EUROPE’S largest South Asian festival attracted a record number of revellers who joined in with an array of festivities.
Eighty-thousand people enjoyed the 11th London Mela in Gunnersbury Park on Sunday as they enjoyed performances from top international music and dance stars.
The crowds sang along to the King of Boliyan, A S Kang, who headlined the main stage with support from Sufi songstress, Harshdeep Kaur and multi award-winning Rahet Fateh Ali Khan.
Over on the classical stage, supported by the British Heart Foundation, were performances celebrating the heritage of Asian communities, including the Philharmonia Orchestra who performed Samaagam in a special collaboration with the famed sarod playing brothers, Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan.
Ajay Chhabra, London Mela’s artistic director, said: “The London Mela goes from strength to strength and this year’s record audiences were treated to a unique combination of international stars, UK premieres and ambitious new projects. The Mela is an increasingly important event in the capital’s summer of festivals, bringing together thousands of people to socialise and celebrate.”
The new music stage, curated by the BBC Asian Network, featured Panjabi Hit Squad, Charlie Sloth, Steel Banglez and Nihal who all drew in the crowds.
England cricket legend Nasser Hussain was also a hit as he challenged festival-goers to compete in the Skype Superbowl Challenge, while the mighty Kawa Circus displayed a dazzling array of skill and trickery in the Magic Mela area.
A theatrical firework display based on the legend of Rama and Sita ended the day with a bang.