Wandle Park’s International Mela announces line-up for Sep 30

A stunningly colourful cultural festival is coming to Wandle Park at the end of this month

The Colors Croydon International Mela in Wandle Park on September 30 will celebrate the culture of the local Asian communities and showcase a combination of international artists, local talent, extraordinary dance and spectacular street theatre.

“There really be something for everyone,” say the organisers, “and this plethora of delights is all free of charge.”

The theme of the first edition is “Love”, a celebration of the positive energy that makes the world go round and brings all communities together. “It celebrates a spectrum of cultures and traditions at a time when this is under threat. It is a great reminder that above all, love always wins,” the organisers say.

“Colors Croydon International Mela is one big melting pot of a party celebrating through music, dance, food and culture, the traditions of the huge number of diverse communities who live as one in this dynamic city.”

The International Mela will include performances from Croydon’s Asian dance groups

The Mela will feature the best in British Asian urban artists, Asian artists, dance, Bollywood, classical music, comedy and cabaret, Asian-influenced street theatre and dance across three stages.

The main stage, in association with Sunrise Radio, features performances from rappers Raxstar and Tazzz, Tasha Tah and Bhangra sensation H Dhami.

Headlining the stage will be veteran crooner Arjun.

The day-long Wandle Park Mela will also feature an extraordinary dance programme featuring Croydon’s vibrant dance scene featuring the best in South Asian classical, Bollywood and street dance, programmed on the Main Stage and two other performance areas.

Closing the event, extraordinary French street theatre company, Transe Express will collaborate with the Dhol Academy to present a special performance of Mobile Homme featuring eight clown percussionists and a trapeze artist suspended from an 80-ton crane.

And it’s not just compelling music and dance, taste buds can be tickled at The Taste of Asia too, with a delicious array of street food, so come hungry. There’s even Magic Mela, produced in partnership with Croydon’s Aspara Arts, an area of fun and exploration dedicated to children to play and get creative – culminating with a procession of local children and their families led by a mechanical elephant.

The Mela is free for all the family

“What Croydon and London needs right now is a coming together, a sense of joy of cultures and communities and this is an open invite to you all,” said Ajay Chhabra, the Mela’s artistic director.

“This year is a special one, it’s our 15th anniversary and it’s great to celebrate by bringing Mela back to Croydon. From international artists to showcasing local talent, the Mela has the potential to brings us all together. Love will conquer hate.”

Julian Rudd, the creative producer, said: “It’s fantastic to be working with Croydon Council and Colors TV to bring Mela to Croydon once again. An extraordinary artistic programme featuring the very best of South Asian music, arts and family entertainment is awaiting audiences of all ages.

“The Tastes of Asia Food Market and the extraordinary finale show are just some of the many delights the Croydon International Mela will cook up for you in its first year.”

The event will run from 1pm to 7pm. Wandle Park is served by the Croydon tram network and the 407 bus.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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