The hugely popular Tunbridge Wells Mela Festival will return to the borough on July 1st. The Mela Festival is now in its 13th year and takes place in Calverley Grounds between 12.30 pm and 6.30 pm. The Mela is organised in partnership by Cohesion Plus and the Kent Equality Cohesion Council with the support of Arts Council England. Other partners include The Mela Partnership and the Tunbridge Wells Round Table. The Mela Festival celebrates the diversity and cohesion of the borough through music, food and dance.
As in previous years, the Mela Festival promises to be a great free day out for the family. This year’s stage programme boasts a range of leading culturally diverse artists with an international flavour including Anaconda Belly Dance, Syrian duo Jamal and Alaa and African troupe Drumbeat. They will be joined by local artists including Ukelear Fall Out, The Paul Dunton Orchestra, Jack Curtis and Sahrudaya – The Kent Keralites.
The Cohesion Plus produced Folkin Fusion Collective will also be performing a unique fusion of street dance, dhol and djembe drumming for the first time on stage.
The headliners for the day will be International Bhangra Superstar PBN and renowned Bruno Mars tribute act Mars Live who promise to have the crowds singing and dancing by the days end!
The off stage activity will be just as colourful. Highlights include the Chinese Dancing Lions who will be looking to make mischief, performing amongst the audience. Mela festival goers will also have a chance to help find Auntie’s missing shoe during the course of an interactive show called Chappal, The Case of the Missing Sandal’. This particular show has been created working with the Mela Partnership and Nutkhut. In addition there will be a creative arts zone where LV21 will be delivering free workshops.
Alongside the exciting artistic programme, there will be a food zone where there will be countless delicious dishes from around the World for audiences to enjoy including Thai, Indian, Greek, Chinese and British food as well as Ice Cream, Donuts and Fudge. No festival is complete without a cold beverage so Fuggles Beer Café will be serving craft alcohol from around the Globe.
Gurvinder Sandher the Mela Artistic Director of Cohesion Plus commented “I am so proud to have been involved with the delivery of the Mela since its inception. The Mela Festival gets bigger and better every year and I am really pleased with what we have put together this year. We have a great artistic line up both on and off stage. A lot of time and thought has gone into this as we wanted to showcase some really great culturally diverse work. The Mela is great family day out and we hope the communities of Tunbridge Wells will come out and support us as they have done in previous years.”