The ALL LOVE Festival, an all-day kirtan event in aid of CRISIS, is taking place for the fourth year on June 6 2021.
38 kirtan leaders will chant for the homeless in this spectacular event, using their voices to bring communities together and celebrate the power of kirtan. We spoke to Nikki Slade, the founder of ALL LOVE festival, to discuss the upcoming event.
YAP: Why did you set up the ALL LOVE festival?
NS: The Vision for All Love Kirtan festival came directly out of the my 200hr Learn to Lead Kirtan Foundation Training (accredited by the Yoga Alliance Professionals).
The 1st training launched successfully in 2016 and was very much a pilot training where I learned what worked and what could be developed. One of the things I realised was that there needed to be a support structure and focus for students to develop after the 200hr training.
The vision came to me to create an annual kirtan festival where leaders could be empowered and supported to lead to a wider community with the support of professional musicians and the experience of chanting with mics. I then invited established well-known kirtan leaders to join us who already had a following in addition to the students to attract the wider public to attend the event.
The first Kirtan festival happened in 2018 at The Study Society (the location of the Training course). Around 19 graduates came to lead in public, many for the first time! I called the event the Chantathon as it was a 10-hour marathon of non-stop chanting which I compèred. The energy built throughout the day and the public could come and go and partake of the delicious Asian food café downstairs. The event had a beautiful energy and was warmly received by all and leaders blossomed as a result.
YAP: What has the response to ALL LOVE been so far?
NS: Phenomenal! There is a huge buzz not only amongst the leaders but with all those who attended in previous years and who look forward to coming back this year.
YAP: Why did you choose to focus the event on Kirtan?
NS: Kirtan is all about vibration and the heart with joyful melody and rhythm - you just can’t beat the immense sense of unity when all the voices come together as One in the heart. The power of mantras is like a divine soccer match when the crowd is chanting in unified joy!
YAP: How did you manage the challenge of moving online due to Covid last year?
NS: When COVID struck I thought about moving the event online, but had no idea whether we could pull it off. This was when Harel Malka stepped in with the genius plan to make it a zoom webinar that live-streamed to FB.
We all pulled together, and with hours of technical preparation from Alva and Harel, plus leadership empowerment from myself and other committed leaders, we came together for a fantastic online event.
We chanted for 12 hours non stop and it was a hugely successful and happy event raising £5500 for Crisis. I would like to thank Louise Cashin and Corinne Ameura who worked tirelessly to support this event.
YAP: What are your hopes for ALL LOVE this year?
NS: That we double our £5500 target.
YAP: Why did you choose Crisis as the charity to raise funds for?
NS: Mark Bouzida suggested Crisis as he has long term service connections with them and it just felt right as chanting is about coming home inside so why not support the `homeless`?
YAP: Can you tell me more about the benefits of Kirtan?
NS: Kirtan is all about love, connection, empowerment, peace of mind and spiritual upliftment.
YAP: What are you most excited about ALL LOVE 2021?
NS: Bringing everyone together in joy again!!
ALL LOVE 2021 will be broadcast on the 6th of June from 8.30am-10.30pm from Nikki Slade’s FB page at nikkislade-freetheinnervoice. There will be a Gofund me page for Crisis and it is on a donation basis only