From August 6 to 8, Leith Links will be the new home to all the colour, spectacle and excitement of the Edinburgh Mela Festival.
Bringing together culture and entertainment from across the world, the Mela has been an Edinburgh festival favourite since 1995, and is supported by the City of Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Arts Council.
This year’s event promises to be one of the biggest and best yet. The new location allows room for large-scale events and performances, such as the Jaipur Kawa Circus from Rajasthan, who bring their charming tale of a travelling troupe of entertainers; and the big top tent, which will feature collaborative music, dance and theatre performances.
A highlight of this year’s Mela will undoubtedly be the premiere of CARGO, a large-scale outdoor performance piece dealing with the theme of cultural migration, and which is funded by the Scottish Government. This dramatic physical and multimedia piece will be unveiled at the Mela, before continuing its run during the Edinburgh Fringe.
As well as ethnic food, crafts and family-friendly and children’s events, other highlights of a packed programme include:
- a set from Northern Xposure, a BAFTA nominated brother & sister rapping duo from Edinburgh
- traditional drumming and dance from Guizhou Ethnic Arts from South West China
- Something Relevant, a group from Mumbai playing a fusion of blues, reggae, soul and hip-hop
- The ever-popular Mela Fashion show, featuring Scottish saris from local designers
- a festival-closing set from BBC Asian Network’s DJ Wax
Also new this year is Naturally, Inspired, an innovative new programme shared by the Mela, the Edinburgh International Jazz & Blues Festival and the Scottish International Storytelling Festival. Featuring theatre, music, dance and stories inspired by Scotland’s natural landscapes, this exciting cross-festival collaboration will take place at the Royal Botanic Gardens.
The Edinburgh Mela Festival is one of the city’s best-value festivals, with day passes giving unlimited access only costing £2 in advance, or £2.50 on the day.
So, for a celebration of cross-cultural diversity and some colourful and exciting entertainment, head to Leith Links this year and revel in the atmosphere which the Mela conjures up so well.
Advance tickets for the Mela Festival can be bought from The Hub.