Europe’s biggest mela is #madeinSandwell

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This week #madeinsandwell Monday celebrates the wonderful diversity of our borough with the Ola Sandwell and Birmingham Mela, which will be returning to Victoria Park in July for its annual celebration of Asian music and culture.

This year’s event, which is the biggest event of its kind in Europe, will be the ninth mela to be held in Sandwell, bringing thousands of people from across the country to Smethwick for all kinds of family fun. As well as Bollywood stars, the music stage will host a huge variety of pop, folk, classical and British Asian urban acts. There will also be dance performances, exhibitions and arts and crafts activities to try out. Visitors certainly won’t go hungry, with a food market, cooking demonstrations and even Lidl ‘smoothie bikes’, where you can blend your own smoothies using pedal power. And let’s not forget the shopping bazaar, with enticing goodies from all over the world.

Ola, the sponsor of this year’s event, is an app-based taxi service that originated in India and recently launched in the UK. Partnering with the mela is a great opportunity to not only celebrate its heritage, but also to launch the service in Birmingham.

And if anyone’s worried that the mela is not for them, they shouldn’t be – nearly a quarter of the audience are from a non-Asian background. Danny Singh, Chair of Ola Sandwell and Birmingham Mela, said: “Sandwell and 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.”

Sandwell Council Leader Councillor Yvonne Davies added: “It’s events like this, taking place in our communities, that showcase the West Midlands at its diverse, lively and open best.”
Full Sandwell Council article here.

The Ola Sandwell and Birmingham Mela will run from midday to 7pm on both days, and here at Think Sandwell we can’t wait! Tickets are just £2 for the weekend, £1 for a day ticket, or £50 for VIP access. For more information, go to the official website or follow @BirminghamMela on Twitter.

#madeinsandwell Monday is a celebration of the talent and diversity within our borough. If you’re interested in being considered for a #madeinsandwell Monday profile and having information about your organisation shared on Think Sandwell and through Twitter, read this.