Pop-up festival gives a taste of the Middlesbrough Mela set for August

A pop-up festival has taken place, celebrating multicultural Middlesbrough.

The mini mela was held in the town centre, giving a taste of the main event which is set to return in August

A DJ played Bollywood and bhangra hits to welcome shoppers and festival goers, before dancers and musicians performed.

Visitors could also enjoy street food and do a spot of shopping around a small market with Asian-inspired clothing, jewellery and henna tattooing.

Cleveland Police also had a stall at the pop-up event to encourage members of the public to ask questions about policing the region and access information about a career in the police force.

The main festival will return to Albert Park across the weekend of 13 and 14 August.

It will be the first full-scale Middlesbrough Mela since all the coronavirus lockdowns.

Councillor Stephen Hill, Middlesbrough Council's Executive member for Culture & Communities, said: "The Mela is one of the cultural highlights of the year, not just for Middlesbrough but for the whole Tees Valley and beyond.

"After a tough couple of years it's going to be back bigger and better than ever in August, and this weekend's pop-up will be a tantalising taster of what's to come."

The Mini Mela and Middlesbrough Mela are run by the Middlesbrough Mela Committee, Kash Patel Productions and Middlesbrough Council.

Kash Patel is one of the event organisers. He hopes people got a taste of what is to come in the summer:

"Mela has been in Middlesbrough for 32 years. It is very important for the town because it brings everybody together.

"Mela means 'a gathering', so what we will have in August, in Albert park, is a main mela, and what you see right now is just the mini mela, just to give the public a little taster."