Swindon AdvertiserMaking a Mela of it (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Making a Mela of it

Swindon Advertiser: Promoting last year’s Mela are, left to right,  Kuldeep Johal (back), Preetan Johal, Kiran Johal and Harbrinder Johal Promoting last year’s Mela are, left to right, Kuldeep Johal (back), Preetan Johal, Kiran Johal and Harbrinder Johal

MELA organisers will be putting on a smaller event to whet the appetites for next year’s festival after they were forced to cancel this year due to a lack of funds.

An evening concert at the Town Gardens Bowl is to be held on August 2 to raise some funds for the event after problems last year left their coffers empty.

The concert will be a ticket-only affair as organisers look to build up their funds.

Jaspal Bhui, director of the Swindon Mela, said things were looking positive following a productive meeting with Swindon Council last week, and that next year’s festival would definitely go ahead.

“The Mela is not taking place but we are planning to bring it back next year,” he said. “What we will be doing is on August 2 we are holding a concert in the Town Gardens, and it will be a strictly ticketed event.

“It is a way to keep the main Mela going for people in the future and get some fundraising going for us.

“There will be live bands playing and a paid bar for people to buy drinks. People can bring their own picnic, and we hope it will be a wonderful evening despite the fact the Mela is not going ahead.”

Details of the event will be released next week, and Jaspal said it would be very similar to the regular evening concerts held at the Mela annually.

“In the past the evening event has been ticketed, so this will be similar to what we have done there in the past,” he said. “There will not be any food stalls or any of the other usual trimmings.

“It will be held only in the bowl area of the Town Gardens, and it is going to be a family event so people of all ages will be welcome.

“Ticket prices will be announced in the next week, which is when we will release the programme.”

Restrictions on capacity had been affecting the potential of the Mela, but Jaspal said he was feeling optimistic about prospects for the future.

“We have submitted our documents to the council with a view to seeing what they come back with,” he added. “We will wait to see if they come back with any more health and safety requirements.

“At the moment it all looks quite positive. It is disappointing that it is not going ahead as usual this year, but we are determined to bring it back next year.

“I can say for certain we will definitely be back next year.”

A spokesman for Swindon Council said: “We had a positive meeting with the Mela organisers last week. We asked them to clarify some points about how they will manage some aspects of the evening event and we hope to hear back from them soon.”

Comments (4)

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4:27pm Thu 19 Jun 14

peewee says...

isn't this what they said last year and the year before!!
isn't this what they said last year and the year before!! peewee
  • Score: 1

4:47pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Davey Gravey says...

If they are short of money after past events I'd question the capabilities of those running it.
If they are short of money after past events I'd question the capabilities of those running it. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 1

4:48pm Thu 19 Jun 14

LordCharles says...

Ticket only. People will stay away in their droves.
Ticket only. People will stay away in their droves. LordCharles
  • Score: 0

1:48pm Thu 10 Jul 14

singalonga says...

So, the inevitable has happened and the Mela has been cancelled for 2014. What was a gloriously colourful, creative, leading arts event, noted not just in the town but elsewhere in the UK for it's programming, activities, decor and creativity least not also for it's unique way of engaging and connecting communities throughout the Borough has been left so unsupported and undervalued by the Council, made to jump through an ever more complicated and variable set of hoops and finally left in the same position as so many assets in the town. Defunked and abandoned. How come the good leaders of the council, it's employees, it's authorities cannot recognise a wonderful thing when it's there in front of their very eyes? It's hardly surprising that Swindon has the dreary reputation that it has with such rubbish support for people and groups who work tirelessly and with a passion to improve their community.
So, the inevitable has happened and the Mela has been cancelled for 2014. What was a gloriously colourful, creative, leading arts event, noted not just in the town but elsewhere in the UK for it's programming, activities, decor and creativity least not also for it's unique way of engaging and connecting communities throughout the Borough has been left so unsupported and undervalued by the Council, made to jump through an ever more complicated and variable set of hoops and finally left in the same position as so many assets in the town. Defunked and abandoned. How come the good leaders of the council, it's employees, it's authorities cannot recognise a wonderful thing when it's there in front of their very eyes? It's hardly surprising that Swindon has the dreary reputation that it has with such rubbish support for people and groups who work tirelessly and with a passion to improve their community. singalonga
  • Score: 0

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