First St Albans Mela is huge success despite rain

St Albans' first Mela festival

St Albans' first Mela festival - Credit: Archant

St Albans’ first ever Mela festival was a hugh success according to one of its organisers, despite the poor weather delaying performances by up to three hours.

Close to a thousand people are thought to have attended the recent event, which took place on the grounds of Fleetville Junior School, St Albans, with visitors treated to 25 acts ranging from R’n’B to live martial arts.

Moe Sheik, who organised the event, said: “For our first time, it was an absolute success. The encouragement and support we got from everbody was awesome.

“We were uming and ahing about whether to take the sound system inside because of the rain. Then when we finally decided to, the rain stopped and the sun came out.”

The day’s rain, however, was not enough to dampen spirits, with people waiting well into the night to see performances.

“Everybody was saying how great the community is in St Albans,” Moe said.

Anne Main MP, who attended the event, said: “I had a thoroughly enjoyable time at the St Albans Mela. The fact that so many people got involved despite the inclement weather is testament to its success.

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“The attractions, the acts, the food and the organisation was faultless.

“It’s important that we support events of cultural expression and I would like to thank everyone involved for their efforts to make the event a success.”

Shakir Rahman, who was first person to take to the stage with a performance of the martial art, Aikido, after a two-and-a-half-hour delay, congratulated Moe on a succesful first St Albans Mela.

He said: “It was really nice day. The sun eventually cracked through the clouds and it ended up being a really colourful event.

“I’m sure next year will be bigger and better. Moe went to a lot of effort organising the event and did a really good job.”

Mo, Shakir and the Luton-based cultural society, Batighor, which was also heavily involved in the event are all looking forward to next year’s Mela, with plans to expand and encourage more and more members of the community to get involved.