Asparafest interview: a music and food festival like no other

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As part of our ongoing festival coverage, we’ve interviewed the team behind music and food event Asparafest (30-31 May at Ashdown Farm in Worcestershire). 

On the music side, Asparafest has a great line-up of acts playing music from over the world and countless genres, such as The Wurzels. Blackbeard’s Tea Party, Moulettes, Bayou Seco, Thrill Collins. Model Folk and Pistol Pete.

There’s also a cookery stage with Wats Cooking featuring demonstrations from Felice Tocchini, Our Lizzy, Thomas Court, Word in Veg Ways and Nanas Food Japan. There’s even family fun thanks to an appearance by Katy Ashcroft from CBeebies ‘I Can Cook,’ Easy Peasy Cookery classes, duck herding with The Quack pack, falconry, pony rides, archery and much more for little ones to enjoy.

Lastly, Asparafest is also a charitable event, as all profits are going to the Evesham Volunteer centre. So not only is this a fun festival, it’s for a great cause too.

So without further ado, here’s a quick interview we conducted with one of Asparafest’s organisers Tash Daly. Take it away!

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Liftshare: Can you give us some insight into the origins of Asparafest?

Tash: Asparafest grew out of a weekend celebration of the vegetable at the National Trust owned Fleece Inn – which still holds the famous Asparagus Auctions. We wanted people to have a good time, celebrate the market gardening heritage of the area, bring new people in – and eat lots of yummy asparagus! We’re coming up to our 3rd festival and it’s becoming easier year after year to try and explain the Aspara-madness!

I’ve a lot of experience in running established festivals and the main challenge setting up a new event was getting suppliers and customers onside – selling the dream!

Liftshare: What do you think has helped you go from strength to strength over the years?

Tash:  Our festival goers are our champions – the festival is growing by word of mouth. It’s a laid back event, providing a safe place for families to relax, and full of quirky, old fashioned fun – like a village fete on speed! Our closing act this year is The Wurzels – perfectly capturing that laid back, cider drinking festival vibe!

Liftshare: On green, how closely do you monitor your impact on the environment, and what steps do you take to ensure that impact is reduced?

Tash:  Creating as little impact on the environment is very important to us, we appreciate festivals are always going to use energy but we look at reducing the consumption every year. We encourage lift sharing and using public transport wherever possible, recycle litter, ask all traders to use fair trade ingredients, recyclable containers and the bar has re-usable glasses.

Liftshare: On the flipside, in what ways do you see festivals getting sustainability dead wrong?

Tash:  We’re lucky we don’t have the problems large festivals have with fields full of camping gear and litter left! The main problems seem to occur when a festival doesn’t work with their location – if visitors don’t feel a connection with the area they tend to care less. We want everone to love the Vale as much as we do!

Liftshare: Lastly: can you share with us any great anecdotes about the festival?

Tash:  I’d like to give a big thank you to all the volunteers that make Asparafest happen – my fellow Directors, the MCs, backstage crew, ticket checkers, the set up crew, everyone! They show incredible generosity sharing their time to create this festival, and fantastic kindness to all the visitors!

Many thanks to Tash for answering our questions about Asparafest and remember, if you want to save money on getting to the festival, why not travel with other fans using Liftshare.com?

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