Dear Bristol Veg fest,
You have been going for 10 years now and I have been in Bristol for 5 of those years and attended every year!!
The very first time I came to you was pretty much an accident. Being new to Bristol I was not quite aware of the great summer calendar of events the city has to offer, from Harbourside festival, The Festival of Nature, St Pauls Carnival, The Balloon Fiesta and everything in-between.
My friend was visiting me from another university and we were walking around taking in the sites when we made our way to the amphitheatre to be greeted by a party!! Your PARTY!
Marquees, music, stages and plenty of food this place had it all!! I can remember walking around trying all the samples from the different vendors, to then test out my hula-hooping “skills” in an area by the main stage. (I have the classy photo,me, a cigarette and a tinnie- who says girls can’t multi-task!)
It was the start of summer, the weather was warming up, and we were discovering new music and just simply having a great time. As the sun was getting ready to set, we could see the first few hot air balloons of the year sailing the sky. This was the moment that I felt, Yes, I’m happy I’m in Bristol, this is where I want to be, this is the place I’m going to get great memories.
This first occasion, I remember you were free to people in the afternoon, with the evening becoming a ticketed event as they showcased well known acts from the 80’s/90’s era.
As time has gone on the event organisers have started charging for entry regardless of when you turn up, which I never begrudged. You are what I look forward to every year, the event that starts my summer!! Paying to get in means You’re getting the funding needed to continue, so i thought!!
This year I persuaded my (meat eating) boyfriend to come join me, to start summer together! I purchased tickets in advanced this year, to make sure we were going. The weather like every year was spot on, the atmosphere was great. Everyone is in a jolly mood, I have never seen any trouble here, it’s a true family friendly event, (although there is the smell of the odd magic cigarette). We went around the marquees, which had from my memory expanded. Tried all sorts of interesting food, took a few pictures of certain brands to remember, tried my hands at a tom bola and drank cider slush!! (it was great, refreshing with no worries of it going flat and horrid in the sun!)
The music was, as always, being thoroughly enjoyed by those there, with adults and children all dancing away in their own patches of concrete. The vibe was great, I can’t help but wear a big old grin on my face the whole time i’m here!!
But this year my grin got wiped away by the shock announcement that this was going to be the last Veg Fest in Bristol!!!!
This is absurd! I know it means as much to others as it does to me. You are the moment I started to fully enjoy living in Bristol, You have always been a happy weekend full of great memories and it’s such a shame to hear that it’s ending! Words can’t express how down hearted I felt when I heard the words that this was the last one! I know I haven’t been to another Veg Fest, but I don’t think one somewhere else could have that same feel good vibe. You belong in Bristol, YOU are a part of Bristol and the lifestyle of this city. The fact that you have been taken from us, makes me think what event will be next!!
Thankyou for being a part of my Bristol experience, for introducing me to Macka B and Wha E Eats, for giving me the chance to see the Dub Pistols again and for being an event where I can try food from all of the vendors, real choice!! I had my first gumbo here, it were great!!
I’m truly going to miss you Veg Fest, PLEASE COME BACK!!!!