Two weeks ago, September 5 2015, there was festival on the site of DOK (former harbour grounds) in Ghent. Fair festival is announced as “the place where you can find honest and green products“. It is not a vegan festival like the one we went to a couple of weeks prior in Ghent (see our review here), but since it was with free entrance and there was a vegan BBQ at noon (for subscribers only, 16€, made by restaurant Avalon), we decided to go take a look!
We arrived at about noon, and after taking a quick first look at the stalls, we went to the BBQ.
This was only for people who had subscribed and paid beforehand: 16€pp. The food was very nice, but we were a little bit underwhelmed. There were plenty of vegetables and things like potato salad and rice, but hardly any real ‘barbecued’ things. There was a sate with chunks of seitan, bbqed mushroom, grilled corn and marinated tofu, but even these didn’t really taste barbecued (maybe they didn’t get the time to really grill them? as the queue was really long and people kept coming in). Some sausages or burgers or other ‘meaty things’ would also have been nice. Not that we are particularly fan of such grilled meaty things, but especially at a BBQ we expected more than the buffet of vegetables which made up most of the offer. Nice, but a bit disappoiting and all things considered, 16€ was a bit steep (although you could go for a refill as often as you liked).
The queues at the foodstalls were not as long as at Vegan Summer Fest two weeks before, so we lined up for dessert. We had a nice waffle with syrup from Viva Vega Loving Hut Express.
And a dessert from Foodstorms: coconut pannacotta, peach, tarragon and hazelnut. It was yummie, although a bit expensive: 6€.
And a strong coffee from Koek & Zopie:
Here are more pics from the foodstalls:
We were happy to take a pause at these vegan stalls:
We had a chat at Ohne, the new package free shop in Ghent. Also inquired whether they also have vegan labelled products in the shop (eg care products), and the lady said she would happily look into it! Glad to have spread some awareness 😉
As already mentioned above, Fairfestival is not a vegan festival. So there were non-vegan items as well (honey, wool). Like for example this:
From 10AM till 2PM there was also a conference from OIKOS about food production (entrance with subscriptions only): ‘Our food in good hands – The commons as a future perspective for our food system‘. (Voedsel in goede handen – De commons als toekomstperspectief voor ons voedselsysteem). We just listened in for a couple of minutes while passing the tent. Seemed interesting, and I hope veganic agriculture was also discussed during this conference.
Our overall impressions
The atmosphere felt different than the Vegan Summerfest (VSF) two weeks before. That can partially be attributed to the fact that the weather wasn’t as nice this time as it was during VSF. And it wasn’t as crowded (so all those who missed out on a vegan burger from Loving Hut Express at VSF could have easily gotten one here 🙂 But I also think the visitors to FairFestival were on average a bit older and more ‘environmentally minded’, with just a touch of the typical goatwoolsock atmosphere lingering in, compared to a younger and more animal rights or activist oriented audience at VSF (I realise that is a highly subjective impression and crude overgeneralisation, and you cannot just read that from people’s faces, but somehow that is just how we experienced it!).
A bit disappointed by the vegan BBQ, but glad to see that most food options on the grounds were vegan, which is already a huge difference compared to if such an event would have been held let’s say 5 years ago!
Happy to come home with these goodies: