25 years of Smethwick Mela culminated in a special music programme in Victoria Park in Birmingham.
First opened in 1889 over 14 hectares, Victoria Park is a typical example of a civic, municipal park developed in city suburbs across the country.
The Nutkhut team attended this years event and discovered the rich tapestry of Mela’s in the Midlands. One of a number of annual Mela’s in Victoria Park, this demonstrates a real thirst that Mela audiences have for diverse work, culturally diverse programme, attended by intergenerational audiences.
A nostalgic connection with the past, identity and memory was a clear theme that ran through the day. Headline artist Kulvinder Billa reminded us of a young version of the great Gurdas Maan. His opening number spoke of the collective connection with home, homeland and what’s left behind, without being downbeat, it was a positive and open celebration of new beginnings.
Smethwick Mela is a genuine, local event, clearly much loved, with an old fashioned community feel.