Bradford Mela cancelled

Asian Image: Bradford Mela has been cancelled Bradford Mela has been cancelled

Persistent rainfall has forced Bradford Council to cancel today’s Mela after the venue became heavily waterlogged.

The Council’s events organisers inspected the ground at Peel Park yesterday morning and later announced there was “no option” but to axe the event for safety reasons.

Council officers said the huge infrastructure of the Mela, which consists of stages, marquees, fairground rides and temporary buildings, could be compromised by the soft and shifting ground at the site.

Yesterday, fairground workers were beginning to pack up to leave the site while others, who had yet to arrive, spoke of their disappointment.

Ajit Singh, of Bradford collaborative dance company Kala Sangam, said six artists from as far as London were due to perform newly-commissioned piece Kala Kahani, including storytelling, music and dance.

He said: “It’s a huge shame. The artists had been booked a long time in advance and have turned down other lucrative jobs. We are looking for other opportunities to perform it.

“It’s not only disappointing for the artists, but the audience, who we are sure would have found it very exciting and interactive.”

Council bosses said the inspections revealed pools of standing water in areas including the car park, and advice from the Met Office confirmed there would be continued showers before the event, adding to the already-deluged ground.

There were also concerns that attempts to use the park would severely damage the ground, including community football pitches, and would take several seasons of work to repair.

Phil Barker, the Council’s assistant director of sport and leisure services, said: “This is a real shame because we know the Mela is enjoyed by so many people in the Bradford district and the rest of the country.

“If there was any way we could go ahead with it we would, but we have to be realistic and consider the safety of the public and the effect it would have on the park itself.”

The Mela was last cancelled because of heavy downpours in 2007, when performers had already flown into the UK from India, Pakistan, Africa and continental Europe.

It is not yet clear whether this year’s event will be rescheduled, but no plans are in place to do so.

Mike Cowlam, assistant director of economic development, said he was disappointed to cancel the event but the Council had to be “responsible and consider the dangers”. He added: “We are not prepared to put people’s safety at risk”.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, executive member for employment, skills and culture, said: “I am so disappointed that the Mela has had to be cancelled. It is a highlight on our events calendar but the weather has been atrocious over the last few days, leaving us really with no choice.”

e-mail: hannah.postles@telegraphandargus.co.uk

Comments (8)

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10:17am Sat 9 Jun 12

Thee Voice of Reason says...

Can't they hold this in the City park where waterlogging wouldn't even be an issue?
Between that and the Urban garden surely there would be room or does no one think of alternatives like this?
Can't they hold this in the City park where waterlogging wouldn't even be an issue? Between that and the Urban garden surely there would be room or does no one think of alternatives like this? Thee Voice of Reason

10:47am Sat 9 Jun 12

Thee Voice of Reason says...

I'm guess the above couldn't be guaranteed as they probably didn't have a guarantee at that time that the park would be finished and the council thought that Westfield work would start in February according to Mr Greenwood.
I'm guess the above couldn't be guaranteed as they probably didn't have a guarantee at that time that the park would be finished and the council thought that Westfield work would start in February according to Mr Greenwood. Thee Voice of Reason

11:18am Sat 9 Jun 12

Prisoner Cell Block A says...

not a bad idea but not enough room there, they have a rolling planning ban on the big screen showing football to a few thousand. A better alternative would be one of the other parks which don't have football pitches. That's one issue solved.
Bradford Moor park possibly not big enough and the parking/logistic issues make that a non-starter but Lister Park or maybe Horton Park could be looked at as alternative venues.
I'm being a little NIMBY here as the ruining of the pitches impacts me and trying to leave or return home is a drama too.

I also admit to only ever attending one Mela and the thing I enjoyed most was the food but I can get that as nice and nicer everyday of the year from many places within a mile radius so it doesn't hld anything special for me personally though I appreciate it does for many 1000s of people.
not a bad idea but not enough room there, they have a rolling planning ban on the big screen showing football to a few thousand. A better alternative would be one of the other parks which don't have football pitches. That's one issue solved. Bradford Moor park possibly not big enough and the parking/logistic issues make that a non-starter but Lister Park or maybe Horton Park could be looked at as alternative venues. I'm being a little NIMBY here as the ruining of the pitches impacts me and trying to leave or return home is a drama too. I also admit to only ever attending one Mela and the thing I enjoyed most was the food but I can get that as nice and nicer everyday of the year from many places within a mile radius so it doesn't hld anything special for me personally though I appreciate it does for many 1000s of people. Prisoner Cell Block A

10:37pm Sat 9 Jun 12

bread says...

Good lets hope it rains every year.
Good lets hope it rains every year. bread

11:04am Sun 10 Jun 12

Albion. says...

bread wrote:
Good lets hope it rains every year.
;-)
[quote][p][bold]bread[/bold] wrote: Good lets hope it rains every year.[/p][/quote];-) Albion.

5:58pm Sun 10 Jun 12

ghanto says...

we dont need melas anymore

lancashire boycotted it and they safe
we dont need melas anymore lancashire boycotted it and they safe ghanto

9:26pm Sun 10 Jun 12

thelastmanstanding says...

There is a god then... :D

A celebration of European culture would be banned and dubbed "Racist" by the very same stupid white people who celebrate Asian culture at the Mela
There is a god then... :D A celebration of European culture would be banned and dubbed "Racist" by the very same stupid white people who celebrate Asian culture at the Mela thelastmanstanding

10:45pm Mon 11 Jun 12

Willard says...

Meh, bunfight? bakery? anyone?
Meh, bunfight? bakery? anyone? Willard

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