Multicultural Middlesbrough Mela Back on Menu After Brief Pause

Tees Valley Combined Authority | Published on: 7th September 2023

The North-East’s biggest multicultural festival is back in Middlesbrough this weekend, bringing its spectacular mix of music, food, fashion, and fun to the town.

As part of the region’s summer of events, Middlesbrough Mela will once again hit Albert Park on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 of September, after it was briefly postponed due to the venue being waterlogged by heavy rain.

But it will now be back in full force and hosted by Jasmine Takhar of the BBC Asian Network, with world-class music from the likes of rapper F1rstman and singer Bambi Bains, alongside local talent, a market bazaar and a range of exciting family activities.

The popular annual event is in its 33rd year and regularly attracts audiences of around 50,000 people, with communities coming together to celebrate the diverse cultures within the region.

The event has secured a four-year investment of £118,000 from the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority’s Festival Scale-Up Programme.

As well as grant funding, the support includes training, specialist guidance and information to help our festivals develop, become more sustainable and self-sufficient while growing audiences and reach to boost the region’s visitor economy.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Middlesbrough Mela has been a must-visit event on the region’s festivals calendar for decades – and it’s only getting bigger and better. After a small hiccup, it’ll be great to see it back where it belongs.

“Each year brilliant musicians, dancers, food producers and local talent turn out for a celebration like no other you’ll find across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool. They attract thousands upon thousands of visitors from our area and further afield,

“That’s why we’re supporting Mela – and other fantastic festivals – to get the funding they need to expand, underpinned by a whole wealth of other support. Making our events more resilient and boosting their reach will get even more people to the region to enjoy them, and get them supporting our economy further by spending on our high streets and in our local businesses.”

Mela organiser Kash Patel said: “Middlesbrough Mela is truly grateful for the support it receives from TVCA. We have a fantastic heritage of more than three decades of delivering one of the best Mela’s in the UK and without the support of our key stakeholders, and the people of the area, this wouldn’t be possible. The festival plays an important part in connecting communities as well as driving cultural and economic growth within our region.”

Festivities are continuing beyond the summer, with Festival of Thrift’s celebration of sustainable living will take place in the new location of Billingham this month. Ethical enterprises such as local makers, food producers, artisans, upcyclers, fixers and recyclers, craftspeople and artists will be once again out in force for a weekend of workshops and entertainment on 23 and 24 September.

And Taste of Africa bringing its Afro Caribbean Market and Parade to Middlesbrough’s Orange Pip Market on 30 September, ahead of its main event – the Taste of Africa Showcase in Middlesbrough Town Hall on Saturday 21 October.

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