By Ana de Liz
Hundreds of people gathered at the second Kingston Yoga and Vegan Festival at the Kingston Guildhall on March 25 despite complaints of poor organisation.
The complaints came after many who bought a ticket in advanced were not let in due to the venue being full and security reasons.
“They shouldn’t sell the tickets if they’re not going to let people in. Especially if they knew it was popular last year,” said Angela, who came from Teddington and had to wait half an hour to enter the event.
As a response to initial confusion, Kriti Sachdeva, one of the event’s organisers, said that those who weren’t willing to wait could get a refund via PayPal. Some got a cash refund at the doors of the hall.
Despite the wait, once inside those that attended the festival could take part in free yoga and meditation lessons, buy 100 per cent vegan food and products, as well as visit stalls which promoted environmentally-friendly small businesses.
“In my University there was a Vegan Fair and they were selling toothbrushes, but you couldn’t recycle the bristles and the wood they used wasn’t sustainable. So I decided I would redesign them and make them better,” said Rishi Gupta, a biochemistry student who was selling recyclable toothbrushes.
Small traders stalls
Some of the 60 stalls included local artists, handmade body creams, healing crystals, teddy owls and monsters made from recycled sweaters and groups which promoted spiritual healing.
“I’m not vegan and I’m not vegetarian, but I do eat very little meat and I am interested in kind of vegan recipes (…) so I just wanted to see what kind of things were available and I’ve really enjoyed it so far,” said Sofia, who attended the event with a friend.
When asked if she had any trouble to get inside the festival, she said she arrived early and therefore didn’t have to wait, however she mentioned her friend had been stuck in a “massive cue”.
The Festival is set up as a 100 per cent non-for-profit event, run by volunteers and the proceeds of which go to charities. The first edition of the event was held in October 2016 at the Kingston Grammar School.