GemArts Masala Festival returns to the North East to showcase South Asian creativity and culture

GemArts Masala Festival returns to the North East to showcase South Asian creativity and culture
-Credit: (Image: GemArts)

GemArts Masala Festival is returning to Newcastle to showcase South Asian creativity and culture. The festival will feature dance, live music, authentic cuisine and a fair for families, taking place in several venues across the city.

GemArts are launching Masala Festival 2024 with Pagrav Dance Company’s 'Aunusthan' at Dance City on 15th July, a celebration of Neo-Classical Indian dance and music. Masala also features 'Artful Struggles': Contemporary Art from Sri Lanka at The Gallery in Gateshead Central Library, and 'Cities of Dreams - Beneath the Surface' at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, with a curated selection of South Asian short films.

On 17th July, 'New Ways of Moving in the Counterworlds' will be taking place at The Cluny 2, an experimental performance by bassist John Pope, violinist John Garner, and poet Nisha Ramayya. The film 'Snow Leopard' will be screened at Tyneside Cinema on 18th July, and on the same evening, there will be spoken word poetry at DiverCity Hub with 'Freespill: A Night of Unfiltered Desi Soul Flow'.

On 19th July, the extraordinary and joyous sounds of the Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band will come to the city centre. The festival continues at The Glasshouse, with indie folk and pop quartet 'When Chai Met Toast', and on the 20th July, the string duo 'Balladeste' as will present an afternoon concert at St Mary’s Heritage Centre in Gateshead.

Throughout the week, the award-winning Dabbawal Street Food Kitchen and Masala Festival are teaming up once again, with Dabbawal offering a seven-day flavour journey, capturing the vibrant essence of the festival at both the High Bridge and Jesmond branches. The GemArts Masala Festival culminates on Sunday 21st July at Bensham Grove Community Centre in Gateshead, with a spectacular Mini Mela & Mini Book Fair finale, with the free event featuring South Asian arts, craft, pottery, music, and dance workshops for children and families.

Vikas Kumar MBE, the GemArts Director, said: "GemArts award winning Masala Festival is back, from 15th – 21st July 2024, celebrating South Asian creativity and cultural goodness. We have an exceptional line-up of regional, national, and international artists exploring diverse themes, reflecting the essence of both urban and rural life, the quest for freedom and the spirit of resistance through classical, folk and contemporary art forms.

"As always, we have lots of fun events for children and families, alongside the irresistible flavours of Indian cuisine. We are really excited about this year's Masala Festival programme and look forward to welcoming audiences from the North East and beyond."

Visit the GemArts website here for the full Masala Festival 2024 programme and to book tickets.