Free From Festival Guide
The Free From Festival is now a well loved highlight within the gluten free, dairy free and vegan event calendar. Exhibitors range from tiny entrepreneur start-ups launching their products through to some popular and well known brands. There are many street food vendors and about an equal amount of stalls selling food to take away.
Should you attend? I suggest yes if you will enjoy any of the following.
- A gluten free and dairy-free kid-in-a-candyshop experience :-)
- A social day out with live music, talks, street food and friendly happy people all around
- Discovering and sampling new brands and products
- Talking to some of the passionate entrepreneurs exhibiting at the festival
- Learning and being inspired by the speakers and cooking demos
If you have been to the gargantuan explosion of free from that is the annual Allergy & Free From Show know that the Free From Festival is very different. It is much more of a social event and fun day out. There is live music and lots of street food. Some of the vendors are there to simply sell their great food rather than build their brand so don’t expect the volume of freebies and samples that the Allergy & Free From show offers.
Free From Festival Top Tips
1. Arrive early to speak with exhibitors
Speaking with the entrepreneurs and enthusiastic people behind the brands is fantastic. From midday to early afternoon though they are likely to be very busy indeed serving hungry people! Arrive sharp for the opening time to take advantage of a small window of opportunity to chat before the ravening hordes arrive!
2. Bring cash & a carryall
The Festival is described as a Cash only event. Some vendors might accept credit but mobile credit machines can suffer from flaky connections. Paper money time!
Since you might want to stock up on delights and deals bring a rucksack or a tote bag to ensure you have something in which to carry your free from booty! Better yet go semi-pro and bring a cooler bag! I remember one year there was a launch of avocado ice cream and without this I could not have carried nearly enough of it home!
3. Get an early ticket if you are even *thinking* of going early
Tickets are available for differing entry times, morning, afternoon and closing. Once inside the festival there is no restriction on how long you can stay. The ticket time options are helpful to the organizers to get an idea about when people will be arriving. So if you want the option of arriving early do buy the earliest ticket available.
If you buy a closing time ticket be aware some vendors may have sold out their stock already. On the other hand some may offer late deals in order to sell out. Good luck!
4. Install the App for Exhibitor details and Speaker session schedule
In addition to the food, glorious food there are speaker sessions focused around entrepreneur start up stories, healthy eating and living and cooking demonstrations. The schedule has been posted as a picture within this Facebook post for the 28 May 2018 Festival in London
There are also newly released apps providing details of both exhibitors and speakers.
Free From Festival app for iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/free-from-festival/id1384833129?mt=8
Free From Festival app for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gotoevnt.freefromfest
5. If You See Something Tempting, Be Decisive!
Otherwise someone else will come and buy that very last gluten free, dairy free croissant whilst you are busy admiring and instagramming it. Yes. I have had this exact experience.
6. Meetup with the Gluten Free London Meetup Club
Would you like to meetup with fellow free from people? Join the Gluten Free London Meetup Club and arrange to connect on the day. If you do, it is pretty much inevitable that you will discuss gluten free bread. Possibly also cupcakes. And scones.
Follow the Free From Festival
Visit the dedicated Festival Page, or Facebook, or Instagram. Post your own tweets and instagrams using #freefromfestival to share the love. Before you do, remember tip # 5! No regrets! Enjoy the Festival!