Ah Festival Season.. A great time of year for music, dancing and of course NFE’s [New Food Experiences]!
This year saw a very promising sign for the future of plant-based festivals.. Yes, we are talking about Shambala! Based in Northamptonshire, last years Shambala Festival made some big changes.. They encouraged all visitors to bring their own reusable water bottles and mugs. This is HUGE in terms of saved waste. They estimated that the 4 days of this festival would have used a whopping 30,000 plastic cups had they not introduced this policy.
Oh, and last year was an entirely MEAT-FREE festival! This is such a great step in the right direction for festivals of this size. Of course the festival did not prohibit people from bringing their own supermarket, repurposed, reformed ham [yuck]. But they did attempt to discourage it. All food stalls were vegetarian which meant that vegan options were EVERYWHERE!
The food highlight had to be a great company called Happy Maki, offering completely vegan sushi wraps. These were absolutely delicious! Our pick for the festival was shredded ‘duck’ with avocado and plenty of ginger. The team on the van were super-friendly and were very helpful for those festival-goers who are new to plant based eating.
Second up had to be Ice Green serving up delicious, VEGAN & GLUTEN FREE ice cream and waffles. This has to be one of the most amazing finds at any festival, especially one which was as hot as Shambala.
Not all vegan food offerings were created equal.. From our experience at Shambala we do have one stall to avoid! Their name is Pizza Love. I know that usually, pizza is that holy grail of festival food – it’s normally quick, easy and of course delicious. For Pizza Love this was not the case, guilty on all three counts. Our pizza simply took too long, it was undercooked, caked in flour and had a disappointing amount of vegan cheese and toppings. After a few years making award winning pizza in Bristol, England, I can honestly say I was whole-heartedly disappointed.
Still, let us end on a good note! There was a whole plethora of plant-based choices throughout Shambala – from vegan tacos to the infamous Organic Chai Shop, we were mightily impressed!
Here’s to an amazing Shambala, incredible weather and full of great food!