The 02 London Mela – Europe’s largest outdoor Asian festival – returns to Gunnersbury Park, Ealing, on Sunday 4 September. Last year’s Mela attracted a record-breaking 92,000 people, and this year the festival is set to be even bigger and better than ever, with nine zones including The Main Stage, Mix Tent, BBC Introducing, The Classical stage, Community & Kids zone, Outdoor arts and ‘In conversation with’, not to mention the food markets and funfair.
Free, family-friendly and universally loved, the 02 London Mela is produced by Ealing Council and supported by the Mayor of London and London Borough of Hounslow, with BBC Asian Network programming the main stage for the 6th successive year. Featuring a huge variety of artists from around the world as well as a plethora of homegrown acts, the 02 London Mela truly has something for everyone.
The Main Stage is programmed by BBC Asian Network and hosted by a selection of the station’s DJs including Tommy Sandhu, Sonia Deol, Noreen Khan and Murtz. Highlights of the bill include the number 1 British-Asian music star of all time, Jay Sean, who’ll be treating the crowd to exclusives from his forthcoming album Freesse Time as well as all his biggest tunes such as Hit The Lights, Down, 2012 (It Ain’t The End) and early classics Dance With You, Eyes On You and Stolen. Welcome home Jay Sean, and Mumzy Stranger, winner of ‘Best Urban Act’ at the UK AMA (Asian Music Awards) 2011, who will appear with collaborators including fellow East Londoner Junai Kaiden. Canada’s Indian/Pakistani fusion act Josh will make their London Mela debut on the Main Stage performing a greatest hits set and tracks from their new album Beyond Kismat, along with the Canadian Crown Prince of Bhangra, Jazzy B, who will be giving us a sneak preview of his new album, while breakthrough star Ash King will be performing his hits from some of Bollywood’s biggest film soundtracks. The Main Stage line up also includes Hunterz, Surinder Rattan feat. Joga, Roach Killa & Metz & Trix, Garry Sandhu, and Shahid Kapoor & Sonam Kapoor, with more acts yet to be announced…
BBC Introducing will once again be hosting a stage at the 02 London Mela, supporting unsigned, undiscovered and under-the-radar artists. BBC Asian Network’s Bobby Friction will play host to the best emerging Asian talent, from The Truth to Foji as well as Preeya Khalidas featuring special guest appearances.
As in previous years, the 02 London Mela breaks with convention to present a broad and eclectic programme. Back for 2011, will be the ‘In Conversation’ an intimate setting where the audience will see stars and politicians in conversation with celebrity interviewers. There is also a new stage ‘Indy Indie’ programmed by Global Local & Continental Drifts which features music from the left-field of the South Asian Diaspora from Desi Rock to Indo-electronica.
The Outdoor arts programme includes ‘Jannat’ a three-year Cultural Olympiad project by London, Bradford and Liverpool melas, which creatively reflects on climate change and takes its inspiration from the islands of Fuji, Trinidad and Mauritius. There will also be shows from from Nutkhut and a number of other top UK outdoor arts companies.
The Community Stage will invite people to show off their skills in ‘Mela’s Got Talent’ and showcase Asian dance groups from across London and the UK – all hosted by renowned Choreographer and Dance Entertainer Jay Kumar.
The Kid’s Area is programmed by Emergency Exit Arts providing activities and entertainment for the younger festival goers. A delightful, interactive space where visitors can experience the magic of stories, dance and creative play, and a giant funfair. All this plus food, crafts and cultural stalls.
In the Classical Zone – supported by the British Heart Foundation and Compered by Ashanti Omkar– there will be performances celebrating Asian communities’ heritage, This year’s Classical stage plays tribute to two famous poets of the sub-continent, Nobel prize winner Rabindranath Tagore and Nobel nominee and Lenin Peace Prize winner, Faiz Ahmad Faiz. Both of whom have left a lasting imprint on the minds of Classical arts lovers, Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary and Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s 100th are celebrated with aplomb, with Sufi and Bengali music and dance, performed in a way that all audiences can enjoy and connect. The stage incorporates the rare South Indian instrument, the Veena, via BBC 3′s World Routes protégé.
One of the biggest attractions of the Mela is the BBC Asian Network Mix Tent, hosted by Nihal. DJs featured include BBC Asian Network’s very own DJ Kayper, Sonny Ji, Dipps Bhamrah, Kan-D-Man & Limelight. Get ready to be mesmerised by an eclectic mix of Bhangra, Funky, Hip-Hop, Desi Beats, Bollywood, Drum ‘n’ Bass and pretty much anything you can think of, played by a selection of the BBC Asian Network’s DJ talent – plus special guests including PMG (Pure Music Generals) and Donae’o.
Venue: Gunnersbury Park, Ealing, London W3
Date: Sunday 4 September 2011
Time: 1pm – 8.30p
Entry: FREE – ALL WELCOME
Nearest Tube: Acton Town