive DJ set.
In the Bidborough Street foyer were two stalls. Local vegan iconic store holder Vx sold merch along with Animal Equality who were handing out flyers and information brochures. I must apologise to those I hassled into buying one of the awesome London Vegan Beer Fest t-shirts towards the end of the night, although you were all very kind and chatty.
The only grumbles of the day could be heard from the long line winding into the food hall to buy from the catering company brought in to feed the masses. I watched Fat Gay Vegan and Ms Cupcake jump into action to stave off the hungry herd by volunteering to serve donuts and pizza up and down the queue. The food disappointment was the only hiccup in an otherwise rocking event. Chatting to FGV after the event, he spoke about how next year he plans to open up the food hall to more stallholders in order to include additional food options to suit all budgets and tastes.
There was no glass left unturned at this event and I feel humbled to have been invited to be a part of something amazingly-organised by just one person and a handful of dedicated volunteers. Some of my favourite attentions to detail were the playing card drink markers for smokers, reading the live tweet feed projected on stage and the complimentary branded pint glass for every attendee. Brilliant.
Fantastic!!!! Well done!!!! Looks brilliant!!!!!
Awesome event, can’t wait for next year – got to say that after queuing 90 mins for food, finally getting it and there were no sauces… no ketchup or vegan mayo! even though they were giving out flyers advertising Vegenaise (the greatest substance on earth)! Chips with no sauce! Madness!
I enjoyed coming to the event. It was a very young crowd, my friend and I both the big number end of our 50s did not feel too out of place though as people were very friendly. I agree with everyone, next year food planning is at the top of the agenda. After the huge support I am sure lots of new stalls will want to come. Perhaps the Vegan Society might be supportive?
thanks for all your hard work. Mark
A full vegan foodhall sounds fantastic