Big John's Mela postponed as organisers say 'not appropriate' this year

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


The annual Big John's Mela 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 last year with audiences enjoying the traditional street food, shopping bazaars and musical entertainment at venue Cannon Hill Park.

But organisers stated it was 'not appropriate' to hold a celebratory event 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 event will return in 2025. In a statement spokesperson and organiser of the Mela, 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.

Read more: Jay Slater police say he could be ALIVE 'in a different part of Tenerife'

POLL: Do you think Keir Starmer will make a good Prime Minister?

"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, Gaza's Ministry of Health estimate more than 38,000 Palestinians have been killed so far.

The conflict sparked numerous protests across the UK including Birmingham, where Gaza was a key issue for Muslim voters during the general election. Prime Minister Keir Starmer and Labour MPs in Birmingham were criticised for refusing to vote for a ceasefire.

Join our Brummie Muslims WhatsApp group here

Follow our coverage of the Israel-Hamas conflict here