Event 6 – “to be the best Vegan…” Auckland Vegan Food Festival

10 years ago never would the events programme of a city or any event promoter be organising a Vegan Food Festival…but now change is here and change that is more just food.

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For this event I was joined with a friend of mine from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games – Annette. I had researched the Auckland Vegan Food Festival and it was slightly out the way but with the assistance of a motor vehicle our journey to the North Shore began…

What was the event? 

The event was Auckland Vegan Food Festival. A celebration and an engineered ticketed event of a lot of things – vegan. The event was held in a car park and cost $10 for entry. We stood in a few queues to enter and a few queues for food but the surprising point of the event was how busy it was.

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What happened at the event? 

In today’s society we are seeing more people become vegan. This is down to numerous factors – education, self change and choice, society pressures or some really good marketing campaigns. Yes some people may disagree with that observation but in the last 3 years social influencing on social media has resulted in people starting to spread the message of being a vegan making it trendy and cool. 

As I stood at the gates waiting to enter surrounding me was a mixture of demographics. It was mainly females, who in the opinion of this blog, are more like to care and make a change and it was clear they were buying into the stalls, gaining information, the majority at the “be a good vegan speaking event and doing the yoga – yes there was a lot to digest in the time I was including the food.

Now – as many of you may know or not I am not the best eater. I sometimes find that my diet is always questioned by everyone I know. BUT today I had a fruit jack burger. I immersed myself in the food going. I want each experience to be exactly that of any other spectator – which means eating things I have never experienced before. My taste buds I am sure are already questioning some of my decisions. But the reality is I need to do that to experience the full event. With that I had vegan brownies and vegan burger – which were both delicious. 

But today was not about just food. It was so much more which is where the discussion of the vegan movement comes in. Events are movements, they are clogs that when they are turned well they can create change. A change which can effect different parts of society. Now I believe that some of the stalls that were there today had products which were over priced and all part of “you must (can) have this to be a vegan”. It felt like some of it was part of a trend as such. Stalls were manned by people with great sales techniques and very persuasive and I think that’s the interesting thing – the consumption of a product will happen but if it’s forced upon someone and they consume – is that good marketing or is it pressure? Some may argue there is a choice but my opinion is that going around today some stalls where in to because there is a trend and they can make some cash. But then you may say well that’s business – and that’s a fair point. That’s also something that I have seen so far within the events world happens.

There was a DJ, there was seats but apart from the stalls what did my $10 entrance get me? Was I and hundreds probably thousands throughout the day – buying into the trend…

Anything else to add…

This event was held 20 minutes out of the city. It was held in an area of Auckland which is known to be more affluent than some other areas. May you take judgement from what this may mean but in my eyes it means simple the audience that thy engages with thy event has a disposable And to come to spend and purchase items that part of thy trend (can you tell I’ve just came out of hamlet? – that’s tomorrow’s blog).

Overall the event will grow due to the fact that the movement of veganism can only get bigger. I fully get it – but I honk there’s a bit too much commercialisation driving it forward. 

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One thing to take away…

Hmmmm…upon reflection the audience purchase not just a vegan burger – but for a set time, in an engineered and kind of manufactured experience – it’s all about being vegan – and as one of the speakers said “to be the best vegan…” but what defines such a thing? Events. The bringing together of collection of ideas and driven deep in thought. 

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