The Edinburgh Mela Festival is a multi-art celebration of the city’s cultural diversity. Started in 1995, the festival features spectacular outdoor performances involving dance, theater, circus acts and more.
This year’s theme is migration, and the world premiere of Cargo, a “water-soaked” play centering on two migrants traveling by sea to a new home, is the headline act. Also, be sure to check out Naturally Inspired, a show that reflects on Edinburgh’s beautiful landscapes; it is a collaborative production involving the talents of the Edinburgh International Jazz and Blues Festival and Scottish International Storytelling Festival as well.
Other performances include the Jaipur Kawa Circus, which tells the story of a wandering troupe of street performers from Rajasthan, India. According to the festival website, “audiences will get to share the intimacy of the company, with its tyrannical director, mesmerizing traditional dancer, funambulist (Indian rope walker), athletic acrobats and daring pole-vaulter.”
The festival also offers live music and dance performances: be mesmerized by the art of Egyptian belly dance or by ethnic dancers from Southwest China. Or close your eyes and allow traditional Scottish music to overtake your imagination. On August 9th, watch the Mela fashion show, which will showcase South Asian saris made from tweed.
The Mela Festival runs only for three days from August 6-8th at Leith Links, a park located near the Leith Docks (the festival location is just a fifteen minute walk from Waverly Station). Fun will be had by all: the festival offers a wide array of children activities, including Nepalese kite making, Chinese lantern making and the Edinburgh Puppet Lab.
Tickets are on sale now at the Hub, located on the Royal Mile in the Old Town (call +44-131-473-2000) or at Leith Links between the following times: Friday 6th August, 2.00pm -9.30pm; Saturday 7th August, 11.00am-8.30pm; and Sunday 8th August, 11.00-8.30pm. Adults pay only £2 per show if tickets are purchased in advance, while children under 12 will get in for free! You can also purchase day pass wristbands.
[All photos courtesy of Edinburgh Mela Festival]