Belfast Mela festival celebrates a decade of diversity

A dancer marks a decade of diversity as the 2016 Mela is launch at Belfast's Botanic Gardens. Picture by Hugh Russell.
Amanda Ferguson

A FESTIVAL celebrating the culture and cuisine of Northern Ireland's ethnic communities is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a special programme of events.

This year's Belfast Mela (Sanskrit word for meet) will be marked on August 27 with an opening night theatre performance of The Phantom Queen in Lower Botanic Playing Fields.

Then on August 28 Botanic Gardens will be transformed into "an exotic festival of global identities" with a carnival parade, music, dance, theatre, food and more on offer.

Among the music acts featured on the main stage will be Indian musician Raghu Dixit, Latin American music from Los Dramaticos, plus the home grown talents of folk band Connla and the South Asian Dance Academy.

Arts Ekta director Nisha Tandon said the team was "proud to have created this creative cultural meeting" showcasing "the benefits and vibrancy of our increasingly diverse society".

For full programme details visit

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