Shambala’s exclusively vegetarian and vegan catering provokes sustained dietary change in attendees

Photo credit: Carolina Faruolo

UK: Seven months on from its first ever meat and fish free edition, Shambala Festival has released the results of research it recently conducted that demonstrates a sustained shift in the dietary habits of attendees stemming from the initiative.

In the audience survey carried out shortly after the 2016 event, 52% of festivalgoers who ate ate meat and fish said they had changed their diet as a result of the festival experience. The follow-up survey results show that in total 76% of the people making a change to their diet were still going strong. Of those, nearly 40% had sustained a ‘drastic reduction’ in their meat and fish intake and a further 36% had reduced meat and fish intake a little.

Shambala Festival is the first festival in the UK to go meat and fish free in order to spark debate and highlight impacts that our dietary choices have on the planet.

The organisers were careful to provide a wide variety of quality vegetarian food styles, recognising in their publicity that they had “set themselves a challenge in making sure that the experience was delicious and inclusive for all tastes”, and a new venue was created called the Garden O’Feeden, which hosted talks and debates about food and its impact on the environment.

Three weeks after the event, festivalgoers were surveyed to find out whether anyone had been inspired to change their diets. Over half of meat and fish eaters reported changing their diets, so organisers were curious as to whether these changes were sticking.

Shambala organiser, Chris Johnson, said: “We are really encouraged by the findings. We don’t profess to have all the answers, but we feel it’s important to promote discussion on the difficult issues of our time. Food is emotive, complex and plays a significant role in our future.”

Shambala has always stayed true its principle of ‘purposeful hedonism’ over its history of almost two decades, being powered by 100% renewable energy, eliminating disposable plastics and inspiring people to make a difference wherever possible by doing thing differently.

Shambala Festival