A record-breaking crowd of 35,000 people had a beautiful Bhangra of a weekend at the 02 Glasgow Mela in Kelvingrove Park.
While Saturday 15 June had some rain – it wasn’t as much as last year – the crowds didn’t mind and kept on coming to the Asian family festival. Sunday was sunny and warm. People relaxed with music on three stages. Browsed at stalls selling lots of things from exotic clothes to iced yoghurt on a stick. And took the chance to meet up with friends and family.
Coming out of the rich heritage of Glasgow’s Asian communities, the Mela is truly a multi cultural event now in its 23rd year. It offered uplifting music, awesome dance routines and interactive street performance.
Bhangra singing sensation Sona Walia delighted fans of modern Bollywood and RnB/pop as well as devotees of traditional Punjabi and Gujarati style. She is one of the hottest female talents on the Asian music scene.
The legendary Johnny Kalsi and his band The Dhol Foundation regularly headline at major events and festivals such as WOMAD. They performed at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. After coming off the Glasgow Mela stage he said: “That was a blast. This is my first ever Mela and I’m glad it was in Glasgow. There were people dancing everywhere you looked. I loved it. I hear the Mela is going to be even bigger next year as you celebrate 2014. We’d love to come back and perform again then.’ He stayed to take in the action in the park and to try some of the food.
On Saturday the multi-talented singer songwriter and musician Foji Gill electrified the crowds with his unique brand of Punjabi folk and traditional music, which was fused with an exciting urban sound. From classic hits Bruah and Bondhl-Gai to dance floor smash Dafa Hoja, Foji delighted fans old and new with his renowned singing style.
International dance acts added colour and energy to the proceedings. The Electricat Dance Troupe amazed with their display of Brazilian dances. The Afro-Latino influences delivered a contemporary and powerful style. This truly spectacular extravaganza of pulsating rhythms, sinuous movements and colourful feathers and sequins really impressed the audiences.
The Kennedy Cupcakes offered an alternative dance show when they performed showstopping routines to 40’s and 50’s hits such as ‘Boogie Woogie Boy’ and ‘In the Mood’. They added a touch of vintage style to the proceedings and had the audience eating out of their hands.
Councillor Soryia Siddique, Chair of the O2 Glasgow Mela steering group, said: “The O2 Glasgow Mela continues to be the brightest and best festival to showcase Scotland’s multi-cultural talents. The park was awash with colour and pulsating to the incredible beats that emanated from all three stages. Like them, I had a great time.”
Gosia Manka, Channel Marketing Manager at O2 said: “We are delighted to be at the O2 Glasgow Mela again this year. We hope the many attendees had a great time.”
For youngsters, the Forestry Commission Scotland ran a first-class Kids’ Zone. Programmed by Glasgow based artists Nikki Pardasani and Maryam Imran, the children’s area offered a wealth of woodland themed activities to tempt little ones to get creative in the park. Romena Huq, from Forestry Commission Scotland, said: “We were really happy to sponsor the Kids’ Zone again this year and hope that the many families who visited it enjoyed the activities and learnt a bit about local wildlife and woodland in the process.”
A number of street performers amazed young and old alike, including the Jaipur Kawa Circus from India, Spinal Chord, Conflux and the SonaSonas Gaelic Street Theatre.
Regular local favourites, The Desi Bravehearts, gave a great performance which stretched traditional style into brave new worlds.
Said Dr Zenab Ali, who with her family enjoyed the Mela in style: ‘We come every year. It is a wonderful festival.’
Sunglasses and saris replaced wellies and waterproofs at the o2 Mela in Kelvingrove Park on Sunday 24 June as the monsoon like weather of Saturday change to sunshine.
More than 25,000 revellers refused to let the damp conditions spoil a fun-filled weekend. Festival-goers and families of every age and ethnicity enjoyed the music and dance at this Asian carnival.
A spectacular line-up of international performers delighted the crowds on three stages. Scotland’s biggest multi-cultural festival has gone from strength to strength. This year Glasgow Life added an extra day when the entertainment was specially programmed for 3,000 city schoolchildren. Ten Glasgow schools rehearsed with professional dancers for seven weeks, to produce a final performance in front of their peers on the World Stage on Friday.
The O2 Glasgow Mela showcased one of the hottest new female talents on the Asian music scene – Avina Shah – who delights fans of modern Bollywood and Rnb/pop, as well as devotees of the more traditional Punjabi and Gujarati styled music. This versatile performer took her audience on a memorable musical journey, kick-starting her performance with her debut single, the upbeat ‘Tere Bina’.
After an eight-song set Avina said: ‘I was so excited about performing for the first time in Glasgow. The reputation of Glasgow audiences is well known and the crowd were brilliant. They were very welcoming, in fact their dancing entertained me, I only hope I entertained them too. My final song, my new single ‘Dil Deewana’, is about letting your hair down, about having fun. The people of Glasgow certainly showed they know how to do that. It’s been great fun and I’d love to come back.’
Later on Sunday, award-winning Bhangra singer JK performed for the first time in Scotland with his sensational live band.
On Saturday the exceptional Bhangra star Angrej Ali and his live band electrified the O2 Glasgow Mela crowds with their unique brand of Punjabi folk and traditional music, which was fused with an exciting urban sound. From classic hits Tharti Hilde and Phattey Chak to dance floor smash Nachdi De, Angrej Ali delighted fans old and new with his renowned singing style.
International dance acts added colour and energy to the proceedings. The Electricat Dance Troupe amazed with their display of Brazilian dances. The Afro-Latino influences delivered a contemporary and powerful style. This truly spectacular extravaganza of pulsating rhythms, sinuous movements and colourful feathers and sequins really impressed the O2 Glasgow Mela audiences.
The Kennedy Cupcakes offered an alternative dance show when they performed showstopping routines to 40’s and 50’s hits such as ‘Boogie Woogie Boy’ and ‘In the Mood’. The Kennedy Cupcakes were dressed in the finery of the times. They added a touch of vintage glamour to the proceedings and had the audience eating out of their hands. While the Kawa Musical Circus mystified those watching with rope walking and an incredible human ‘helicopter’ acrobatic stunt some 20 feet in the air.
Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life said: ‘In its 22nd year, the O2 Glasgow Mela continues to be the brightest and best festival to showcase Scotland’s multi-cultural talents and rich heritage of which this city is so proud.’
Gosia Manka, Channel Marketing Manager at O2 said: ‘O2 were delighted to be a part of the cultural extravaganza at the O2 Glasgow Mela again this year. We hope the many attendees of the event had a great time and came to visit the O2 international bus and camper van to make free international calls to friends and family. ‘
Forestry Commission Scotland was a Mela partner and developed a first-class Kid’s Zone, programmed by Glasgow-based artist Joanne Boyce. This offered a wealth of activities to tempt little ones to get creative in the park. For the first time ever, there was a 10m by 10m synthetic ice rink at the event which was free to enjoy. This proved to be a welcome addition for all ages.
Musicians, dance acts and interactive arts performers came from across the Commonwealth to performat this festival . There was also an eclectic mix of more than 50 stalls. From exotic foods, fashion and fabrics and arts and crafts to activities such as henna, hair braiding and face painting. The crowds definitely didn’t go hungry – the smells and tastes of international cuisine from the exotic to the everyday provided temptation at every turn.
Since its launch during Glasgow’s 1990 European City of Culture celebrations, the O2 Glasgow Mela has grown to become the leading festival of its kind in the country. In addition to three main stages (World, Commonwealth and Mehfil) the festival also featured an ice rink, street theatre, a Kids Zone and authentic stalls and catering.
Glasgow’s West End Festival runs till Sunday 26 June so there is still time to catch major and minor delights.
The Asian extravaganza of a Mela will be in Kelvingrove Park on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June. A whole series of Daniel’s Beard concerts continues till Friday 24 June at the Cottier. A vintage bus service will run from Victoria Park to the West End on Sunday 26 June. And on that final Sunday of the Festival, the Runaway Bride’s relay run – the Revenge of the Bridesmaid – will take place in Kelvingrove Park. Organised by the Hilton-Foundation charity fund in aid of the Williams-syndrome, the fun 5k run has everyone dresses as brides and bridesmaids and is a spectacle.
Film, cookery master classes, kids stuff, classical music, fiddle workshops, garden fetes and art exhibitions and more are all there for enjoying. Lots of events are free. Look for a paper copy of the 100+ paged programme in places such as libraries. But online information can be found at: www.westendfestival.co.uk
Here are some pictures from the opening parade and from FORK Gala day. Friends of the River Kelvin (FORKs) care about the environment of the river and had a very successful Gala Day. See info elsewhere on this website.
More than 2000 people attended the hugely sociable, 3rd Occasions Scottish Asian Wedding Show on Sunday 4 April in the Radisson Blu hotel in Glasgow.
Chocolate bouquets, personalised cupcakes, UK award winning ice cream, halal wedding cakes and exquisite chocolate fountains were just some of the delectable delights among the festival of food and catering stalls. Other stands showed how a wedding venue could look, what the bride and groom – and all the family – could wear, video, photograph and film records of the day, examples of finely crafted wedding jewellery and the thousand and one other essentials to making The Wedding a truly memorable occasion.
Amid the wedding bands of the day was Bollywood singer, Nafis, who performed tracks from his debut album and Bollyfeat dance troupe and Nadmin Bollywood Dance.
Yet it was truly the three fashion shows that stole the show. Showcasing beautiful occasion and bridal wear from boutiques and wedding specialists around the UK, the gowns were stunning and the models (male and female!) equally gorgeous. The stunningly intricate designs and fabrics provided elegant, modern modes to inspire any future bride or groom.
World renowned make-up artist, ZaynaB, will attend the Occasions Scottish Asian Wedding Show on Sunday 4 April in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow. This international professional is known as the make-up Guru to Bollywood stars. She has provided the magic touch for people such as Keira Knightley, Rachel Weisz, Emilia Fox, two Miss Worlds and many Bollywood leading ladies.
Accompanied by her team of award-winning make-up artists, she will give tips to visitors and makeovers for brides-to-be at the glittering Wedding Show. Each visitor will receive a gift voucher for ZaynaB’s Provoke cosmetic range and one lucky person will win a VIP Bridal Make-Over with ZaynaB worth £2000 for their big day. This will include a bridal cosmetics hamper. Five runners-up will also win cosmetics hampers.
Said Tara of Provoke Cosmetics which are sought out by high profile celebrities: ‘Provoke cosmetics is pleased and excited to be taking part in the Occasions Scottish Asian Wedding Show. We are especially excited that our founder, ZaynaB, will be at the show. Visitors can enjoy personalised bridal consultations and tips and advice from her.’
Ladies attending the exciting and glamourous event, which is the third one to be organised by Oceanic, will discover how to get the perfect base for their make-up, how to achieve the current ‘must-have’ look and how to sign-up for make-up master classes with Zaynab.
The show opens at 12 noon and two fashion shows are scheduled. A full complement of wedding day services and companies specialising in organising such important events will be on hand to be consulted. For an outlay of only £5 per person, this glamorous day will be a boon and a blessing to anyone planning a wedding – Asian or Scottish.
Mark Sunday April 4 in our diary now if you have a wedding in the offing. That’s the day the Scottish Asian Wedding Show will take place in the Radisson BLU on Argyle Street, Glasgow. This sumptuous event is a cornucopia of companies showing what services they can offer the wedding hosts, two exciting fashion shows and special awards to the businesses whose expertise is recognised by peers in the field.
While it is aimed at weddings for people within the different Asian communities, anyone planning such a special celebration will find many of the companies exhibiting in the Radisson BLEU function suite can provide for weddings from any community. Running from 12 noon till 7pm, the day will include a fashion show at 2pm and 6pm. The catwalk models will showcase wedding and occasional wear from across the UK. At 3pm the business awards will be made to the creme de la creme of the industry. Recognition will be given to the best venue, caterer, photographer, videographer, make-up artist, boutique, florist and DJ. Throughout the day, visitors will be be entertained musically by a variety of providers.
In addition, the search for Scotland’s most eligible Asian bachelor will hot up for Occasions magazine which will feature the short leet in its April issue in association with the Scottish Asian Wedding Show.
The closing date for nominations for the BUSINESS AWARDS is Monday 22 March. So get your nominations in now! just email: firstname.lastname@example.org Nomination forms can be downloaded from www.asianweddingshow.info
Faiza Amjid, Senior Campaign Manager with Oceanic Consulting said: “English-Scottish rivalry is undoubtedly long standing, whether it is in relation to football or fashion. Though London, Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester are recognised as forerunners when it comes to the Asian Wedding Industry in Britain, Scotland, and in particular Glasgow, has been strongly emerging over the past few years as a real contender as a shopping destination. The introduction of the Business Awards looks to recognise the developments taking place in the industry in Scotland and to encourage further expansion and evolution.”
Deadline for nominations for the most eligible Asian bachelor is Friday 19 March and they should go to:
This, the third Scottish Asian Wedding Show, is masterminded by Glasgow based, Oceanic Consulting the company at the forefront of Ethnic promotions and consulting. Oceanic Consulting is an experienced communications company with a sound knowledge and a creative, talented team ready to deliver the right message at the right time in the right place.
That place, on Sunday 4 April will be at the Radisson in the Scottish Asian Wedding Show of 2010 run in conjunction with Occasions magazine.
Don’t miss this glamourous event!
The achievements of tycoon Maqbool Rasul have been recognised with a lifetime achievement gong at this year’s Scottish Asian Business Awards (SABA).
The retailing entrepreneur, who arrived in Scotland from Pakistan in 1964 and who over the years has built a business empire that included grocery shops, video rental chains and now a property and investment portfolio, received his award from Secretary of State for Scotland, Jim Murphy.
The event, at the Crown Plaza in Glasgow, turned the spotlight on the cream of the Scottish Asian business community. Guests included First Minister Alex Salmond and Shadow UK Communities Minister Baroness Sayeeda Warsi.
The Business of the Year Award went to Deepak Poddar’s Little Einstein’s nurseries chain, which now employs 250 people across seven sites.
Arshad Ali was named Businessman of the Year for building his Scottish Centre for Dental Excellence. The highly-regarded practitioner is the driving force behind the £3m operation in Govan which has been shortlisted for this year’s Private Dentistry Awards.
Businesswoman of the Year is Poonam Gupta, who started waste management company PG Paper in 2003 and has driven it to a £10m turnover in the face of an economic gale.
The Small Business of the Year Award went to Lets Direct, a property management firm which operates in the UK and the United Arab Emirates.
Still in the property industry, the husband-and-wife team of Bobby and Preet Sandhu scooped the Young Achievers of the Year award for their Happy Lets company, which manages a portfolio worth £60m and has ambitious expansion plans in the pipeline.
Alex Salmond presented the Entrepreneur of the Year Award to Yasmin Khanam of DPI Investments, which looks after overseas interests of high net worth clients.
The Franchisee of the Year Award went to Azeem Arshad of Baguette Express, who runs two outlets in Glasgow and who plans to expand operations into Northern England.
The Community Award went to Nari Kallyan Shangho, health and welfare organisation based in Edinburgh.