THE annual Swindon Mela is set to return this year as the popular South Asian festival takes Old Town by storm.

Town Gardens will host the thrilling event, which is a celebration of South Asian music, culture and food on Saturday, August 13.

Jaz Bhui, chairman of Swindon Mela, said: “The planning process over the past year has been very challenging with many small and large issues that have had to be faced.

“However, we are pleased to say that with much hard work we have managed to overcome all hurdles that confronted us and we continue to make good progress on all fronts.”

Crowds will be treated to a wide variety of musical and dance performances, all inspired by South Asian art and culture.

There will also be plenty food stalls on offer and items to buy.

In March, members of Swindon Mela were delighted to receive two Pride of Swindon Awards and the team is hoping to build on their achievements with a successful event next month.

Organisers have appealed for volunteers to take part and help make it a memorable day.

Jaz said: “We would like to hear from people and organisations such as commercial and government organisations, the local voluntary sector and charities.

“We would also like trade stall holders, especially henna artists, to get involved and food vendors with experience in outdoor events are welcome.

“We continue to respond to enquiries for assistance and stall pitches that have started to come from individuals and organisation interested in participating in the Mela.”

“Plans for the Mela include more programme slots for performances by local artists, especially the younger generation, who we feel should be given the best opportunities to display their talent to a wider audience,” said Jaz.

“We are also planning to include professional headline acts and are in the process of seeking and negotiating performers who will contribute towards the enjoyment of our visitors.

“We will be continuing our efforts to ensure the event is an environmentally-friendly one and we are actively seeking ways of making this year’s Mela even greener.

"We are working together with Thamesdown Transport and actively discouraging the use of cars to access the event instead promoting the use of public transport buses which pass fairly close to the entrance.

"The work is not completed yet but our project team continue to apply their experience gained from past Melas to ensure that the 2016 Swindon Mela will be as successful as previous ones."

The Swindon Mela has been a popular event since 2002 and is organised entirely by volunteers.

For more information, or to participate in the Mela, contact