Packed programme as Mela turns 21!

Details have been announced of the 21st edition of the Edinburgh Mela, with a spectacular weekend of some of the very best in world music, dance, food and fashion.

On Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 August, at Leith Links, Edinburgh, the estimated crowds of 30,000 will see world class acts perform, savour a range of truly irresistible street food, marvel at a showcase of fantastic clothing and be treated to a magnificent climax production with scores of performers and top Bollywood dance professionals.

Chris Purnell, Director of the Edinburgh Mela said:

It gives me great pleasure to announce the Mela programme for 2015.  The Mela brings together the highest quality performances from international stars of the world music and dance scene and home grown talent, in a pulsating celebratory mix of everything vital about our many rich and diverse cultures.
Our commissioned work continues to enthral audiences drawn from all communities across the city and Scotland, and this year, that trajectory is maintained with some truly inspiring pieces.
Together with a packed programme of artists and performances across three stages, representing a myriad of styles, I hope that everyone will take away a special moment of their own.

There’ll be great music from a range of artists across two stages, including Birmingham’s superstar bhangra producer and singer-songwriter Sukshinder Shinda, two-time Juno Award winner Kiran Alhuwalia, Bengali singing sensation Suzana Ansar and British-Indian Asian Underground bhangra beats courtesy of Swami. Other great acts will include Edinburgh’s Swaryatra, traditional Polish music from Weilkopolska and UrbAsian pioneers Gtown Desi.

Dance fans will be glad to see the Mela retain its strong commitment to the form, with a dedicated World Dance Feste Stage, including: the premiere of Goddess, commissioned by the festival from Edinburgh choreographer Alan Greig, Argentinian tango from Jenny and Ricardo Oria, B-Boys vs BMXers hip hop battle Roadworks and a new interpretation of classic Kathak dance from Vidya Patel, among many others.

The event is famously family friendly, with under 12s getting in for free, and the fantastic Mela Kidzone has plenty on offer to keep younger festivalgoers entertained with live performances, dance workshops, craft sessions and more.

The Mela Fashion Show will showcase the latest styles for men, women, and children, while the Mela Marketplace will offer handcraft, clothing and textiles temptations all weekend.

Amid all that entertainment, the Global Food Village will once again feature an every growing selection of delicious global streetfood.

And to round off the weekend, Sunday night on the Main Stage will see the Mela’s signature show, in collaboration with the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Bollywood Love Story. Bringing together some of India’s finest talent with 40 talented local performers, this classic Bollywood tale of romance and adventure. Highlights from the show will be performed at each performance of the Tattoo, before the dazzling full-length production brings the 2015 Mela to an end.

Shami Khan, Chair of the Mela Board of Directors, said:

I am delighted to see the Edinburgh Mela continue to flourish and celebrate its success as Scotland's largest festival of world music and dance inspired by South Asian culture.
Every year audiences and performers from across the world flock to Leith Links for the Mela which is made possible by our team of dedicated staff, community groups, individuals and volunteers who make the festival such a fantastic event for all the people of this great city.

Tickets for the 2015 Edinburgh Mela cost £4 until Friday 28 August at noon, with tickets at the gate costing £5. Tickets are free for children aged 12 and under. For more information and to book, please visit www.edinburgh-mela.co.uk.

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