Over the last 18 months London Mela organisers have fought to ensure the survival of the event, and to continue to support the delicate ecology of artists, programmers, producers and volunteers that stage this very special festival.
In November 2020 a ground-breaking online virtual event, Melatopia, was presented and staged by London Mela and while it was a great experiment, it wasn’t a replacement for the live event.
This year the organisers hoped to stage the live festival event over the traditional first weekend in September but due to the risks involved with staging outdoor events in the time of COVID, especially following reductions in the festival’s core funding, and fears regarding a sudden change in restrictions, sadly now out of time, they have to announce that the traditional London Mela format will not go ahead this year.
Since over 50% of the Mela’s income is derived from trading and sponsorship, any change in the guidelines could result in bankruptcy for the organisers. The decision to cancel now will ensure that the organisation does not expose itself to financial risk and safeguard the future of the London Mela.
Festival Producer Julian Rudd said: “It’s with great regret that we’ve had to make this decision. It’s very difficult to balance the financial and health risks with staging the event at this time but on balance we feel that our audience and artists understand the need for us to do this now in order to guarantee the survival of this unique event which will be even bigger and better in 2022. We thank all our supporters and look forward to seeing you next year.”