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The UK’s biggest South Asian Festival LONDON MELA goes online and virtual to create the world’s first global Asian diaspora festival

The 18th edition of South Asian culture-fest, London Mela will be held online and virtually for the first time ever on 7-8 November 2020. The much-loved festival is reinvented as a digital and virtual reality event; Melatopia, featuring South Asian music, dance, food, and culture for a one-of-a-kind festival experience within an immersive VR experience in Sansar.

Usually performed at the festival’s home in Southall Park, we’ve embraced the digital realm with the first Virtual Reality Mela ever staged, to keep everyone safe during COVID 19.

The award-winning event’s producers Nutkhut, Mela Partnership and Remarkable Productions join forces with Shangri-La’s Lost Horizon Festival to create a new online virtual reality venue, MELATOPIA, which is built using Sansar, Wookey Technologies’ cutting-edge, photorealistic platform for virtual live events and can be experienced on PC, VR or mobile (iOS), plus will be streamed live on Twitch and across social media.

Audiences will be able to experience live artists, dance performances and DJs in an extraordinary VR online space specially created for the Mela. Whether viewed on a smartphone, tablet, laptop or wearing VR glasses, audiences will be able to engage with the performances and each other in new and innovative ways. Viewers are encouraged to book 7/8 November out in their diaries and invite friends and family to an online watch party. COVID 19 has stopped audiences visiting the Mela in London, so the London Mela will come to them wherever they are in our great city and wherever they are in the world.

The London Mela is best known for its adventurous programming and genre-crossing collaborations from an incredible mix of household names and contemporary artists. This year will be no different with US/Indian rapper The Raja Kumari headlining the show. In support we have an incredible collaboration between Juggy D and Pandit Ram Sahai Sangeet Vidhyalaya (PRSSV), 5 Tabla players from Singh Sabha Southall Education Centre in Southall.

Pop sensation and BBC Future Music Artist Celina Sharma features as well as Roma Sagarand Rio Jai. Punjabi Hit Squad promise to get the audience jumping around their front rooms with a barnstorming set. No Mela is complete without qawwali and the Mela is proud to present Chand Ali Khan, one of the UK’s most exciting qawwali talents, complete with 7-piece live band. Rounding of this first announcement, London Mela presents the legendary Panjabi MC, producer of the seminal Mundian To Bach Ke, possibly the greatest crossover dance tune from the South Asian diaspora.

All artists featured in Melatopia will be recorded exclusively for the event.


Ajay Chhabra, Artistic Director, Melatopia said:

“When a global diaspora meets new technology, change happens, The South Asian presence in Silicon Valley is completely engaged with Mela and Melatopia is our way of bringing people together in a time of isolation. Change creates challenging new opportunities. With so much change occurring all around us, from the very personal loss of loved ones to the major change artists and communities are facing the world over. Melatopia is our way to keep fearless ambition alive, to be bold, to take risks and to create a new platform for what we know best, the coming together of community and artists to create a new utopia, Melatopia! The South Asian Diaspora is international, with a footprint on every major continent, in every major city globally – In a time of isolation, Melatopia is an exciting new opportunity to bring this international diaspora of people together, by using new technology and cross arts form connections, to a new and intergenerational audience.”

Chris Macmeikan MBE, Lost Horizon said:

“We want to build festivals that the whole world can attend. In July of this year, our innovative work with VR and streaming at Lost Horizons attracted over 4m people from over 100 countries. That is why we are so excited that our second project is with London Mela. London Mela is already a hub to the entire Asian Diaspora. Now, we will create the world’s first Global Mela together.”

Sheri Bryant, President of Sansar said:

“Sansar is incredibly proud to introduce VR, PC, and mobile audiences to this immersive Mela Festival of Desi culture.  With our partnership with Lost Horizon and now London Mela, we look forward to delivering art, community, and joy all rolled together into one amazing virtual festival the entire world can enjoy.”


Event: Melatopia

Dates: Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th November 2020

Times: 15:00 – 03:00 (3PM to 3AM) GMT


Venue: the gateway to MELATOPIA within Sansar the global VR leader in live events


Melatopia streams live on Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube

#Melatopia #Londonmela #Mela #Desi #Nutkhut #Melapartnership


Nutkhut and The Mela Partnership are offering a fantastic training opportunity to individuals within the Mela, Outdoor Arts and Carnival sectors. Nutkhut is looking to promote change in the wider outer outdoor arts sector by supporting a new generation of arts practitioners and arts leaders from diverse backgrounds. Alongside this we are on a mission to share our knowledge and experience, by teaming up with like-minded partners who share our vision.

In conjunction with the multi award-winning social enterprise Cause4, we are providing a 4 day training course to strengthen your skills and instil good practice, developing lasting Covid19 resilience.

The 4-module course will be delivered over Zoom video calling. Participants are required to attend all sessions for the benefit of their organisation and the programme as a whole. Sessions will take place on the following dates:


  • Tuesday 13th October 2pm – 4pm – Fundraising for your Event/Organisation
  • Tuesday 27th October 2pm – 4pm – Communicating your Stories
  • Tuesday 10th November 2pm – 4pm – Governance and Leadership
  • Tuesday 24th November 2pm – 4pm – Partnerships and working together


Application deadline is Monday 5th October 2020.

Successful applicants will be notified on or before 7th October. Please check your spam folder to ensure you don’t miss our communications!

You can contact Louise Green, Project Manager if you have any queries:

Please click here for our short application process.

Nutkhut is committed to supporting our freelancers and we’re determined to keep our community connected!

We’ve teamed up with leading Bollywood Choreographer Jay Kumar and would like to invite you to join our twice weekly virtual Bollywood dance classes, in real time, via Zoom!

Jay will lead these fun, family friendly sessions, providing a fantastic way to stay fit and connected.

Join our social media channels for session time and day updates!

We look forward to seeing you Play the Nutkhut Way! 


Nutkhut have been commissioned by London based Certain Blacks to create 3 x 4 minute dance films for the Newham Unlocked Festival on 15 and 16 August 2020.

Saans (Breath) by Ajay Chhabra, takes us through 3 stages of a woman’s life.

Through the footsteps of a child, we enter a world of joy and playfulness in one of London’s oldest outdoor markets, Queens Market, to a world of peace and memory.

The film will premier as part of this unique online festival to a global audience and feature Sujata Banerjee, the UK’s foremost leading Kathak dancer and choreographer.

The theme ‘Dance like Nobody is Watching’ will absorb CCTV footage into the narrative for each film.

Newham Unlocked is an action-packed weekend of exciting dance showcases featuring talented performers popping up in everyday locations and streamed online, courtesy of Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz and Newham Council.

Mayor Fiaz added: “We will work with a range of partners that already contribute to Newham’s cultural offer, as well as those that will be locating in Newham in the coming years. By 2022 some of the world’s leading arts and cultural institutions will be at the heart of London’s brand new cultural destination, East Bank at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which will include BBC music studios, a Sadler’s Wells dance theatre, the London College of Fashion and a new Victoria & Albert museum.

Ajay Chhabra, writer and director of the film said, “It’s an honour and privilege to create a short film in London’s much treasured, Queens Market, a place that I’m familiar with since childhood. The memories of shopping here as a child with my mother come flooding in”.

Saans by Nutkhut pays homage to the disproportionate numbers from South Asian communities, who have lost their lives as a direct result of Covid-19.

For further details and press enquiries please contact: