BBC Asian Network

The BBC Asian Network today announces that it will descend upon five festivals as part of its Summer of Melas programme, bringing live music, highlights, picture galleries, videos and performances from some of the best Asian artists to listeners on-air and online at bbc.co.uk/asiannetwork.

Kicking off with the Leicester Mela on Sunday 10 July, the station will visit Cardiff (17 July), Manchester (23/24 July), with the London Mela being the centre of the station’s Mela coverage (4 September). Increasing its northern support through its new partnership with the Newcastle Mela, the summer will finish there on 11 September.

Leading Asian Network presenters Tommy Sandhu, Noreen Khan and Sonia Deol will be the main stage hosts across all sites, with weekend and late-night presenters including DJ Kayper, Sunny & Shay, Panjabi Hit Squad and Dipps Bhamrah on DJ duties across the nation. Throughout the Summer of Melas programme, listeners can enjoy performances from some of the biggest UK and international Asian artists. Headliners throughout the season so far include Jassi Sidhu, JK and Malkit Singh, with new talents Jernade Miah, Shide Boss and The Truth amongst those being championed across the summer.

BBC Asian Network will enjoy a sixth year of partnership with the London Mela including music stage across two zones, the Main Stage and the Mix Tent hosted by Nihal. London Mela line-ups will be announced in the coming weeks.

In the week leading up to each event Tommy Sandhu and Noreen Khan will focus around the location of each Mela, showcasing local talent and broadcasting content from the heart of its community.

Mark Strippel, Head of Music and Events, BBC Asian Network, says: “This is BBC Asian Network’s sixth year of national Mela coverage and we’ve continued to raise the quality of our coverage and programming, with the aim of increasing combined audience reach of more than 1 million last year and engaging even more British-Asian audiences nationwide. Our London Mela line-ups will be announced in the coming weeks and are particularly exciting and unique this year.”

Ahead of the season, the BBC Asian Network website will host a wealth of information, including the station’s coverage, artist line-ups and travel information. During the summer, the site will host highlights, picture galleries and videos of your favourite artists and presenters.

Following the success of last year’s Mela Music Red Button programme, the station will present another Red Button offering in September – broadcast details will be confirmed over the following weeks.

Asian Network brings its listeners the best coverage of all the Melas it visits this summer, from showcasing great acts, to broadcasting key highlights, to filming, photo galleries and much more.

The BBC Asian Network will celebrate the end of its Melas season with a special highlights programme, A Summer Of Melas, on the BBC Red Button, from Monday 16 August.

Having attracted an audience of 810,000 for last year’s Mela Music Red Button programme, viewers will be able to re-live this summer’s season with an hour-long programme, which is available for seven days until Sunday 22 August.

Hosted by a variety of Asian Network presenters, including Breakfast Show host Tommy Sandhu, the programme will showcase the best music, artists, interviews and culture from across the summer.

Performances from the Melas’ biggest artists will be interwoven with other station activity, and the programme will also feature performances from the BBC Introducing Stage – a brand-new stage which featured at the London Mela, showcasing the best in under the radar Asian talent.

Mark Friend, Controller of BBC Multi-Platform and Interactive, says: “Last year’s Mela music programme was a real break-out moment for the Asian Network, watched and listened to by new audiences. I am excited that this year’s programme takes in even more great content including, for the first time, performances from the BBC Introducing Stage.”

Mark Strippel, Head of Music and Events, Asian Network, adds: “BBC Asian Network reached out to a record 400,000 people across 11 Melas this summer, bringing them the best in Asian music and entertainment. Our DJs have demonstrated how closely this station connects and reflects our community roots across the UK, from Wilmslow Road through to Southall Broadway and Belgrave Road.

“Across A Summer Of Melas, we’ve been taking photos of artists and audiences and filming selected performances, interviews and a flavour of Asian culture from each area we’ve visited. The A Summer Of Melas Red Button TV programme captures some amazing moments of a musical and cultural journey taken with our audience across the summer.”

Throughout the season, the BBC Asian Network website has showcased all the action from each of the Melas. Audiences have been able to enjoy each Mela with a variety of videos, the best music and a multitude of pictures available at bbc.co.uk/asiannetwork.

In addition to this multi-platform offering, clips are also available on the station’s Facebook and You Tube pages. Audiences are also encouraged to share their thoughts on the Red Button programme using the dedicated hashtag #melaredbutton.

The Asian Network embarked on its biggest Summer Of Melas season at the beginning of June and visited events across the North West, North East, the Midlands, Wales, Scotland and finished at the London Mela on Sunday 8 August.

The station’s presenters, Tommy Sandhu, Sonia Deol, Noreen Khan and Murtz, fronted the station’s activity, which also saw the network branching out of the studio to broadcast live from the heart of community.

The station’s most comprehensive activity was at the London Mela on Sunday 8 August, where its nine-hour live broadcast was complemented by a live web-stream. The station also hosted and programmed the event’s Main Stage and offered a multitude of other activities for visitors to enjoy, including The Mix Tent, Karaoke Tent, Station Wagon and In Conversation tent in collaboration with BBC London.

For more information on how to watch highlights of A Summer Of Melas on the Red Button, go to bbc.co.uk/asiannetwork.

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