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Thousands expected at Ola Sandwell and Birmingham Mela

Thousands are expected at the UK’s biggest Asian music festival for a weekend of family entertainment with Bollywood stars.

The annual Ola Sandwell and Birmingham Mela is set to return to Victoria Park in Smethwick this July, attracting tens of thousands of visitors. Now in its ninth year, the Mela is an established highlight in the UK’s cultural calendar, an artistically-led celebration of Asian culture and creativity, inspired by South Asia.

It is one of the biggest Melas in the country to champion new work, showcase international talent and provide a platform for emerging British artists as well as bringing visual art forms to a wider audience.

Being the UK’s biggest Asian music festival, the Ola Sandwell and Birmingham Mela showcases the best in pop, folk and classical music from across the globe, British Asian urban acts, dance, visual arts and arts and crafts activity, as well as exhibitions and shopping bazaar. And, with a nearly a quarter of the audience from non-Asian communities, it is a truly intercultural family event with something for every generation of every community. Danny Singh, Chair of Ola Sandwell and Birmingham Mela, said:

“With the Mela in its ninth year we are gearing up to our 10th anniversary and have an exciting programme for 20-21 July this year. Sandwell & Birmingham has a vibrant South Asian community with a rich history of Mela and this is the place to celebrate with the rest of the community.”

The event, held in association with Lidl, will take place on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 July 2019 with two major stages, complemented by the mouthwatering Tastes of Asia Food Market and bursting with heaps of exciting and colourful entertainment for the whole family.Lidl GB will be bringing an array of exciting interactive activities to the Mela, including a cooking demonstration with tasters from renowned chef Tony Singh and the chance to blend your own smoothie on one of Lidl's smoothie bikes.

You can take home a custom-made goody bag complete with Lidl product samples and a booklet of delicious vegetarian recipes. Sandwell Council Leader Councillor Yvonne Davies added:

“Over the past eight years, the Mela has gone from strength to strength, with a variety of entertainment and activities for the whole community, from the music to the food.

"I’m proud that we have the Ola Sandwell and Birmingham Mela here in Sandwell – it’s events like this, taking place in our communities, that showcase the West Midlands at its diverse, lively and open best.”

Ola Sandwell and Birmingham Mela is Lottery funded and supported public funding by Arts Council England.

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