HUNDREDS of ex-pat natives of the southern hemisphere gathered in a local park to enjoy the music, food and culture of their homelands.

More than 2,000 tickets were sold in advance for the second Homelanz festival, which took place at Boston Manor Park on Saturday (June 16).

While the annual Hanwell Carnival was kicking off just a mile or so down Boston Manor Road, groups of Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans were already bringing a little of the southern sun to the rain-soaked north.

A line-up of 13 bands performed on two stages during the event which ran from 11am-9pm.

Top of the bill were KORA, a rock-reggae band of brothers from New Zealand, alongside them were Prime Circle from South Africa and Australia’s Alex Lloyd.

Guests also got to chill-out with the aid of stalls providing a variety of wines from the three countries as well as national dishes.

The food came from a host of suppliers, amongst them the Acton-based South African butchers Limpopo, and further helped create a mood of celebration.

Organiser Chris Wilson said Homelanz, which took place for the first time last year in August, was going to be a regular event.

She said: “We wanted to hold it in August again this year, but the Olympics has meant everything has to change. We realised after we booked it all up that Hanwell Carnival was the same day, but there were plenty of people to go round and no complaints from anybody.

“The rain was a bit of a shame, but it stayed dry for certain periods and again I don’t think anyone minded too much.”