Fourth Annual VeganFest Slated for June 8-10

Now celebrating its fourth year, the popular VeganFest featuring world-class vegan and animal rights experts, delicious food, and lifestyle products will be held in Asheville from Friday, June 8, through Sunday, June 10. Guest speakers from around the country will present talks on Friday and Saturday, updating the audience on the latest vegan issues. In addition, workshops will be held on Friday and panel discussions on Saturday. On Sunday, the festival goes outdoors to Pack Square Park with over 100 vendors, including Upstate Natural Awakenings, to showcase vegan food, beer, lifestyle products and more.

The festival, free and open to the public, is hosted by the largest no-kill animal rescue organization in North Carolina, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue. An attendance of over 10,000 people is expected, providing the opportunity to connect with thousands of vegans, activists, and those interested in living a more compassionate and environmentally friendly lifestyle.

In response to the growing attendance each year, VeganFest is not only expanding from 2 to 3 days, it will be holding evening entertainment at the legendary music hall The Orange Peel, with ticket sales benefiting Brother Wolf Animal Sanctuary. Saturday’s show features Brooklyn-based afrobeat band Antibalas, and comedian Lee Camp will perform both Friday and Saturday. Opening performances feature activist/hip-hop band Grey and local vegan musical all-stars Austn Haynes & Debrissa McKinney.

This year’s speakers include 11-year-old Genesis Butler—the youngest TEDx speaker to date—who has advocated for exploited animals since she was 6. Her 18 minute talk about healing the planet by going vegan went viral. Asheville-based Lauren Vaught is a professional chef and expert in whole-food, plant-based nutrition. Stepfanie Romine, a vegan and a health coach specializing in weight maintenance, will speak on work-life balance, stress management and healthy eating.

Festival host Brother Wolf Animal Rescue’s newest campaign, Asheville Vegan Outreach, has the goal of being the most active and efficient vegan advocacy group in the region. The message for everyone who cares about animals is one of love and compassion, spread through assertive, not aggressive, tactics. The group maintains they do not judge, or shame, but, rather they walk with people as we all learn how to live a more harmonious life.

Locations—June 8-9: The Orange Peel, 101 Biltmore Ave., Asheville. June 10, 11am-6pm: Farmers Market /Vendor Festival, Pack Square Park, 80 Court Plaza, downtown Asheville. Visit VeganFest.BWAR.org for schedule and parking information. Dogs not allowed; backpacks and coolers not allowed in event spaces.