With roots in the Indian subcontinent, the word Mela means ‘ A Fair’. In rural tradition, Mela’s were and still are of great importance in connecting communities. In its modern usage, it is not only a South Asian but also an intercultural festival incorporating art, culture, music, dance, traditional food and heritage. Mela provides the backdrop for community cohesion, bringing together people from all walks of life to share traditions and cultural experiences.

Preston City Mela is a family oriented event, which provides an opportunity to share rich cultural heritage with all population groups. Mela provides the perfect cohesion and participation setting by creating an opportunity where communities and people of all ages can come together to have fun and learn. This unique, colourful and free event aims to promote meaningful integration and interaction between the diverse groups within Preston and Lancashire.

Preston has a long history of Mela events, it’s been in place for more than 16 years and made a major contribution to the City’s cultural programme and during the Guild 2012 celebrations.

Mela events have been organised by dedicated volunteers from the local community.  This web site includes some of the historical events that have taken place under the heading of Mela, including images and reports.

More recently, the format of Mela has moved to the City Centre.

Mela Objectives:

  1. To Promote and develop South Asian art forms in Preston and across Lancashire.
  2. To showcase local artist talent and retain traditional South Asian art forms in the city.
  3. To use South Asian arts, as a key enabler to promoting community cohesion, breaking down cultural differences and engaging people from all walks of life.
  4. To contribute towards a vibrant and diverse city offer connecting into the city’s main cultural programme.
  5. To establish a quality cultural offer for Preston and Lancashire.
  6. To contribute towards positive health and wellbeing of Preston’s residents and visitors.