Vegan events are popping up everywhere these days and L.A. has some of the greatest vegan gatherings around. Among them is Vegan Oktoberfest with it’s second annual festival happening this October 3rd and 4th. Last year’s event was so much fun, I was stoked to hear they were bringing it back for a bigger and better round two! I got a chance to chat a bit with the creators Jill and David who are fighting the good fight every day. Check it out below!
Tell us a bit about how you both got involved in animal rights.
Jill: I have always had a special connection to animals and always knew that they would be part of my life. But when I took a class while attending UCLA law school, called Animals and the Law, I knew that being an Animal Rights Attorney was was my destiny. I dedicated my legal career to helping animals by being an activist attorney.
David: I’ve always been an advocate for the “little guy” and I learned in law school and there’s no littler guy than animals. Animals have so few legal rights and those raised for food are so brutally mistreated that I knew I couldn’t turn a blind eye to the injustice. My first serious campaign was the successful Yes on Proposition 2 campaign in California and I’ve continued working on behalf of animals ever since.
What inspired the creation of Vegan Oktoberfest?
There were two primary ideas behind Vegan Oktoberfest. The first was to create a traditional Oktoberfest celebration for vegans and vegetarians. If you choose not to eat meat, so many holidays and traditional events can be uncomfortable because they revolve around eating animal products. We wanted to create a fantastic event that everyone, no matter their dietary choices, could enjoy.
Second, we wanted to show the world that vegans and vegetarians can enjoy great beer, great food, and have a great time. Things are getting better, but there are still many people out there who think vegan food tastes terrible or that all vegans are uptight or weird or whatever. By bringing vegans and non-vegans together to eat, drink, and be merry, we can confront many of the misconceptions people have.
Do you think events such as this are just as important to raise awareness of animal rights as say, protests or leafletting?
We do. Different people respond to information and arguments in different ways. Some people are going to be turned off by protestors or in your face social media posts. Events like Vegan Oktoberfest can raise awareness about how animals raised for food are treated without being as in your face about it. And if a skeptical non-vegan comes to the event and tries some great vegan food, they may be more receptive to leaflets or animal rights activists the next time they’re approached.
Were you expecting the huge turnout you had for Oktoberfest 2014?
To be honest, because it was a first year event we didn’t know what to expect. We were thrilled to have a sold out event in 2014 and proud to see so much support from both vegans and non-vegans. The huge turnout meant that things did get crowded at times, but this year we’re definitely prepared for a big turnout and eager to throw one of the best events in Southern California, vegan or not.
What changes/improvements have you made from last year’s event?
Our tag line for this year could easily be more of everything you want and less of everything you don’t. We’ll have more beer vendors, more food vendors, more traditional Oktoberfest elements, and more space at a much bigger venue. We’ve also expanded into a two day event, October 3rd and 4th, with limited capacity each day, which means that guests can expect more food and beer options with shorter lines and more elbow room.
What are you most excited about this time around?
We’re working on some potentially big developments behind the scenes that we can’t mention yet, but for now, we’re very excited to have the Munich Boom-Steiners, one of California’s premier Oompah bands, as our headlining entertainers. By the end of the event we fully expect guests to be singing songs they’ve just learned and dancing up a storm!
Any info import for festival goers to know?
If people haven’t purchased tickets yet they should definitely take advantage of Early Bird pricing, which ends August 26th. Getting a discount and using the money you save on some great food at the event is always a smart move.
For those attending the event, we hope they show up ready to mingle and to really get into it! We encourage traditional attire and will have fun games and contests throughout the event. Vegan Oktoberfest brings together an extremely diverse, friendly crowd and we’d love to see complete strangers locking arms and swaying to the Oompah band or raising their glasses for a toast. Vegan Oktoberfest truly is a one of a kind experience and we hope our guests not only enjoy that experience, but enhance it!
I know I can’t wait to throw on my beer girl costume and drink and dance the day away! Get on over to veganoktoberfest.com to get your tickets before they sell out! Prost!