The 10th Tunbridge Wells Mela Festival which celebrated the diversity of the borough through music, food and dance at Calverley Grounds proved to be popular with the local community. The Mela was organised in partnership by Cohesion Plus Kent, Sue Latham Events and the Kent Equality Cohesion Council.

KECC have been involved in the Mela since its inception and were very proud as an organization to have managed to get the Mela to this important milestone.

A range of culturally diverse artists the majority of whom were base in Kent performed at the Mela including the Bollywood Brass Band, Four by Four Bhangra Group, Bloco Fogo Samba Group, Bulgarian folk dance group Kitka, local band Sean Fennessey and Friends, popular Bangladeshi star Nurjahan Shilpi, African ensemble Uzambezi, the Paul Dunton Orchestra, bellydancng troupe Anaconda and leading Ed Sheeran tribute Jack Sheppard.

Alongside the exciting stage programme there was also a creative arts zone where LV21 Arts put together the Changing Audiences piece of art, with members of the public dressing up wooden models to create an additional audience. While Eric MacLennan’s new piece of work “Voyage around my Bedroom”also proved to be very popular with people queuing to take part. In addition the popular Nutkhut Stilt Walkers had the audience up, laughing and dancing throughout the day.

Gurvinder Sandher the CEO of KECC commented “I was very pleased with how the Mela was received. There has lots of positive feedback which makes all the struggles to raise the funds and the hard work which starts some 6 months before well worthwhile. I would like to pay credit to all our community partners who had not given up on the Mela and supported us and encouraged us to make the Mela happen. If this does prove to be the last Mela that we are involved with in Tunbridge Wells I am glad that we went out on such a positive note. Events like this bring diverse communities together and allow us to promote our shared British values and showcase excellent local talent. “