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Bollywood, bhangra and bedazzling costumes delight at Gravesend's Fusion Festival

PUBLISHED: 12:42 06 July 2015 | UPDATED: 12:42 06 July 2015

The Gravesend Fusion Festival

The Gravesend Fusion Festival

Archant

More than 2,500 people came to multicultural celebration

Dancers, musicians and stilt-walkers in brightly-coloured costumes wowed a crowd of thousands at the Gravesend Fusion Festival on Saturday.

Around 2,500 people of all ages headed to the Riverside Leisure Area to enjoy performances, arts workshops, food from around the world and family-friendly fun.

Organised by Cohesion Plus and the Kent Equality Cohesion Council and supported by Gravesham Borough Council, the festival aims to encourage positive relations between the borough’s different cultures.

Performers included African vocal ensemble Uzambezi, Slovakian band Gejza, local band What, the Four by Four Bhangra Group, Bloco Fogo Samba, bhangra musician Jassi Sidhu and Sam Smith tribute Joe Scripps.

Children from the borough performed a drama with the help of the 2B Scene Theatre Company and the Bollywood Brass Band staged a performance called Samba Bhangra Beats.

There were also arts activities provided by LV21 Arts and stiltwalkers dressed as Bollywood stars.

This is only the third year the festival has been held, and it is growing fast, attracting around 1,000 more people this year than last.

Gurvinder Sandher, Cohesion Plus’s artistic director, said he was delighted with the festival’s success.

“A lot of hard work and months of preparation go into organising an event like this – I started planning it in December - so it was very pleasing to see so many people,” he said.

“We were very lucky with the weather, but we exceeded expectations. The audiences were up and dancing. I was especially pleased with the response that we had for Samba Bhangra Beats, which proved very popular.

“All the work that we do, from the Christmas events to the St George’s Day celebrations, is about bringing communities together and there’s something at the festival for everyone.

“I have a lot more ideas for next year now!”

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