When Shambala Festival announced that it was going to go meat and fish free for environmental reasons last year, the decision was met with both anger and praise amongst its audience. But seven months on research conducted has uncovered some remarkable findings – the bold and brave move has well and truly inspired people to significantly change their diets.
In the audience survey immediately after the 2016 event, 52% of festivalgoers, who said that they ate meat and fish, said they had changed their diet as a result of the festival experience. The follow-up survey results, published today, 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.
Organiser, Kambe Events, ensured that they rovided 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”. They also created a new venue called the Garden O’Feeden – which played host to 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 – 52% of meat and fish eaters reported changing their diets, so there was a real curiosity around whether those changes were sticking.
Festival organiser, Chris Johnson comments: “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.