Tbilisi’s first large-scale vegan eco-festival, Buneba Fest, is coming to Mziuri Park on June 17-18, and you won’t want to miss it.
The Buneba Fest team, made up of experienced event organizers and eager vegan and animal-loving volunteers, have been working hard to prepare a weekend packed with informative lectures, hands-on master classes, live music, delicious tastings, workshops, and more. They say guests will be able to sample a diverse array of plant-based cuisine at the food court, featuring some of the country’s most talented chefs and vendors, and will have a marketplace to browse to discover a variety of plant based products and sustainable goods.
The Georgian vegan movement is young, but it’s growing fast. In 2022, you may have noticed a lot of new vegan cafes and restaurants opening in Tbilisi and Batumi, and new vegan products being sold on the market. It seems timely, then, for a large event to be held that helps local people to get acquainted with this market, to help them figure out what veganism is, and just how easy it now is to be a vegan.
We at GEORGIA TODAY fully support the Buneba Fest team in promoting a more conscious and sustainable world for animals, the planet, and people alike, and we will be heading along this Saturday and Sunday with our kids to learn from industry experts and advocates on topics such as animal welfare, ethical living, and healthy eating, and joining in on vegan masterclasses. We’ll also get the chance enjoying live music performances from local artists and soak up the positive and vibrant atmosphere of the festival.
GEORGIA TODAY sat down with two Georgian women of the many involved in the organizing of the festival – Vegan Georgia President Nini Turiashvili and Tamar Gverdtsiteli, a freelance graphic designer.
“‘Buneba Fest’ is the first large-scale event in Georgia about animal rights and environmental protection,” Nini tells us. “The festival is organized by Vegan Georgia in cooperation with Anima International. The international team has been successfully holding events since 2010. There will be catering spaces, lectures, musical performances, workshops, a market, a children’s corner and other educational and entertainment activities aimed at every segment of society.
“Our organization Vegan Georgia, which is made up of managers, journalists, lawyers and many other experts in various fields, together with other animal rights activists, has been very active in organizing actions and events, and we decided we were ready to organize something more grandiose. That’s how the idea of holding Buneba Fest came about. We chose Mziuri, a central park in Tbilisi, as the location of the festival, because it’s popular as a hang-out on hot summer days, and the layout of the park perfectly suited the goals of the festival. In the process of working on this festival, we met many new activists, which is a great discovery for our organization.
“The festival supports businesses and non-profit projects that are related to the production of eco-friendly and animal-free products,” she notes. “Our main goal with Buneba Fest is to raise public awareness of the idea of animal freedom, the vegan worldview and an eco-friendly lifestyle.”
She emphasizes that Buneba Fest is a non-commercial event. The money and donations received will be used for animal rights activism, veganism and technical support for the festival.
“When I saw Georgia’s vegans were organizing a Buneba Festival and they needed volunteers, I signed up, because I want people to know more about veganism, to get deeper information about cruelty against animals, about vegan nutrition and their connection with a healthy life and environment,” Tamar tells us.
“I’ve been vegan myself for quite a while, and even started a food blog, where I share easy vegan recipes for people who can’t imagine their lives without meat and cheese.
“We expect more people to get interested in environmental issues and veganism as a result of attending this two-day festival. It will give them a chance to get all the information they need. For me personally, this event is all about having fun without harming animals or the environment. There will be lectures, cruelty-free products, food, and activities that can be done with minimum damage to our planet.
“I think Buneba Fest will make it easier for people to understand the environmental issues we’re facing today and their footprint on all of it, and to consider doing something positive about that impact,” Tamar concludes.
Check out Buneba Fest’s facebook and Instagram pages for updates and the latest details.