Despite the heavy rain and thunder over 1000 people attended the 15th Tunbridge Wells Mela Festival in Calverley Grounds on Sunday 25th July. The Mela was organised in partnership by Cohesion Plus and Kent Equality Cohesion Council supported by Arts Council England and Royal Tunbridge Wells Together.

The audience in attendance saw an exciting series of performances on stage including Tunbridge Wells based Paul Dunton Orchestra and Sahrudaya West Kent Keralites who wooed everyone with their high energy performances. They were followed by the ever popular Phase 5 Steel Band and Uzambezi African ensemble. Grime and Rap was performed by G Town Talents before the Mela was climaxed by the Kings of Bhangra Four by Four who had everyone up and dancing in the midst of the rain. Off stage the children were entertained by the Show Globes ‘Enchanted Flower Garden’, a mobile and interactive life size snow globe complete with a mythical nymph.

There was also a range of food and drink as well which was supplied by local traders. The Mayor of Tunbridge Wells Cllr Chris Woodward was also in attendance and he thanked everyone for coming and supporting the important community event.

Gurvinder Sandher, Artistic Director of Cohesion Plus commented, “Despite the really bad weather I was delighted with what we were able to achieve. It was a challenging day with last minute drop out of acts and stall holders but we managed to produce an event which brought a smile to those who attended. After the year we have had it was so nice to hear live music again and see the smiles of people’s faces. We are truly humbled by the support provided by those in Tunbridge Wells and look forward to delivering another mela next summer with hopefully better weather. I am also proud of the fact that all the stage artists were from Kent as felt it was important to support the diverse arts sector as we came out of lockdown. Many of the acts had not performed since the summer of 2020”