Vegan Camp Out 2018

Last weekend saw 5,000 vegan and vegan curious people descend on the Newark Showground in Nottinghamshire. After a 4 hour drive from London (which should have been 2 and a half hours!) my Sister-in-law, Gemma and I queued for a little while to get in and then we set to work putting up the tent.

After we had successfully putting up the tent we headed over to the food area. Last year there were only four food stalls so I was glad to see the organisers had improved on this and there were 25 stalls serving food and drinks!

I chose a chickpea curry and rice and Gemma had a massive burger from Biff’s Jack Shack.

Taken from Biff’s Jack Shack Instagram

Gemma also picked up some churros which were a firm favourite with the crowd!

After having a little look around the stalls we headed to the main stage to hear a talk from Heather Mills. If you weren’t aware Heather is an activist and an entrepreneur owning the vegan food company VBites. Heather was really inspiring and it was great to hear about the work she was involved in.

We headed back to the tent after that for a cup of tea and an early night although it took quite a while to get to sleep.

On Saturday morning we headed over to the activism bootcamp building to watch a documentary called The Last Pig. I had heard the farmer who features in this film on The Main Street Vegan Podcast so I was excited to watch the documentary. I’d definitely recommend you check it out.

We headed back to the tent to have some breakfast on the camp stove. Although there is plenty of food available I would recommend you bring some of your own too.

We went to hear a talk from Zero Waste Club which again was really interesting. I’m already a customer of ZWC and have written about them on the blog before. Their insight into plastic free living was really interesting and everyday I’m trying to live a more sustainable life.

The next talk was from Kerry McCarthy MP for Bristol East. It was interesting to hear how animal rights issues were being pursued in parliament and how an incremental approach is required in order to develop laws that protect and help improve conditions for animals.

There were some great stalls present. I picked up some information from Viva! and Gemma had her perfume bottles refilled from Eden Perfumes and also bought a cutlery set from vegan queens Bright Zine.

For dinner I had a jackfruit wrap and fries from Herbivorous. Gemma enjoyed a Caribbean meal with jerk soya pieces, rice and peas and vegetables.

We settled down into the evening talks. First up we saw Ingrid Newkirk, the founder of Peta. I was a little disappointed with her talk which just seemed to be her journey to veganism and didn’t touch upon the work that Peta does. She also didn’t hang around to receive any questions which every other speaker had, I think her talk was more appropriate for a non-vegan audience.

Next we watched the new film Dominion. Dominion was filmed in Australia and is a comprehensive breakdown on what every animal that is exploited on that continent goes through, from animals bred for food to wild animals and those used for entertainment. This was the most hard hitting vegan film I have seen and if you don’t have an emotional response to this film there is definitely something wrong with you!

After Dominion we saw a talk from Dr Melanie Joy. Melanie is a psychologist and the author of the book “Why we love dogs, eat pigs and wear cows”. Her talk was about communication between vegans and non-vegans as well as within the vegan community. It was really interesting and is the basis of her new book.

Last up on the main stage was comedian Simon Amstell. Simon is a fave of mine and I saw him perform about 10 years ago so I was looking forward to seeing him again at Camp Out. For most of the talks people were sitting on the floor or on their own camp chairs however the organisers asked that everyone stand in order to fit everybody in that wanted to see Simon’s set. He was great and had the whole audience in stitches.

There was a music stage as well with grime artist JME headlining on the Saturday night. We however decided to head back to the tent as it wasn’t really our thing.

On Sunday we planned to get up for morning yoga but unfortunately we slept through that! We packed up the tent and had a last mooch around. I bought an onion bhaji from veggies catering for the journey home and headed back to Herbivorous for some loaded fries for lunch. They had barbeque jackfruit, homemade beans and chipotle mayo and it was the best thing I had eaten all weekend.

I bumped into quite a few friends and fellow activists around the camp and we also made friends with Henrietta the pig!

Overall we had a fabulous time. There were queues for the toilets but they went down quickly and they were all toilet blocks rather than portaloos. We tried to camp nearest the quiet camping area although you will always get a few loud obnoxious people. I’ve seen pictures of the camp afterwards and lots of people have commented how clear and tidy it was left compared to other festivals.

Tickets are already on sale for next year! So head over to https://www.vegancampout.co.uk to secure your place.

Did you make it to Camp Out this year? What were your favourite parts? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Vegan Camp Out 2018

Vegan Camp Out 2017

On Friday my Sister-in-law Gemma and I headed up to Nottingham for the Vegan Camp Out. Unfortunately it took us a bit longer than expected due to traffic but we made it there before nightfall and worked as a team to get the tent up! This was my first time camping ever (!) so you can see how proud I am celebrating with a can of Brewdog Punk IPA in front of our tent! 

We headed over to the main tent to watch Carl Donnelly’s set. I have been aware of this vegan comedian for a number of years and follow him on Twitter so it was good to be able to watch him in person. He was very funny and recounted vegan experiences the audience knew all too well!

After that we wanted some food. There were only 4 stalls serving food for over 2000 people (!) But after a 1 and a half hour wait we got our chomps around some battered sausages and chips from Battered. By this time it was dark and we were so hungry there wasn’t time for a photo!

We went back to the tent to get some shut eye but unfortunately we had some very noisy neighbours (from other reports a lot of the campers were of the partying in the small hours variety!) so I didn’t have a great night’s sleep.

In the morning we had a cooked breakfast on the camping stove to give us some energy for the day.

After that came the washing up before we headed over to the marquees for some talks.

We listened to Earthling Ed who I had recently followed on Facebook who gave some insight into activism, then I saw a talk and Q&A from a man from Nottingham Hunt Sabatours. It was really interesting and something I want to look into a bit more. After a nap in the tent we took part in a workshop on toxic masculinity and veganism, which again was very insightful and an area I am very interested in.

As we had a bit of a gap before the next thing we wanted to see we thought we’d brave the dreaded food queues! We decided to split up with me tackling the pizza queue and my Sister-in-law tackling the doner one. I got chatting to a couple of ladies from Manchester and I’d even been on the same greyhound protest with one of them in January! This time it took us an hour to get our food so we headed over to the main marquee to hear Juliet Galletley founder of Viva! speak and introduce the film Swine about the pig industry. 

After that we all huddled in the tent to see who I think was the most anticipated speaker of the weekend, James Aspey. I had never heard of him before although my Sister-in-law and I had noticed him (wink) earlier in the day walking around. He had a great way of speaking and telling his story and I would recommend you Google him as soon as you’ve finished reading this blog!

Afterwards we headed back to the tent and had some drinking fudge from Fudge Kitchen that we had bought from the Viva! stall. It  was delicious!

 All in all we had a fab time. We met some lovely people including a couple who are soon to be living very close to me! There were a few hiccups but the organisers seem to be taking all the feedback on board from what I have seen. This is only the second year of this event and I am really grateful to them for organising it. 2018 promises to be bigger and better and tickets are already on sale!

Did you go to the camp out? What did you think? Would this be something you’d be interested in? Let me know in the comments.

Plumes x

Vegan Camp Out 2017