Gallery: Sandwell & Birmingham Mela

There was dancing, music and colour in abundance as up to 100,000 people descended on Smethwick for this year's Sandwell & Birmingham Mela.


A host of top Asian music stars including Punjabi pop favourite Gippy Grewal wowed the substantial crowd in glorious sunshine.

The two-day festival - the biggest of its kind in the UK - was taking place for the fourth year in Victoria Park.

The town was lit up with an abundance of bright colours as the performers and visitors turned up in splashes of orange, purple, green and gold.

Stalls, fairground rides and food stands were dotted around the park as people celebrated the best of South Asian culture.

There were also performances from professional and community acts spread over three different stages - including the colourful Virtue Dholies, a dhol drumming troupe that formed a human pyramid as part of their act.


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Other acts on the bill were bhangra singers Malkit Singh, Benny Dhaliwal and Lehmber, as well as rapper Nesdi Jones.

Organiser Danny Singh said the festival had been a huge success.

"It's been bigger and better than ever," he said.

"We had up to 40,000 on Saturday and because of our international star Gippy Grewal around 60,000 today (SUN).

"There's a real community feel here and we entertain for everyone with different languages and different communities.

"It celebrates South Asian culture and really brings the community together, there's a great atmosphere in the park.

"We only use up half the park at the moment but next year we want it to be even bigger and take over the whole of Victoria Park."

The park was open from midday to 7pm on both Saturday on Sunday, with families taking advantage of the good weather.

Manroop Kaur was among those enjoying the day with her family.

The Smethwick resident said: "There's something for everyone here and we've really enjoyed the day.

"It's got a big community feel and the music line-up is great."

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Paramjit Seehmar, from Dunstall in Wolverhampton, added: "We came last year too and it somewhere where you bump into friends.

"Most people come for the music and there's a really big crowd this year."

Award-winning actor Grewal has appeared in several big-money film and had record-breaking Punjab singles.

After the event he praised the crowds and his loyal fans that were at the event from his Twitter account, @igippygrewal.

He wrote: "Bye bye UK and once again thank you so much for your love and support."

The Sandwell and Birmingham Mela has more than doubled in size since its inaugural event in 2011, which welcomed 45,000 visitors.

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