Mayor of London welcomes the 02 London Mela
* Jaz Dhami, Dhol Academy, Bollywood Brass band amongst the performers
* Red Poppy Ladies' Percussion from Beijing perform as part of Mayor's Showtime celebrations
* Philharmonia Orchestra to perform Holst's 'Indra' and Ravi Shankar's 'Symphony'
* End of Ramadan marked with Embracing Eid stage
The 02 London Mela celebrates ten years as Europe's largest outdoor festival of Asian culture — with an exciting and colourful mix of music and performance, bringing more than 300 artistes from around the world.
Backed by the Mayor of London, the free event takes place in Gunnersbury Park on Sunday 19 August and organisers hope to build on the success of last year's event, which attracted 92,000 people.
With contemporary, traditional and experimental music as well as DJs, street art and live comedy, the London Mela is aimed at Londoners and tourists alike. This family-friendly event features nine zones, including a Community and Kids Zone, Outdoor Arts area and the 'In Conversation With' tent, as well as food markets and a funfair. For the sixth successive year, the BBC Asian Network is programming the lively main stage.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'I'm delighted to once again be supporting the London Mela, a wonderful celebration of Asian culture in all its rich diversity. With the eyes of the world on the capital for the 2012 Games, this colourful family event will be a sparkling addition to the unprecedented series of free events taking place across the capital throughout the summer.'
The programme includes an exciting array of performances including Bhangra star Jaz Dhami performing with his full live band. Red Poppy, who were part of the Beijing Games and are being flown in from China especially for the London 2012 Games, are appearing as part of the Mayor's Showtime programme. Other Showtime performers include Arcadia, bringing a literally electrifying four million volts spectacular, 'Lords of Lightning', as the sun down goes.
The Philharmonia Orchestra are giving a two-hour long performance, which includes the London premiere of 'Indra', composed by distinguished onetime local resident Gustav Holst. The piece portrays Indra, the Hindu god of rain and storm, in a struggle with a dragon, Vrita, who causes a massive drought. Indra overcomes Vrita and the rain begins to fall. The orchestra is also performing Ravi Shankar's 'Symphony' — his first symphony conceived for a Western symphony orchestra. The performance will be followed by a special 10th birthday firework display — to round off what promises to be a wonderful day.
For this year, the London Mela is also hosting the Mayor of London's celebrations for Eid ul Fitr, which have been re-located away from Trafalgar Square, which is hosting BT London Live during the Paralympic Games. Featuring a wide range of talented Islamic artists and performers the Eid stage will see performances by U-Cef , Celt Islam, Seddik and the Seeds of Creation, Ustad Ali Hafeez Khan and the leading dance artist Tara Ibrahim, the only female tanoura dancer (Egyptian whirling dervish) in the UK.
Other highlights include the Mela Carnival, a special procession of colourful floats, including the motorised Elephant and Turtle, hundreds of community participants, plus live music from the Dhol Academy and the Bollywood Brass Band.
Artistic Director Ajay Chhabra says: 'We started off as a one-off event and have now transformed into a unique world-class festival. I am proud to be celebrating the London Mela's10th birthday, especially during the 2012 Games. Nestled comfortably between the Olympics and Paralympics, this artistic event for all, is a fantastic celebration of the suburbs and continues to inspire, encourage and surprise.'
Leader of Ealing Council, Councillor Julian Bell, said: 'We are very pleased to once again host this fantastic free event. The 02 London Mela is a time of celebration and for the community to unite. It is a highlight in the capital's cultural calendar and we look forward to the colour and excitement of the day.'
Councillor Jagdish Sharma, Leader of the London Borough of Hounslow, says: 'I am delighted that the borough is once again hosting the 10th O2 London Mela in Gunnersbury Park, which brings together all parts of the community to enjoy a day of South Asian music, dance, culture and arts, not to mention the wonderful food on offer.
'The Mela is a time for the whole family; a day to celebrate and enjoy, with something for everyone, and this year will be no exception. It is one of the highlights of our summer of celebration, and I'm sure it will once again be a huge success.'
Event: 02 London Mela 2011
Venue: Gunnersbury Park, Ealing, London W3
Date: Sunday 19 August 2012
Time: 1pm — 9pm
Entry: FREE — ALL WELCOME
Tube: Acton Town
Information: www.londonmela.org/ / www.london.gov.uk/