Vegan Camp Out is the world’s largest vegan camping festival with plant-based campers attending from over 40 different countries! This health and wellness inspired event takes place over 4 days and 3 nights of camping with talks, live music, afterparties, yoga and meditation classes, workshops and the UK’s best vegan food aplenty! I took my 14yr old daughter Millie for her very first time this year and here’s how we got on…
Voted the UK’s best vegan festival it seems to get even bigger and better each year – which I didn’t think was possible! With this being my first year taking a child it was wonderful to see the family area which is packed full of fun activities, games, arts and crafts, face painting and bouncy castles to name but a few features and well worth a visit for children of all ages.
Whilst we didn’t camp out, many families do, as well as groups of friends, couples and single attendees to make the absolute most of this experience. As we live locally we simply pop across, enjoy a fun packed day out and head home at the end of the magical evening.
The family camping fields are situated away from the stages and after parties and can only be accessed by those with children, making it such a safe and inclusive space for children of all ages. I always find it so lovely to see little ones enjoying nature and meeting like-minded parents. And with Primary Veducation on site – the UK’s first teaching and learning consultant for vegan inclusive primary schools – there’s plenty of food for thought for inspiring minds.
Speaking of food, there is always such a fantastic range of plant-based and gluten-free options with around sixty vendors to choose from, covering everything from pizza, kebabs, smoothies and juices, Indian, ice creams, cakes, Chinese, burgers, hotdogs and everything else imaginable. This quantity of vegan-friendly vendors all in one place makes it the largest vegan meal space in the UK – how’s that for choice! As queues can mount during meal times a lot of people take camping chairs to sit on whilst waiting and we prefer to eat between peak times instead, although standing in the sunshine speaking to fellow plant-based foodies is a pretty wonderful experience.
The event also features public figures and performers on the various stages with this years line-up consisting of public speaker Earthling Ed, activist Evanna Lynch, comedian Simon Amstell, realikty TV star Lucy Watson, chef Gaz Oakley, drag queen Bimini Bon-Boulash, TV presenter Matt Pritchard, TV personality Preacher Lawson, VBites founder Heather Mills, health coach Nimai Delgado, The Happy Pear founders Dave and Steve, Paul and Gemma of Hench Herbivore, science writer Mic The Vegan, tattoo influencer Monami Frost, Viva! founder Juliet Gellately, coach Bianca Taylor and music from grime artist JME, reggae artist Macka B and singer Zak Abel to name but a few.
With proper toilet blocks on site, not just portaloos, there are plenty of facilities for all – although it’s always advisable to bring a spare toilet roll with you just in case. There are hot showers on site if you’re willing to queue, however it’s always best to pick a time in the day when they’re least busy, as early in the morning the queues are pretty long.
We loved meeting all of the dogs that people bring as we’re huge animal lovers and there’s everything from sausage dogs to huskies that attend, however they’re not allowed within the enclosed areas and stages so be mindful to have an additional person who is happy to sit with them if you’re looking to catch a talk or performance.
The afterparty takes place in the main area each night from 10pm – 1am and has such an electric vibe which is complimented by the several bars on site and the fact that you’re allowed to bring 12 cans or one bottle of spirits/wine per person to the event.
Throughout the day the main stage is used for talks from featured speakers, there’s a stage for bands and musicians who perform all weekend, a mind and body stage for yoga, meditation, fitness and health classes, as well as an activism stage with talks and workshops throughout the weekend. Some stages are seated but others aren’t as they maintain a festival feel, rather than it feeling like a conference or lecture, the main stage also turns into the afterparty room at 10pm each night so people tend to bring their own camping chairs or cushions and sit on the grass or floor to watch. It’s the headline speakers that are standing room only as it’s first come first serve for maximum capacity.
There is plenty of space for parking, with car parks just a short walk from the entrance and passes are always available online or can be purchased on the day, along with options for with or without electricity hook-up. We always pass people carrying tents and camping equipment whilst walking to and from the car but have yet to stay overnight ourselves as some people choose local hotels and B&B’s, or like us are local and head home at night.
A lot of people tend to group up when it comes to tends and sleep several people at once rather than tiny individual tents which seems like a smarter way to manage how much each person packs. We see people with the essentials such as toothpaste/brushes, hand soap, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, mirrors, hairbrushes, and eco-friendly baby wipes sitting outside their tents on camping chairs and cushions relaxing, napping or getting ready for the next stage event and it’s such a peaceful and welcoming community atmosphere. It’s never actually rained when we’ve attended but a lightweight raincoat is always a good idea when it comes to British weather.
The price for tickets include camping and there’s a designated quiet camping area which is first come, first serve, so other campers tend to take ear plugs when situated closer to the stages and we’ve also seen caravans and campervans for those who want to stay on site but with extra facilities.
It’s also worth noting that whilst a lot of vendors take card payments, some are cash only and we’ve not come across any places to withdraw money, so always come prepared with some change. We also pop a power bank for phone battery and some refillable water bottles into a backpack which can be topped up for free around the grounds, you simply have to find a water station and join the queue.
We had the most wonderful time in the sunshine listening to music, meeting like-minded individuals, catching talks, indulging in delicious vegan treats, perusing the merchandise stalls and walking the beautiful grounds and woodland. You can lose yourself in nature, positivity and kindness with such friendly and caring people which is just the sunshine that is necessary for a happy soul. I highly recommend this event for people of all ages and lifestyles across the UK and beyond – you won’t be disappointed!
E-tickets are now available online now for Vegan Camp Out 2023.