Try meeting someone this weekend

Desi Bravehearts
Desi Bravehearts

WHILE many Glaswegians cross their fingers and hope for sunshine come the weekend, this particular week may see more wishing than usual.

The annual Mela festival returns to Kelvingrove park for its 22nd year, promising a dazzling array of colour, spectacle, music and family fun for two full days.

Of course organisers may be making promises with bated breath, as last year’s event was a washout, held on perhaps the rainiest weekend of the summer and suffering from stage closures due to mud-covered slopes.

But let’s face it, we Glaswegians are nothing if not used to a downpour – and it has to be said that even the 2011 event attracted thousands of people to the westend park.

Furthermore, if you cast your memory back even further (all the way back to 2010, if possible), the Mela was bringing in a record 40,000 and basking in glorious sunshine.

Let’s hope for the best then, shall we?

The Mela first began in 1990, as part of Glasgow’s celebrations as European city of culture – and has since grown to be the biggest event of its kind in Scotland.

The name is Sanskrit, meaning to meet, and the idea is a melting pot of cultures and ethnic groups coming together to celebrate the city’s diverse population.

For that reason, you’ll spot everything from big name Bhangra stars on the main stage and Bollywood-style dance troupes to acrobats from a far-off land known as Scotstoun.

Headliners include Hindi and Punjabi singer Navin Kundra and Glaswegian producing duo Tigerstyle, as well as dance acts from Mela regulars the Desi Bravehearts, Clan Macondo and the Royal Edinburgh Tattoo Highland Ceilidh dancers.

And if that isn’t enough to convince you, organisers have an unusual attraction up their sleeve, as the O2 Glasgow Mela (its official name) is possibly the first of its kind to have an ice rink – yes, an ice rink – involved.

The 10m by 10m synthetic rink will be free to all festival-goers throughout the weekend – and let’s face it, there’s little chance of it melting in Glasgow’s scorching sun.

But let’s keep our fingers crossed for a little bit of summer weather – because a skate in the sunshine seems worth the journey across the Clyde on its own.

n The O2 Glasgow Mela takes place on June 23 and 24 (Saturday and Sunday) at Kelvingrove park, 12-8pm. Entry is free, and the full line-up is available at www.glasgowmela.com.