The Edinburgh Mela had mixed blessings this year. After what looked like being the most successful Edinburgh Mela to date with a record 13,000 visitors through the gates on Saturday, the organisers had to make the difficult decision to close the festival late on Sunday afternoon as wind speeds increased to a level that threatened public safety. Everything possible was done to try and keep the festival open but to no avail. The Edinburgh Evening News kindly gave festival director Chris Purnell a chance to talk about the festival and you can read it here. We were very proud to supply PA and backline for the festival and were very fortunate that none of the equipment was damaged, but those are the risks you take with outdoor events in Scotland!
Saturday however was a great day at the festival with good weather and a record turnout, on the main stage the acts among others included Navin Kundra, current Asian Voice Entertainer of the Year, pioneers of the British Bhangra movement DCS and chart topping multi award winning singer, musician and producer Mumzy Stranger. The Mix stage was extended after last year’s huge popularity, giving more room to dance to the blend of live hip hop and beatbox, funk, soul, DJ sets and live performances and was hosted by DJ Miss Electric Gypsyland. The World Dance Fest which was a major innovation at last year’s Mela is a unique platform for international dance within Edinburgh’s summer festivals. This year’s performers were introduced by Dance Base artists and included dance styles from Argentina, Brazil, China, Nepal, Spain and India.
We were very much looking forward to seeing Bangalore rock band Thermal and a Quarter again after supplying them with backline for their recent stint playing at the Edinburgh Fringe. They were due to play the main stage on Sunday evening, but their set was cancelled, along with headliners The Orb collaborating with Kakatsitsi Master Drummers from Ghana when the site was closed. Thermal and a Quarter was delighted to make the front cover of the August 2013 edition of Rolling Stone’s Indian magazine. Expect big things from them.