One of my photos

Bradford Mela

June 21st, 2008 · Posted by janeskuds in Jane/Music · No Comments · Jane, Music

After living here for seven years we finally got round to going to the Bradford Mela.  Every other year we seem to have had someone getting married/throwing a party/generally inviting us somewhere else on the Mela weekend and last year it was cancelled (fixture off due to waterlogged pitch…) so this year we made a determined effort.  We ended up with an appointment with a double-glazing salesman and an invite to see friends in York but managed to get everything rearranged..

It wasn’t the best of weather, although obviously drier than last year, but there was a good crowd. We had never been to Peel Park before but getting on the bus and following the large groups of people towards the men with huge bunches of balloons seemed to be a good plan.  The huge bunches of balloons are everywhere – all inflatable Tiggers and Stitches, Disney really is a universal language, although I guess inflatable Bollywood stars might be a bit off.  There were three stages and we looked in on all of them through the afternoon. The Mango stage seemed to have the more community-based acts, we saw a dance group from Scotland, and the Sunrise stage had the big names. I think. We hadn’t really heard of anyone but the crowd obviously were seeing their favourites – they were applauding and yelling for particular songs as they started and when the guy in the picture above came out in a sparkly silver and black tunic it showed that he must have been wearing a famous costume from a Bollywood film – the crowd went wild. That’s another thing we must really get round to doing – the local Cineworld always has the latest Bollywood blockbusters on. (Although, to put it in perspective we still haven’t seen the new Indiana Jones….)

Finally we found the World stage – far more our speed. We saw a duo playing tabla and sitar, wandered off to find food and managed to miss the steel band, and then got back in time for the blind sitar player.  It had cooled down a bit by then so we got to cuddle up and listen. The oddest thing was that where the other stages had been filled with young British Asian audiences we ended up in a tent with all the middle-aged white hippy types. Home at last! (Actually there were a few non-white faces, a few africans and a small group of Sikh lads)  The main reason I couldn’t  stick with the Sunrise tent though was a combination of dance music and overpowering aftershave – its a good job I’m not in my 20’s and looking for love anymore: I think I’m allergic to young men….

All in all a really good day. We are hoping to take a stall along next year for Friends of the Earth – could be needed as just about every food stall was using polystyrene plates and we didn’t see a single recycling bin…

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