Our visit to VegfestNL in Utrecht

Last weekend, we went to a vegan festival in the Netherlands. This was the second edition of VegfestNL, this time in Utrecht. Utrecht is only about 2 and a half hours drive from Bruges.

The festival was not coincidentally on November 1, which is World Vegan Day. It was located in the Jaarbeurs of Utrecht, a big conference and event hall at the edge of the city. There is supposedly parking nearby, but when we arrived, all nearby parkings were announced as full and the surroundings seemed like a big construction site. Very confusing to get there. Luckily, we found a parking space in one of the streets not too far away, but then it was still quite a walk to the festival venue!
It was not a free festival like Vegan Summer Fest a couple of weeks ago in Belgium (see our review here), but with an admission fee of 10€ (which still seems reasonably fair, although it does increase the treshold for a lot of people).

There were seperate halls with dozens of stalls, selling food, clothes, shoes, books, drinks, and stalls from organisations. The main hall also provided plenty of space to chill (seating area), and live music. Nice to pause for a while and take it all in.
There were also cooking demonstrations, a conference from Sea First Foundation and speeches about animal advocay, vegan business, vegan animal companions, veganism and refugees, etc in the other halls.

vegfestNL, main hall, Utrecht NL
vegfestNL, main hall, Utrecht NL
Vegfest, Utrecht NL
VegfestNL, Utrecht NL

We arrived a little after noon, and there were already a lot of people. Lang queues at the foodstalls, taking about a half an hour to order something to eat. So we just had some snacks:

cupcakes from Heavenly Cupcakes
cupcakes from Heavenly Cupcakes
satays with peanut sauce from Veggie4U
satays with peanut sauce from Veggie4U
Icecream from Professor Grunschnabel
Icecream from Professor Grunschnabel

Long queus to get a snack …

Queues to get something to eat
Queues to get something to eat

Here are some more impressions from VegFestNL:

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Checking out and collecting our coats, we all got a free sample of a vegetable burger. Nice that we got a free sample, but I didn’t like that it was not kept cooled (the instructions on the package itself read to store it at 0-7°) and by the time we got home with it, there was already damp inside. So I didn’t trust to eat it anymore. Pity. 

vegan burger, not cooled unfortunately
vegan burger, not cooled unfortunately

I came home with these goodies: two purses and a keychain from EcoDNA, a buddha soap from Lekker in een Potje and a Vegan artbook (15€). The vegan artbook is little book with quotes, cartoon and photos, very accesible written and aimed at teenagers and often quite tongue in cheek. 

oodies from vegfestNL
goodies from vegfestNL

All in all an enjoyable afternoon. Although there were a lot of people, the place was spacious and there was room enough to check everything out. Saw some familiar faces and discovered some new organisations and products. Great to see so much interest in veganism and vegan products! 

VegfestNL, November 1, 2015
Jaarbeurs Utrecht
The Netherlands

website: http://www.vegfest.nl/

Jaarbeurs Utrecht, NL
Jaarbeurs Utrecht, NL

Deze post kan je ook in het Nederlands lezen op mijn andere blog, veggieleven.be. De post staat hier. (binnenkort online)


  1. It is inspiring to see veganism growing in popularity, with the vegan fests and the many restaurants serving vegan options, at least in Europe. The USA lags behind, and in too many ways to innumerate. I’ve been to restaurants whose waiters and waitresses have never heard the term, vegan. Left three in one evening once. Of course, that could just be the area I live. Yeah, that’s it. Sure it is.

    1. Oh, but there are still plenty of chefs and staff at restaurants here too who don’t have a clue! (but I try to avoid those 🙂
      I find it remarkable that you say the US is lacking behind, as the general impression over here seems to be that the US is in front regarding veganism! so many media messages about veganism in the US reaching us! But maybe it is indeed very depending on the area.
      Thanks for stopping by Peter

    1. yes, it is very cool 😀 And two such festivals in just a couple of weeks time! (end of August the one in Belgium, and now this one).
      Hope you get a chance to go to one too soon Dennis!

  2. Hi,

    Thank you for comming and writing! As organizer I have one little thing to add. We’ve rented a big fridge to keep the burgers chilled, due to HACCP requirements. So, they should have been cold, handed over to you.

    Jaarbeurs is in the center of the city. Few hundred meters walk from the train station. Sorry to hear all the parking-lots around the Jaarbeurs were full. They have quite a lot of them. Must have been a very busy day!

    Hope to see you next year at veggie fair or VegFestNL!

    1. Hi Christine, thanks for your feedback. the burger didn’t seem cold when we received it. At that point I should have realised that we better not take it home with us, as we even only returned home the next day (I guess a lot of other visitors will also have had this problem, not being able to store it cool till they got home, even if they only had to travel for a couple of hours).

      It was a very nice festival. Great job! and hope many will follow 😀

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