Date: 19 Jan 2016


A global singing superstar will headline the new Mela Coventry, an exciting two-day South Asian cultural festival, at the Ricoh Arena in the Midlands in August.

Bollywood favourite Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, who sells out shows across the world, will headline the Mela Coventry and take centre stage in a concert on Friday, August 12 to open the festival.

Rahat has followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, iconic Pakistani musician Fateh Ali Khan, and world-renowned uncle Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, to become a pioneer in Qawwali music, captivating fans across the world.

The show with the legendary performer on August 12 will launch the highly-anticipated Mela Coventry which will include Bhangra dance classes, fashion shows, a South Asian lifestyle exhibition, street food and a UK premiere of a latest Bollywood film.

The Mela Coventry will culminate on 13 August in an evening of Bhangra music and dancing in association with Touch FM, and will include top Bhangra acts Abrar Ul Haq, Shazia Mansoor, Sukshinder Shinda, Malkit Singh, The Legends Band and Dhol Drummers.

The Mela Dance School will host a series of free lessons in Bhangra and Bollywood dancing; and for the latest fashions and trends, you can visit the ‘Mahal’ for a free South Asian lifestyle exhibition featuring around 25 Midlands-based retailers and manufacturers and showcasing three Mela fashion shows on a specially constructed catwalk.

The tastes and smells of South Asian cuisine will fill the festival as the best of Asian street food is on offer to visitors, with acclaimed local and regional restaurants and chefs serving guests in the ‘Baajaar’ throughout the day on Saturday, August 13.

The day-time activities will also feature the UK premiere of a Bollywood film with 650 tickets priced at £10 per person available, starting at 2pm, in a specially created cinema.

Andy Gibb, Managing Director of the Ricoh Arena, said securing Rahat Fateh Ali Khan to open the two-day cultural Mela Coventry festival is a major coup.

He said: “Rahat is a true global superstar and to hear him singing at the Ricoh Arena will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for his fans.

“He is a massive influence in the genre of Qawwali music which has led to Rahat contributing to Hollywood music soundtracks and he is at the pinnacle of his career in the extremely popular world of Bollywood.

“This is the first Mela we have held and it will be unlike any other similar event in the UK since we will be providing a range of different entertainment to appeal to families from all communities in the Midlands.”

David Armstrong, Chief Executive, Wasps Group, said “When Wasps acquired the Ricoh Arena, one of our clear goals was to extend our reach of music and entertainment across the whole community and throughout the region. The launch of our first Coventry Mela is a major step along that journey. We are delighted to welcome Rahat Fatel Ali Khan to the Arena to headline our first event at the start of his UK tour and we look forward to a great weekend of Asian food, culture and entertainment”

Shakila Holden, Senior Account Manager at Quidem which owns Touch FM and is the presenter of Touch FM’s Asian Connections show, said the radio station was proud to be associated with such an event.

“Rahat was the first Pakistani chosen to sing at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert and the fact he has over six million Facebook likes underlines his popularity across the world,” she said.

“I can’t wait to see him sing live and I’m also looking forward to the acts performing at the Bhangra concert.

“There are plenty of varied activities organised throughout the day on August 13 with traditional Asian culture, fashion, food and a film to keep everyone entertained.”

The Mela Coventry will be a celebration of music, dancing, fashion, film and wonderful cuisine. Tickets for the concerts go on pre-sale on Monday, January 25 and on general sale on Tuesday, January 26. Registration of interest for tickets is available online now at


There are tickets available for Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s all-seated concert on August 12 priced at £45, £55 and £75 for general admission, £180 for hospitality tickets featuring a three-course dinner and priority seats, and special limited VVIP tickets priced at £550 each, which include the opportunity to meet Rahat, have a photo taken with the solo artist, a three-course dinner and front-row Golden Circle seats. Doors will open at 6.30pm and the performance will start at 8pm.

Seated and standing tickets will be on sale for the Bhangra Night in association with Touch FM at 6pm on August 13 priced at £35 seating and £20 standing in front of the stage.

The UK Bollywood Film Premiere will also take place on the 13 August with tickets priced £10 each.

Combined general admission tickets to attend both concert nights will be available and hotel rooms at the DoubleTree by Hilton at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry are available to book.

The fashion show, lifestyle exhibition, Bhangra dance class and street food market are all free to attend. Look out for further information at