Making a Mela of it
5:30am Thursday 19th June 2014 in By Dominic Gilbert
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.”
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