Vegandale is a food festival geared towards, you guessed it, vegan food. Held annually in six different North American cities, Toronto hosted the only Canadian outpost this past weekend. While once held at the grassy parklands that form Fort York, this year the location left many patrons, well, pissed off.
TORONTO’S VEGANDALE MISSES THE MARK
What felt like commercializing the movement for some, the sudden change of venue was a red flag for regular Vegandale veterans. Shifting over to Polson Pier and Cabana Pool Bar may have made sense number-wise, but was a vast departure from a proper park. A concrete parking lot is not aesthetically pleasing, or fun to stand on. Many ticket buyers also noted a lack of shade and shelter.
This was another issue, many attendees complained about the lack of tables, unless of course, you forked out enough for the VIP section, which many noted felt classist.
Promising and promoting over 120 vendors was another hiccup. Many attendees felt that number was inflated.
The lack of refillable water bottle stations, forcing patrons to shell out $4 for itty bitty bottles which were only available from the bar, was also frustrating. According to one attendee, the vendors had water bottles but were not permitted to sell them.
Parking was also deemed impossible by many, noting the inflated $30 lot was the only close-by option.
Overall, for some, it came down to a vibe thing. Their heart maybe just wasn’t in the right place. Instead of focusing and fanning the flames for what went wrong, many are instead asking what’s next.
VEGANDALE NEEDS TO RETURN TO ITS ROOTS
Accessible and easily located Veg TO Fest attracts a similar vendor list, but operates free. Look for that reliably delicious food event to return next September.
All images by Libby Roach.