This summer one more city in the United Kingdom will host a vegan festival
and we wanted to know what to expect from it!
A few moments ago we received some information about the first vegan festival to happen in Newcastle upon Tyne and a request for help to spread the word about it and we proudly said yes. I have to say that I love vegan festivals. If I could I’d travel the world going to every festival happening in the globe.
It makes me incredible pleased to see more and more events like this being organized and the UK is a fertile ground to spread the word about veganism. Besides the festivals organized by VegFestUK a good number of new initiatives are coming up in 2014 and I hope to stay.
Newcastle upon Tyne Vegan Festival will happen on July 26th, from 10am to 6pm, in The Castlegate and you can already get your tickets here. We have talked to Louise Pinchen, one young vegan who decided to organize the festival herself to know more about the event and the implications of organizing something this big:
How the idea of organizing a vegan festival in Newcastle upon Tyne was born?
The idea of organizing a vegan festival in Newcastle came firstly because this is where I am from and I know a lot of vegans in the area who struggle to find vegan foods and products. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity for the vegan community to come together and have a day of getting to know different businesses that they may have never even come across previously. Being a vegan myself this is something that I am very interested in.
You’re a young woman, student and already organizing your first vegan festival. Tell us a little bit more about the person behind the festival.
I am the eldest daughter of two and live with my parents in near Newcastle upon Tyne, where I was born and raised. I am 20 years old just about to finish my final year Business degree, organizing events and such is something I have always been interested in so this was the perfect opportunity for me to do something like this in my own home city.
I have always been a passionate person when it comes to business, health and animal welfare, so it’s probably no surprise that one day I was going to be running my own business. I have been from an early age a very entrepreneurial girl, be it running shop from our garage selling ice creams to running a tuck shop out of the school to raise money for a Kenyan charity.
For a first edition, the festival already have many companies exhibiting (around 15) and great speakers in the program, including soccer player Neil Robinson. Tell us about the most challenging aspects of putting together companies and people for an event with this structure.
The most challenging thing is just making sure you have everything in place and everyone is updated with what they need to know. There is a lot of hard work and determination going into this and to be doing this alongside a Business degree is not one of the easiest things I have done. I am very confident that this will be worth my while in the end. There are two charities benefiting from our festival, one of which is very close to our family and I would like to see that I have made a difference no matter how big or small.
The majority of the vegan festivals in Europe happen in the UK. What’s the main reason for having one more festival happening there? Is Newcastle upon Tyne a vegan-friendly city?
The reason for holding one in Newcastle is that there are no vegan festivals currently being held here. There is quite a large variety of vegans in Newcastle so this was a great idea for a festival to be held here. Although this is a vegan festival this is not just for vegans, anyone is welcome to come along and try out new things and see what is on offer. There will be many products on offer to come along and sample, and to receive any information or advice that people may want to know from professionals. There will be a huge variety from food and drink, household items, beauty products, services, charities and that is just a few to name.
How do you see the growing of veganism, specially of the vegan diet, that is happening lately? As a young vegan, do you think there are more young people attracted to veganism today?
I think that veganism is becoming increasingly popular as time goes on and especially for young people. A lot more people are looking into and taking control of their diets and with so many research and investigations in to the vegan diet making your life span longer there is no reason why people shouldn’t be turning to this way of living. More and more vegan products are being brought out on to the shelves of supermarkets; this is becoming apparent that the demand for these products are increasing. There are leaders of industries at the moment investing millions of pounds into the vegan diet and vegan products as they have predicted in around forty years’ time everyone will be vegans.
Which will be the biggest attractions of the festival?
It’s hard to put your finger on what the biggest attraction will be as there are so many exciting and different exhibitors coming along. We also have many great speakers coming along.
Are you already thinking about having an annual event in Newcastle upon Tyne?
I am already very confident that the event will be a huge success as we have had so much interest in different businesses and people wanting to come along and visit us from not just Newcastle but all over the UK and some further afield. This is something that I would definitely like to become an annual event possibly even more than one per year.