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Thursday, July 25, 2024

A mix & blend of the finest South Asian arts & culture 15 – 21 July 2024

“GemArts award winning Masala Festival is back, from 15 – 21 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!”- Vikas Kumar MBE, GemArts Director

GemArts launch Masala Festival 2024 with Pagrav Dance Company’s Aunusthan at Dance City on 15 July, a celebration of Neo-Classical Indian dance and music interweaving complex patterns, virtuosic performance and riotous rhythm. For art lovers, Masala Festival features Artful Struggles: Contemporary Art from Sri Lanka at The Gallery, Gateshead Central Library, commemorating the second anniversary of the Aragalaya/Porattam (‘Struggle’ in Sinhala and Tamil respectively) movement. On 16 July, explore the built environment through Cities of Dreams – Beneath the Surface at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, with a curated selection of South Asian short films.

Make your way to Cluny 2, Newcastle on 17 July for New Ways of Moving in the Counterworlds, an experimental performance by bassist John Pope, violinist John Garner, and

poet Nisha Ramayya. For film enthusiasts, Snow Leopard will be screened at Tyneside Cinema on 18th July, capturing the beauty of Tibet, and the story of a majestic snow leopard and its coexistence with local communities. The same evening, experience spoken word poetry at DiverCity Hub with Freespill: A Night of Unfiltered Desi Soul Flow, hosted by Tahmina Ali alongside a stellar line up of local and national poets.

GemArts is thrilled to continue its partnership with headline sponsors Tyne and Wear Metro, and on Friday 19 July they will be bringing straight from the golden sands of Thar Desert to Newcastle City centre the extraordinary and joyous Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band. The festival continues that evening at The Glasshouse for one of the hottest bands out of India, Kerala-based indie folk and pop quartet When Chai Met Toast. And on Saturday 20 July, don’t miss the beautiful melodies of the string duo Balladeste as they present an afternoon concert at St Mary’s Heritage Centre, Gateshead.

Throughout the week, the award-winning Dabbawal Street Food Kitchen and Masala Festival are teaming up once again. MASALA FESTIVAL at Dabbawal offers a seven-day flavour journey, capturing the vibrant essence of the festival at both Dabbawal High Bridge and Dabbawal Jesmond branches.

GemArts Masala Festival culminates on Sunday 21 July at Bensham Grove Community Centre in Gateshead with a spectacular Mini Mela & Mini Book Fair finale. This FREE fun event features South Asian arts, craft, pottery, music, and dance workshops for children and families. Enjoy a Mini Book Fair showcasing South Asian heritage in children’s publishing, plus performances, henna stations, face painting, delicious Indian food, and much, much more..

There really is something for everyone!! Visit www.gemarts.org for the full Masala Festival 2024 programme and to book tickets.

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