An all-vegan food festival coming to Randall's Island this weekend will feature 100 vendors, a vegan hot dog-eating contest and a life-sized scale balancing the weight of a living person with that of an inanimate pig.
The Vegan Food and Drink Festival — which celebrated its third anniversary in Toronto this year and its second in Chicago — pops up in New York City for the first time on Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
If you’ve already bought tickets, or you’re considering it, we’ve got all the answers to your questions:
Who’s organizing this?
The Toronto-based parent company of a vegan online magazine, Ecorazzi, has spent the last year engineering the Vegan Food and Drink Festival’s New York City debut, company communications and events director Cara Galloway said.
"We definitely try to shed that granola, tofu, hippy-type vibe in terms of putting on the vegan festival, and it's really about having a good time regardless," she said.
Who are the vendors?
Local vendors make up the majority of the lineup, which you'll find at vegandrinkfest.com.
Bareburger, for example, will be grilling up plant-based Impossible Burgers. Williamsburg’s Champs Diner is bringing its vegan American comfort food. And the Cinnamon Snail is driving its food truck to Randalls Island, where it will be serving Korean barbecue seitan, the Beastmode Burger Deluxe (an ancho chili seitan burger grilled in maple hickory barbecue sauce, with jalapeño mac 'n’ cheese, smoked chili coconut bacon, baby arugula, and chipotle mayo on a grilled pretzel bun), and vegan doughnuts in flavors like raspberry cheesecake and rosewater toasted pistachio cake, founder Adam Sobel said.
About 15 percent of vendors participating in the festival are from out of state. They include: Los Angeles’ Southern Fried Vegan (vegan versions of festival foods like fried chicken and shrimp), Australia’s In the Soulshine (apparel and accessories), Chicago’s These Wingz? (meatless chicken wings), California’s Vegan Dots (vegan ice cream dots), Austin’s Arlo's (plant-based comfort food), Mexico City’s Los Loosers (animal-free tacos and chilaquiles), Portland’s Snackrilege (vegan sandwiches) and Toronto’s Doug McNish (organic and vegan salads, sandwiches and wraps).
Most food vendors will be serving full portions, so organizers recommend that attendees split them with friends.
Will there be booze?
Yes. An events company that’s worked for the Panorama and Coachella festivals will be setting up two bars on site, offering a variety of spirits, craft beers and wines, Galloway said.
What else can we expect, besides food and drink?
There will be entertainment on a main stage, including DJs, and plenty of interactive activities: volleyball, a vegan hot-dog eating contest and art installations designed with your Instagram account in mind.
One, called "the scale of justice,” invites attendees to sit on a scale pan opposite a pig.
Ecorazzi’s parent company will also be selling apparel tagged with pro-vegan mottos and designed with vegan materials.
What’s the deal with tickets?
You’ll have to buy yours online, in advance, because tickets won’t be sold at the festival entrance on Sunday. About 10,000 vegans and foodies are expected to show up on Sunday, and roughly 500 tickets were left as of Tuesday afternoon. They cost $20.
With Alison Fox