AN alternative version of Southampton's celebrated Mela Festival will take place in 2021.

A hybrid of events, both live and virtual, will replace the live Mela, which has suffered another Covid cancellation.

A range of pop up events will get under way on Monday (August 16) at Guildhall Square with Let's Dance between 5.15pm and 9pm.

Experience a taste of the Southampton Mela Festival with professional dancers and community groups showcasing a range of stunning dance and music celebrating South Asian culture. Expect world class dance from Sushmita Pati who will open the evening with her stunning Odissi performance of ‘Sounds of the Earth’ followed by a full dance programme including Kathak, Bhangra, Bharatnatyam and Belly Dancing leading to the joyous Bollywood Finale with Rakhi Sood, an international dancer and choreographer.

Storytelling and creative workshops for young people will also take place on Monday while a series of online workshops of dance, poetry, singing and music run until August 22.

The season will culminate in a broadcast version of Southampton Mela Festival online on September 19. It will feature performances by world class musicians, dancers and will also have a whole host of highlights from the smaller scale events throughout the summer. Interviews with artists and communities about their memories of the Southampton Mela over the last two decades will also be included.