The 9th Tunbridge Wells Mela Festival which celebrates the diversity of the borough through music, food and dance will be taking place this Sunday July 13 at the Calverley Grounds between 12.30pm and 6pm. The Mela has been organised in partnership by Cohesion Plus Kent, Sue Latham Events and the KECC (Kent Equality Cohesion Council).

The Mela is part funded by Arts Council England with the balance of the funds being raised through stalls, sponsorship, and donations, with KECC covering any shortfall as again there is no funding support from local authority partners.

A range of culturally diverse artists will be performing including leading Samba group Bloco Fogo, Four by Four Bhangra, African Folk Group Uzambezi, Lady Motown, emerging young singers Ryan Bennett and Gemma Moore, Cullen Academy of Irish Dance, local reggae star Jack Curtis and Phase 5 Steel Band.

Alongside the exciting stage programme there is also going to be a creative arts zone where Same Sky arts will be delivering arts workshops and there will be an opportunity to decorate the “Mela Festival Gate” which symbolises the fact that the Mela is open to everyone and welcomes all communities young and old.

Gurvinder Sandher the CEO of Kent Equality Cohesion Council commented “We hope that the local community will come and enjoy what may be our last ever Mela in Tunbridge Wells. We have worked very hard again to make it happen and have a very exciting stage programme as well as planned activities in the arts zone and food from around the world, the lack of any local authority funding however is making it very difficult to see the Mela surviving as we cannot afford to keep underwriting any shortfalls. I must give credit however to small local business and local community partners who have stepped up and have supported us again this year. It is a big shame as I believe the Mela is a unique event in Tunbridge Wells.” 

There is a still a funding short fall for the Mela, so if anyone would like to help please Text KECC11 followed by how much you wish to donate between £1 and £10 to 70070 

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Tunbridge Wells Mela 2014-1   Tunbridge Wells Mela 2014-2