Thousands flock to Eastleigh Mela


Brilliant sunshine teamed up with the Asian Welfare and Cultural Association yesterday to come to the rescue of Eastleigh council’s dead duck music festival as the annual Mela drew in thousands of local people.

A carnival atmosphere prevailed with ethnic sounds to jig around to and stalls of ethnic food to sample – including Asian ice cream!

There were also also more traditional fair ground foodstuffs available including candy floss which came on a stick – not a polythene bag!


There was plenty of fun for all the family including bouncy castles, a hawk display, rock climbing and a circus skills tent.


Eastleigh News junior reporter Laura test drives hula hoop

The crowds for the free event contrasted sharply with the handful that had attended the £32 a head music concerts Friday and Saturday featuring bands that no one had ever heard of.

Said one Mela goer – who didn’t want to be named:

” I’ve been living in Eastleigh for 53 years and this the most people I have ever seen on Eastleigh Rec – there are even more people here than when Chris Huhne came to turn on the Christmas Lights and got booed.”

” This is brilliant – the Asian Welfare and Cultural Association should take over the entire weekend.”

Meanwhile Matthew Myatt, a local human rights and environmental activist contacted Eastleigh News regarding yesterdays story on the Music festival.
Mr Myatt has been a vociferous opponent of the festival and it was his Freedom of Information request which revealed that the festival had only sold 730 tickets last year.
Speaking to Eastleigh News about the festival he said:
“It is about time that this event was cancelled, it costs local taxpayers thousands of pounds a year, creates extensive damage to our recreation ground that takes months to repair and prevents local people from enjoying the open space of our recreation ground due to the ground being fenced off for over a week.
With all the problems our town faces with the ongoing crises with it’s budget, we the people of Eastleigh must send a clear message to this Lib Dem council that this sort of waste of public funds and damage to our green spaces must stop.!!”
Do you agree with him?

  1 comment for “Thousands flock to Eastleigh Mela

  1. peter stewart
    July 14, 2010 at 8:51 am

    I don’t agree the music festival should be cancelled solely on the basis of one year’s poor sales figures. I should like to see figures for the past 8 years.

    However with events like this let’s not forget there are hidden peripheral benefits to local trade. As the Eastleigh News article “Dozens Flock to Music Festival” (July 11th) reveals, “By 3 o’clock Sainsbury’s cider aisle looked like it had stripped by locusts”. No doubt similar trade benefits could be found in other local shops.

    Thus festivals like this have the potential to benefit the town and hence the council tax payer by drawing in people to the town (something that might not otherwise happen) and helping to boost the health of the local shopping infrastructure at a time of economic nervousness. Such benefits are impossible in practice to quantify. But anything which helps get people into the town has to be good.

    We must never forget that before the Tories split the town in two by putting in the Swan Centre, thus causing the run down of the old quarter and the decline in shopping variety, Eastleigh was a vibrant and varied, albeit rather dull, shopping centre where one could buy probably 90% of ones goods.

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