County's first free-from event planned

By Lucy Todman | Shrewsbury entertainment | Published:

A festival specialising in raising awareness of all things free-from has lined up an array of speakers, chefs, traders and entertainment for the event.

Frestival will take place at the Greenhous West Midlands Showground, Shrewsbury on May 18 and organisers are aiming to offer information, guidance and tips on free-from lifestyles, as well as a traders village offering free-from food and products.

Organiser Ian Bebbington said people are eager to find out more about free-from in all areas of life from free-from plastic to free-from animal products and free-from food.

He said: “With Veganuary taking place this month, the free-from movement is high on people’s agenda.

“Many people are trying out new lifestyles and we want to help them explore that by giving access to information about free-from foods and products, learn about free-from lifestyles and take advice from those who already live, and cook, free-from.”

The event will feature a lecture theatre where visitors can hear from speakers such as Jan Minihane, founder of the UK Paleo Awards, Tom Holt, of Paso-Primero, who will be talking about vegan wines with Robin Nugent of Iron & Rose in Shrewsbury’s Market Hall and Ben Calder, who will be discussing Kinesiology and Epigenetics.

Ben will also be holding allergy testing clinics for anyone worried that they, or their children, might have an allergy to a food or product.

Claire McDonnell Liu, founder and nutrition advisor at, a non-profit organisation providing information and nutrition programmes on losing weight, cutting down on sugar and improving energy, will be speaking and running a workshop.

The cookery theatre will welcome a number of local chefs, including Mytton and Mermaid head chef Chris Burt, Richard Fletcher, chef and proprietor of The Pheasant Inn at Admaston and Lajina Leal, of Lajina Masala.


Mr Bebbington said there will be a wide variety of trade stands, allowing visitors to stock up on free-from produce and find out about new ways to create a free-from lifestyle.

He added: “We are really excited to be organising the first free-from festival of its kind in Shropshire.

“We are delighted to have an excellent range of chefs and knowledgeable speakers who will inform and entertain during the day.”

The festival will also have a free-from food court and free-from bar to allow guests to enjoy refreshments throughout the day, and entertainers will be on hand for families, who can also enjoy the ‘free-from technology’ children’s area.


Trade stands are still available for booking and any producer who would like to exhibit should visit for more information.

Tickets will cost £5 in advance, £7.50 on the gate or £15 for a family. Children under 16 are free.

To buy tickets, go to

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.


Top stories


More from Shropshire Star

UK & International News