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Hello everyone,

This weekend I have been enjoying two cultural, fantastic and meaningful events. The 70’s Night and the Mela 2010. Both amazing, both an experience to remember!

Well the 70’s Night is what I will start off with…

The 70’s Night is a night were everyone can go dressed up in an outfit to listen to 70’s music, drink booze and dance. Possibly one of the most sociable events you could go to. Everyone sits around on camping chairs, drinking cold fresh tins of lager and eating junk food. A time to relax and a time of laughter, especially for those who are more unsociable in society. Almost everyone turned up in an afro, 70’s dress, hippy clothes and the outfits of very familiar faces. I saw an Austin Power’s character, ‘Dr. Evil’, which was very impressive. I even bumped in to someone who was dressed up as ‘Velma’ from the ‘Mystery Machine’ in ‘Scooby Doo’. The outfits were so creative, interesting and for most of the people there, they brought back memories of the time of ‘Make Love, Not War’. Another thing about this amazing night which I noticed was there was just laughter, friendly faces, smiles, no fighting, no bottling, no idiots. It created an atmosphere of peace and harmony and that, I believe, is what seems to be so great about it! You can go there, drink and say anything in the world and you won’t wake up the next day with a black eye and a message in your head saying; ‘I wish I never said that.’

Something that did disappoint me was the liveliness, the festival seemed to not have any ‘boogyness’ to it and I overheard a comment of someone describing another person as ‘ignorant’, which to be honest shocked me considering everyone there might as well have been ignorant. Groups of people hustling together like tribes eating and drinking, it seemed like the night was going to be so quiet and miserable, I mean it’s a night where you will want to meet new people, make new friends or even more! However, when Abba decided to take it to the stage, things toned up a bit and soon after everyone was singing ‘Dancing Queen’. I was quite disgusted with the organisation of the toilets! Apparently last year, the portable toilets were shared with the dudes and dudettes. Anyway there was apparently a massive cue for each one and it took ages to get in one! So this year they gave the men urinals and some portable toilets and the rest of the portable toilets to the women, but I noticed us men having it so easy, just walking in, doing our thing and going back out. However, for the women it wasn’t as easy as they had to wait in huge cues, quite unfair. Soon after women tried sneaking into the men’s toilets, the events organiser really needs to make a better effort next year when it comes to facilities! To end the amazing, drunken and very much fun night, a nice display of fireworks was blasted into the air and couples kissed, kids laughed and cans clashed as they realised what a fantastic night it had been! Definitely a night in the North East to look out for, 9/10!

Now the Mela…

The Mela is a cultural, sociable, musical and family fun event. Pakistanis, Indians, British, etc. Everyone gathered in Middlesbrough’s Albert Park infront of a massive stage and are surrounded by rides, food and ethnic races. As I approached the event, I noticed Clairville Field was filled with cars and that was only early! When I walked in, Indian music was blasting, people were sat together on blankets eating sandwhiches and children lined up to go on the rides. I saw nearly every ethnic you could think of, it certainly proved that the Mela had already completed their mission, bringing cultures, races and religions together! An example of how well everyone can get on. However, I may slightly contradict what I have just said because there was one or two fights! One of them I was in the middle of!

However despite the disagreements some people had, basically the immature people. The Mela managed to throw a whole day without someone complaining about a certain flag been up or a certain clothing worn. Yes I am speaking about the latest stupid complaints we’ve had about the Union Jack been up and the Islamic women wearing the vales! The music was very interesting, we had Indian singers, Asian British music and the performance of the dance double, ‘Signature’! However, one group caught my eye in particular. It was a group of rappers; Christian ‘XTN’ Onwochei, Okan and an unfamiliar face who I believe goes by the name of Jav. Yes, all three of the performers really got the crowd going. I don’t know the artists but from what I know XTN and Okan both have released albums and are two of the biggest artists in the North East. I understand XTN had his album released in HMV and got himself a music video made as well. Jav had a soft R’N’B voice and really managed to grab the crowd with his voice.

The quality of the sound wasn’t very good unfortunately, I couldn’t hear it very well at one point, whoever engineers the amplifying did a terrible job at getting the music spread out and about! The food was interesting and new to many people, including me, Indian and Pakistani food was the favourite, spicy stuff! Then there was the local and familiar traders setting up stalls, a lot of them sold interesting stock! Something the event did capture very well was the cultures, I really enjoyed it when Pakistani people waved their flag in the air and danced together, it was amazing and was the perfect example of how people can be brought together and learn off each other and have fun!

Overall, the Mela was a very good day out and I enjoyed it thoroughly, 8/10!

You would never have thought of it but the North East can throw some good events! I really do suggest that people try and make it to these events next year, I know you will enjoy them as much as I did!

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