FORCA VEGAN MAGAZINE
Issue one is out now!
Forca Vegan is a free online magazine published every two months, with the first issue out mid March 2021. The magazine joins up a growing global grassroots vegan movement with reports from around the planet, alongside features on activists, animal sanctuaries, new vegan businesses, vegan artists, comedians and musicians, with an additional roundup of new vegan food, skincare and Lifestyle products, plus news of online and live events. The magazine focuses mainly on independents, grassroots and individuals with a strong and unapologetic ethical vegan position and animal rights focus. Forca Vegan will help amplify a growing number of vegan voices from around the world and draw attention to a number of issues that we all share, along with information, inspiration and education to help tackle the challenges.
Forca Vegan – Justice for Animals, People and The Planet.
PLANT POWERED PLANET MAGAZINE
Plant Powered Planet is a free online magazine published every two months, with the first issue out mid April 2021. The magazine will focus on health, lifestyle, products, fitness, animal welfare, conservation, global food supply, the environment, agriculture, innovation and solutions to climate change. Plant Powered Planet will have a more mainstream, consumer lifestyle feel to it, whilst still underpinned by a strong ethical vegan position alongside ethical consumer choices and issues surrounding them. A variety of leading vegan individuals achieving on a number of levels will make up the main substance of the editorial content, and Plant Powered Planet will carry more advertising and paid features in its content. Plant Powered Planet will also provide us with a platform to get behind small vegan businesses including the Vegan Traders Union and provide support as they emerge from the impact of lockdown and help showcase a number of new vegan products, projects and initiatives to a growing readership.
Plant Powered Planet will be available in May 2021 and can be read here.
The VegfestUK Story
The VegfestUK story starts back in 1980, when the founder Tim adopted a plant based diet aged 17 as an act of teenage rebellion and political protest, before going vegan in 1984. Tim was one of the original vegan outreach campaigners, focusing on promoting veganism and plant based options, in place of animal rights protests which were more prevalent at the time. Tim’s passion for vegan food combined with music (he was a rave promoter in the 80’s) led to the first vegan festival in 2003 in Bristol, an event which ran for 16 years. Brighton was next, in 2009, with a huge annual event attracting thousands of visitors over the weekend, whilst Glasgow saw two massive shows at the SECC in 2015 and 2016. Since 2013, VegfestUK has staged the UK’s flagship vegan exhibition at the iconic Olympia venue in London, right up until the pandemic in 2020. We were about to move into ‘The Grand’ – the huge exhibition hall at the heart of the Olympia complex – when the venue abruptly closed. Since then, we have been without a venue, and our revenue has dropped 97%.
Over the previous 2 decades, VegfestUK has hosted some fabulous speakers, talks, demos, conferences and entertainment, as well as a multitude of vegan businesses and product launches. Some of the UK’s biggest selling vegan brands and products made their debuts at our events. Highlights include a number of Animal Rights summits from 2015, a Pro Intersectional summit in 2016, the vegan comedians festival in 2015, Animal Aid’s 40th Birthday party in 2017, an array of incredible artists with the Art of Compassion Project, and the annual VegfestUK Awards, established since 2007. But highlights from the previous decades have to include some of the Live Acts we have put on over the years – including Happy Mondays, Peter Hook, Macka B, Misty in Roots, Ms Dynamite, Roots Manuva, The Abyssinians, Gwen Dickey and Rose Royce, Ruts DC, The Farm, Aswad, LTJ Bukem, Rozalla, Robin S, Danny Rampling, Alfredo and so many fabulous musical acts we would run out of space naming them all. Oh yes and Boney M.
The closure of Olympia since March 2020 has hit us hard. Our revenue has dropped off almost 100%, and with no event until the end of 2022 at the earliest, and a hugely changed landscape for revenue from events, there are significant hurdles to overcome before we open the gates to a Vegfest again in The Grand at Olympia. Like some, we’ve been fortunate to have some support to enable us to keep most of the core team together over the last 12 months, but like many, have not been able to access many of the grants and funding on offer for various reasons. Therefore we have been obliged, like many, to seek alternative occupations until we can resume our livelihoods again.
Adapting To Change
Initially, we undertook to move the events online and that culminated in an ambitious and relatively successful Summerfest Online in August 2020, including a Trade Day for independent vegan businesses, a fabulous art gallery, and live performances from vegan comedians and musician Macka B. And whilst some of the facets of the online event carried well – including free access, and guests joining from across the globe, and the great panels and discussions, overall the online event experience has not really translated into either an attractive option for a volume of visitors or a revenue raiser for businesses, exhibitors and organisers alike. However, the best of the online options have proved very valuable in some respects, and we will continue with regular chat shows and free online discussions, debates, summits, panels and presentations – all freely accessible to the public. Meanwhile our website www.vegfest.co.uk holds literally hundreds of panels and presentations around different vegan themes, all freely accessible to the public.
The new magazines provide a unique opportunity not only to present fabulous content and develop a broader and growing readership, but to seek sustainable revenue through advertising, sponsorship, grants and marketing options, with a further option of merchandise. These give us a realistic chance to establish a sustainable business before the end of 2021, whilst producing excellent content to uplift, inspire, include and inform a growing global vegan community. The success of the Crowdfunder will underwrite this transition and help turn us into a sustainable business to carry the workload of the return to live events in 2022.
Our Way Home
The recent announcement that events may resume from June 2021, dependent on data, has sent a wave of optimism throughout the badly damaged events industry and already plans are afoot to return to Olympia. But we, along with many, face significant hurdles, and with a multitude of other shows all waiting to resume, its unlikely that we will be hosting our event again until Autumn of 2022. There are a number of events ahead of us in the queue to be reinstated, having been delayed over the previous 12 months. These events are a huge undertaking for a team of our size and are a year round operation for us. We have had to say goodbye to our operations manager after 8 years, and stress related health issues have further impacted on our management. Furthermore, the whole business model has been thoroughly shook and without significant funding and specialised insurance, there remain some considerable barriers to overcome. We are confident as a team of doing that, but are realistic in that we will have to provide sustainable alternative revenue in order to plan and work our way back to hosting the UK’s flagship vegan event at Olympia again. To do this, we have to create an alternative, whilst still fulfilling our original remit to promote the benefits of the vegan way of life to a far reaching audience – and the magazines fit that bill.
More on the Rewards
We are thrilled to welcome the support of Yaoh Hemp Products (www.yaoh.co.uk) in helping provide some of our rewards. All donors will receive free tickets to our next event at Olympia, and donors for each growing amount will receive a variety of rewards including Yaoh Hemp Bodycare items, books, wallets and of course, gratitude, and the knowledge that you are supporting one of the UK’s original vegan independent grassroots organisations survive and fight another day. Larger donors can also enjoy the opportunity of giving coverage to either their own projects, or their favourite sanctuary, business, charity, organisation or campaign.
Please note some basic T’s and C’s apply to the placements in the magazines, including fitting our criteria for editorial and advertising. And please note that although we are 100% committed to returning to Olympia, we cannot guarantee that 100% either at the moment.
The Broader Vegan Community
We recognise the need for vegan communities across the globe to pull together like never before. With this in mind, we’ll be increasing our efforts to provide free support and coverage for small independent vegan businesses, sanctuaries, grassroots charities and campaigns, whilst extending solidarity across the globe to vegan communities, activists and movements wherever we can.
For the extension of the crowdfunding campaign (March 1st – April 5th 2021) this will specifically include:
- Free promotion for the many vegan businesses and initiatives currently crowdfunding. There are currently a number of us doing a joint vegan crowdfunder, with a wide variety of initiatives to support. Please see the main page here for more information www.veganbusinesstribe.com/crowdfunder
- Donation of 5% of our Crowdfunder total on completion to Hugletts Wood Animal Sanctuary
- Donation of 5% of our Crowdfunder total on completion to G.A.ME (https://gamenyc.org)
Connect With Us
You can follow our brand new Magazine social media pages here:
You can also follow VegfestUK here: