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Event: 02 London Mela 2010
Venue: Gunnersbury Park, Ealing, London W3
Date: Sunday 8 August 2010
Time: 1pm – 8.30pm
Nearest Tube: Acton Town
Information: /

The 02 London Mela – Europe’s largest outdoor Asian festival, which last year attracted a record-breaking 83,000 people – is again set to transform Gunnersbury Park, Ealing, on Sunday 8 August with seven zones of urban, classical and experimental music, DJs, dance, visual arts, children’s activities and food.

Free and family-friendly, 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. The festival features some of the best homegrown and international artists, offering something for all generations of every community to enjoy.

Highlights on the Main Stage – programmed by BBC Asian Network and hosted by the station’s Tommy Sandhu, Sonia Deol, Noreen Khan and Murtz – include this year’s only UK mela performances by Indian-American music star, and Bally Sagoo protégée, Gunjan, with hits such as Noorie and Kawan; and Bollywood favourite Javed Ali of Ranjha Ranjha fame, and films Delhi 6 and Bunty Aur Babli. Rishi Rich, H Dhami and Mumzy will also exclusively perform tracks from their new albums. And there will be performances by recent Official Asian Download Chart-toppers PBN featuring Heera and Daljit Mattu, and Shah Rukh Khan’s favourite artist of the moment Raghu Dixit.

Also appearing on the Main Stage will be BBC Asian Network’s Early Morning Show presenter DJ Wax and nutkhut’s tallest DJ in the world, as they undertake the ‘Planes, Trains and Rickshaws’ challenge – attempting a 550 mile journey to be at three melas (London, Cardiff and Edinburgh) on the same day (Sunday 8 August).

Another highpoint will be BBC Introducing hosting a stage at the 02 London Mela for the first time. BBC Introducing supports unsigned, undiscovered and under-the-radar artists across the BBC. Hosted by BBC Asian Network’s Bobby Friction, the stage will feature performances by some of the best emerging Asian talent, as well as some very special guests.

As in previous years, the 02 London Mela breaks with convention to present a broad and eclectic programme. New for 2010, will be an intimate setting where the audience will see stars and politicians in conversation with celebrity interviewers. There will also be new commission Mela Obscura, a theatrical installation featuring music from Iranian artist Fari Bradley, performance and live mixing of archive mela footage – and The Island Project 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 performance by the fantastic Kawa Circus from Rajasthan – as well a programme of quirky outdoor arts and theatre.

The Community Cabaret tent – supported by BBC London – will be a day of dance including performance by Anglo-French Bollywood group, and a mass participation ‘dance’ moment. People will also be invited to show off their skills in ‘Mela’s Got Talent’. And in the Classical Zone, there will be performances celebrating Asian communities’ heritage – including the Indu Sindu Ensemble, led by twin doctors, Indu and Sindu Padmabaskaran; and master Qawwali artist Ustad Ali Hafeez Khan.

Meanwhile for the crowds who enjoy a pumping mix of Bhangra, Bollywood and urban beats, the BBC Asian Network Mix Tent will be back, this year hosted by Nihal, for sets from a selection of the station’s DJ talent – and Canada’s number one Asian MC, Blitzkrieg.

For children and the young at heart there will be Magic Mela – in association with Emergency Exit Arts – 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.

Ajay Chhabra says: “The 02 London Mela is a much anticipated highpoint in the capital’s cultural calendar, which gets bigger and better every year. Last year’s record-breaking audience figures show how there is a real appetite for Asian inspired music and culture.”

Councillor Julian Bell, Leader of Ealing Council says: “Ealing Council is delighted to once again be a co-host of the 02 London Mela. We look forward to welcoming tens of thousands of Londoners to the fantastic surroundings of Gunnersbury Park to enjoy what promises to be one of the biggest and most spectacular free festivals of the year.”

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who is supporting the free event, says: “With my own familial ties to the Indian subcontinent I am well aware of the importance of melas as wonderful family events. The London Mela is one of the biggest, most colourful events in London, which every year produces something different, and I'm delighted to give it my backing.”

Mark Strippel, Head of Music and Events, BBC Asian Network, says: “The London Mela marks the culmination of a hugely successful ‘Summer Of Melas’ station campaign across the UK. Last year’s mela coverage reached an audience of more than a million including 810,000 viewers on BBC TV Red Button, and we’ll be building on that with a stronger multi-platform broadcast this year.”

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4 August 2010