Wandle Park will come alive later this month as the Colors Croydon International Mela comes to town with a celebration of South East Asian culture.
Saturday 30 September is the date for this spectacular showcase of international artists, local talent, extraordinary dance and absorbing street theatre – all free of charge and sponsored by one of India’s leading arts and culture TV stations. In keeping with the 50th anniversary of 1967 the theme of this first edition of the new event is ‘Love’. Organisers say they will: “look to harness the positive energy that makes the world go round and brings its communities together. Colors Croydon International Festival will be a timely symbol of our brilliantly diverse city that stands strong and united in the current divisive times. It celebrates a spectrum of cultures and traditions at a time when unity is under threat. It is a great reminder that above all, love always wins.”
Headlining the Colors TV Main Stage, which is presented in association with Sunrise Radio, will be veteran crooner Arjun. He will be working his way through his impressive back catalogue which includes his recent No 1 hit ‘Suit’. The stage also features special exclusive performances from UK rappers RAXSTARand TAzZ, whilst Tasha Tah will follow on from Bhangra sensation H Dhami. Colors Croydon International Mela will feature the very best in South Asian classical, Bollywood and street dance. Closing the event will be the extraordinary French street theatre company, Transe Express, who will collaborate with the Dhol Academy to present a special performance of their celebrated show Mobile Homme. The literal translation of Mobile Homme into English is human mobile, and the show’s finale features exactly that, with eight clown percussionists and a trapeze artist suspended from an eighty-tonne crane. For foodies The Taste of Asia presents a delicious array of street food, and Magic Mela, produced in partnership with Croydon’s Apsara Arts, will be an area of fun and exploration dedicated to children and play. The Magic Mela will culminate with a procession of local children and their families, led by a mechanical elephant.
Timothy Godfrey, Councillor and Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “I’m delighted by how the investment of the Arts Council and Croydon Council in enabling us to host the Croydon International Mela. Croydon has a proud tradition of staging a Mela and it’s great to have a large scale event back in the borough.”
Ajay Chhabra, Artistic Director said: “We are inviting Croydon residents and Londoners of all communities to the first Croydon International Mela, to celebrate the diversity this great borough and this great city. What Croydon and London needs right now is a coming together, a sense of joy of cultures and communities and this is an open invite to you all. This year is a special one, it’s our 15th anniversary and it’s great to celebrate by bringing Mela back to Croydon. From international artists to showcasing local talent, the Mela has the potential to brings us all together. This year’s theme is ‘Love’, love will conquer hate.”
Julian Rudd, Creative Producer, said: “It’s fantastic to be working with Croydon Council and Colors TV to bring Mela to Croydon once again. An extraordinary artistic programme featuring the very best of South Asian music, arts and family entertainment is awaiting audiences of all ages. The Tastes of Asia Food Market and the extraordinary finale show are just some of the many delights the Croydon International Mela will cook up for you in its first year.”
Govind Shahi, Business Head, Colors TV, said: “For Colors TV, it’s a great and a vibrant synergy which takes the brand’s proposition of meaningful and differentiated content a step ahead and gives the audience a real-time involvement with live entertainment filled with music, arts and culture. Our network of channels namely Colors, Rishtey Europe, Rishtey Cineplex, MTV Beats and News 18 caters to audiences of all age groups which makes the association, even more stronger and together we anticipate creating an environment which promises a day full of love, emotions and prosperity.”
How to get there:
- Tram to Wandle Park
- Train to West Croydon, then a 10 minute walk to the Park.
- Train to East Croydon, then catch a tram to Wandle Park tram stop.
- 407 bus route serves Wandle Park
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