Clear up your schedule for the weekend of Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September. Whether you book yourself a room at The Devonshire London Paddington or travel into London on the days, prepare yourself for an unforgettable weekend of music, food, and traditional South Asian culture at 2019’s ZEE London Mela, the 17th of its kind.
The main events are the food and the performances, which happen throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday, with big acts interspersed with smaller support acts that will keep the atmosphere alive no matter who is on the stage. It’s a great way for you and your family to enjoy the end of the Summer, celebrating with energy and style. Hopefully with a bright, sunny day, too.
The ZEE London Mela is a family-friendly festival celebrating South Asian tradition, dance, music, performers and performance, and food. The festival gathers approximately 50,000 people, all eager to celebrate and enjoy the diversity of life in London.
While London can often be associated with the bustling restaurants near Paddington, high tea, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace sighting and West End shows, it is also one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world and this festival is an excellent way of learning and experiencing how strong and influential the South Asian community really is in London. This festival is the perfect opportunity to embrace the eccentric, electric, colourful and collaborative culture, all with delicious street food and traditional live performances.
Normal admission: £2
Under 16s: free
Saturday: 1pm – 8pm
Sunday: 1pm – 9pm
Address: Uxbridge Rd, Southall UB1 3AL
The event is hosted at Southall Park, which is considered to be the heart of London’s South Asian community. It is accessible by both bus and train. The closest train station is Southall, which has direct trains to London Paddington, so London visitors may be tempted to look into Boutique Hotels Near Paddington Station London if you are staying for the whole weekend but intend to spend most of your time at the venue, dancing to Bhangra hits and eating delicious treats and nibbles.
There are limited parking facilities so it is best to avoid driving. This also means you can really get involved with all the fun-filled activities lined up without worrying about driving home to your Paddington Court Executive Rooms late at night.
People may visit ZEE London Mela for a variety of reasons, but one thing they all agree on is how special the food set-up is. The Taste of Asia Food Market will make you feel like you have been plucked from suburban west London and dropped in a bustling Asian street market, with all the smells, flavours and speciality dishes waiting for you. Make sure you arrive hungry because you are likely going to want to try a bit of everything when you see how many stalls there are. Also, make sure you do a big walkabout before choosing what you want because you will probably be tempted by just about everything you see.
Though more performers are being announced as the event gets closer, here are some of the acts that will be gracing the stage on Saturday 31 August.
In London from his hometown in Canada especially to perform at this year’s London Mela is singer-songwriter Raghav. He will be performing some of his most popular hits that are appreciated across the globe. One of his most popular songs, “Angel Eyes”, hit number 7 in the UK charts in 2005.
Kuljit Bhamra presents Sounds of Smethwick
At last year’s London Mela, the iconic composer and musician Kuljit Chamra MBE performed his piece “Sounds of Southall”, a collaboration bringing together bhangra artists from the area. Bhangra, a traditional dance from the Majha area of Punjab, has its roots firmly planted in South Asian heritage and this year, Kuljit Bhamr has gathered these musical leaders of Bhangra from the West Midlands to perform his new compilation, Sounds of Smethwick, at the London Mela 2019.
Balbir Bhujhangy (Bhujhangy)
If you are interested in or even just curious about modern British Bhangra music, then Balbir Bhujhangy band is who you should be aiming to watch at this year’s London Mela. They combine western style with the tradition of Punjabi music in a way that verifies what the Guinness Book of World Records named them: the bhangra pioneers of the UK.
The Pardesi Music Machine is a well-loved British bhangra band, and the lead singer Silinder Pardesi has a number of his own albums and songs that he’s written and performed to adoring audiences for the last three decades. His one album, Pump Up The Bhangra, is known as one of the bestselling bhangra albums in history.
If for some reason you are unable to make it for both days of this incredible tribute to South Asian music, food and culture, then there’s plenty to see on Sunday, too, so fear not. Just make sure you don’t miss out altogether!
Sunday’s headliner, and arguably one of the more exciting performances of the festival, is Arjun, the British Asian singer-songwriter whose music fills the hearts of millions of fans. Born in Colombo, Sri Lanka and raised in London, he’s a prime example of the cultural fusion that is so popular in London as well as the world over today.
This UK R&B/garage musician’s Youtube channel has fans flocking to her channel every Monday to see her latest artistry, songs and multi-instrumental masterpieces. She sings “Strong” in Kenneth Branagh-directed Disney live-action film, Cinderella. So, she will be a popular choice for the kids, too, who will likely be belting the song to the TV screen in utter adoration in the future, telling their friends they saw her perform it live.
Mumzy Stranger is an award-winning MC, singer, songwriter and producer who was named Artist of the Year (Asia) at the Urban Music Awards. He is a British Bangladeshi performer whose soulful-bashment style is loved by many.
Keen to go? Book your tickets and accommodation at The Devonshire London Paddington now!