The Next Round: What happens after you change your drinking?

Generic filters
festival speakers

Fantastic Mindful Drinking Festival speakers for Brighton 2022

This week, Club Soda co-founder Dru is joined by founder Laura and events organiser Josh to talk about the exciting festival speakers and events that will be happening during the Mindful Drinking Festival. If you don’t already know, this year’s festival, the tenth one we’ve run, will be held at the beautiful Brighton Open Markets on July 9 & 10, and there’s so much to see and do that we’ve had to split it into two podcasts!

Alongside the myriad of colourful stalls at the festival where you can try a great range of low and no alcohol drinks, we’ve got a wonderful list of festival speakers to inspire and motivate you to drink mindfully and live well.

Who are this year’s festival speakers?

At our festival by the sea, we’re running a program of talks, panel discussions, and keynote sessions with some fantastic festival speakers. All these events are being hosted at Presuming Ed, a fabulous coffee shop just around the corner from the market. There’s no need to book in advance for any of these events, they’re on a first-come, first-served basis.

Head over to Presuming Ed from 1 pm on Saturday where the wonderful Veronica Valli is our keynote speaker. Veronica is a sobriety coach and host of the Soberful podcast. We’re delighted to have her with us as a keynote speaker to talk about living an alcohol-free life.

At 2 pm, our How to Summer Sober panel discussion begins. It’s the first of two sessions on how to cope with boozy summers and all their hazy temptations while sticking to your drinking goals. Festival speakers such as Kate Baily from Love Sober, author and activist Bernadette Russel, Sophie Turton from The Joyful, and musician and radio host Hind give practical tips and advice to enjoy the happiest time of year alcohol-free. 

It’s always great to get lots of points of view as you never know what insight from someone’s individual journey might resonate with you. So do come to the second How to Summer Sober. Panelists include Ronnie Traynor from the Sober Social, local vegan food blogger Aaron Calder, and Sarah Williamson from Bee Sober and Drink Less, Live Better.

We’ve tried to include panels on topics that really matter to our community. How to manage your mental health sober will be invaluable to most of us. alcohol can be a go-to coping mechanism for challenges with mental health. But as many then discover, alcohol can make these problems worse rather than better. Is there a different approach? Claudia Cahalane from Vitality Qigong, Seb Royle, founder of Platf9rm, Jonny Stevens from Better Without as well as Hakeem S. Allen from The Anti-Racist Social Club tackle this important topic.

Want to know how to navigate a relationship break-up without hitting the booze? Join Club Soda’s co-founder Laura Willoughby in conversation with Rosie Wilby in this keynote session at our Mindful Drinking Festival in Brighton. Rosie will be sharing insights from her book The Breakup Monologues, and podcast of the same name, and talking about how you too can find unexpected joy in break-ups and navigate them more mindfully.

How to socialise sober is a question we all ask ourselves when we first change our drinking, and since the pandemic, this has become a more pressing question than ever. Emily Syphas from Sober & Social leads the panel discussion on how can you make authentic connections that don’t centre on alcohol.

Come and explore the changing face of queer sobriety with our panel on How to be queer and sober. Led by Dr. David McLaughlan, a consultant psychiatrist working in mental health and addiction, with panelists such as Maryann Wright of Sappho Events and Amanda Sober Artist & Creative Guide, these festival speakers will inspire you to live your life, your way.

What else can you expect at the Mindful Drinking Festival

As well as keynote sessions with some fantastic guest festival speakers, we’re also holding eight drinks masterclasses guided by mindful drinking experts. From cocktail-making to choosing the best beer, from alcohol-free wine pairing to knowing your AF spirits, we’ve got a masterclass for everyone. These special events require tickets in addition to your festival ticket, so book them in advance or sign up on the day using the QR codes around the festival.

Here are the masterclasses run by our expert festival speakers:

Wine tasting masterclasses

11 am on Saturday 9 July with Christine Parkinson of Brimful Drinks, and 11 am on Sunday 10 July with Josh Kelly of Club Soda.

Beer tasting masterclasses

12:30 pm on Saturday 9 July with Robin from AF Beer Club, and 12:30 pm on Sunday 10 July with Emma Inch, Chair of the British Guild of Beer Writers.

Cocktail Making masterclasses

3:30 pm on Saturday 9 July and 2 pm on Sunday 10 July with Gemma Mills from alcohol-free subscription service Jomo Club.

Introduction to alcohol-free drinks masterclasses

2 pm on Saturday 9 July with Amy Armstrong from Dry but Wet, and 3:30 pm on Sunday 10 July with Jane Peyton from School of Booze.

How do you get to see these amazing festival speakers and classes?

It’s easy! All you have to do is get yourself a free ticket and head down to The Open Market, Marshalls Row, Brighton and Hove, BN1 4JU. We can’t wait to see you there!

Generic filters

10% off your first order

Join Club Soda for 10% off your first order of drinks for UK delivery. Plus get our latest news and special offers for members to choose better drinks, change your drinking and connect with others.

If you get an error message with this form, you can also sign up at