Big John's Mela near Coventry postponed as organisers say 'not appropriate'

-Credit: (Image: Birmingham Mail)
-Credit: (Image: Birmingham Mail)

The annual Big John's Mela near Coventry has been postponed until next year due to the ongoing Gaza conflict. The 'largest Asian outdoor event in the UK' celebrated it's 22nd anniversary in BIrmingham last year..

But organisers stated it was 'not appropriate' to hold the celebratory event at Cannon Hill until the 'war against the innocent ends'. The Mela attracts over 60,000 visitors every year and previously included artists such as Ali Zafar, Roach Killa, Hosai and Firstman.

Organisers insist the Mela will be back next year. Organiser Bob Saddiq said: "Due to the on-going conflict in Gaza and the heavy loss of more than 40,000 lives predominately women and children, it is not appropriate for a responsible cultural event organisation to put on a large community event celebrating reports BirminghamLive.

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"We stand in solidarity with humanity and Palestine and pray that this war against the innocent ends now." Ambreen Khan, Director of Events, added: "As much as our Mela is very popular and the largest Mela in the UK, we are mindful of the sentiments and emotions of our visitors at this very point in time. The Mela attracts visitors from up and down the country and has been awarded for being one of the best Asian outdoor events in the UK."

The ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict came to a head on October 7 last year, when Hamas fighters attacked hundreds of Israelis. Since then the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) have carried out sustained attacks within the Gaza strip The conflict sparked numerous protests across the UK including Birmingham, where Gaza was a key issue for Muslim voters during the general election.