Page last updated at 15:33 GMT, Thursday, 9 July 2009 16:33 UK

Edinburgh Mela programme unveiled

By Angie Brown
Edinburgh reporter, BBC Scotland news website

Anshul Tomer
Indian Idol 2003 quarter finalist Anshul Tomer will be at the Mela

Indian Idol 2003 quarter finalist Anshul Tomer is to feature at a multi-cultural festival in Edinburgh.

Mr Tomer is to perform a number of Bollywood hits at this year's Edinburgh Mela, which runs from 7-9 August.

DJs and producers Punjabi Hit Squad will also perform with Punjabi singer Alyssia - described as the Mary J Blige of the Asian music world.

The Pilrig Park festival will also have favourites such as the ladies-only night and a fashion show.

Up and coming Scottish DJs G-town Desi are to kick-start the Ladies-only night.

The night will also include a bhangra hip hop dance-off and a performance by East African Asian bilingual rapper AG Dolla.

The big top will be host to New Asia, as well as drummers Kakatsitsi.

This year there are also a number of performances and artists that are working cross-culturally, often with exciting and surprising results
Liam Sinclair
Mela director

Edinburgh-based Persian jazz band GOL featuring Iranian-born lead singer Roxana Pope will perform a specially commissioned musical piece, 'Mixed Up'.

Outdoor stage performances include Umkathi a dance-theatre production from Zimbabwe, snake charming in Jardu the Magic of India and hip hop dancing with a twist of Bollywood by Glasgow's Desi Bravehearts.

"Princess of Bhangra", Mona Singh and well-known brothers from the Scottish Bhangra scene Tigerstyle will also be at the festival.

Liam Sinclair, Mela director, said: "This year's Edinburgh Mela promises a host of new performances.

"We have an even bigger big top which has increased the scope for performers and audiences.

"Once again we have acts coming to perform from overseas, but also performers who are UK-based but whose roots lie elsewhere."

Mark Strippel, BBC Asian Network's head of music, said: "BBC Asian Network are proud to be supporting the Edinburgh Mela for the first time this year as part of our 'Summer of Melas'.

"We have a very strong commitment to providing a real platform for new Scottish Desi talent and I'm confident that our on-air Mela coverage will strengthen that connection even further."

The Mela will end on Sunday in Scottish style with a jam session and ceilidh as musicians from a number of groups attending bring the festival to an end.

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