R’n’B star Jay Sean returned to his hometown and performed to thousands at the London Mela festival in Gunnersbury Park on Sunday (September 4).

The London Mela, now in its ninth year, brought together tens of thousands of London-wide people in a colourful celebration of South Asian culture.

Jay Sean, whose hits include the US number one ‘Down’, was raised in nearby Southall. He joined other stars including Juggy D and Ash King on the main stage, for a show programmed by BBC’s Asian Network.

The family-friendly Mela, staged by Ealing Council and endorsed by the Mayor of London, routinely attracts over 90,000 people. ‘Mela’ is from the Sanskrit word describing a large festive gathering, it is the largest celebration of South Asian culture in Europe.

Gunnersbury Park was full of tents and platforms including the Indy Indie, which featured music from the South Asian Diaspora and an outdoor arts programme.

With the poor weather making life difficult for visitors, audiences were huddled in the BBC London 94.9 tent for In Conversation With. Interviews were held with a range of Asian stars, including latest YouTube comedian Humza Badman, the protagonist in the hit video series Diary Of A Badman.

Humza, whose alter ego is a childlike Asian man with unusual traits to cope with urban life, used Youtube to launch his comedy series. His familiar childlike squeals were echoed by fans that gathered in the auditorium, audibly excited that he and his team will make a film next year.

The London Mela was also host to a range of charities. Renu Rattan led an army of volunteers to help raise funds for Bhagat Hari Singh Charitable Hospital and continues her family’s dream to build and equip the only hospital available in a poor region in Hoshiarpur, India.

Renu said “Charities come every year. It’s a great way to get in touch with thousands of people. The hospital sees over 100 patients a day. It recently got its only dialysis machine. We can use this event to do great things.”

Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council said: “Last year saw record numbers attending this unique event and Ealing Council is proud and delighted to be a co-host once more at Gunnersbury Park. Once again, the Mela will provide a great opportunity for all parts of the community to come together to discover the best of South Asian arts and culture.”

The Mela brought a rainbow of colour to an otherwise overcast day. Saminder Kharay, 23, of Heston, said: “I attend every year. I am a Sikh and it’s great for me to mark my heritage in this way. Plus the food is amazing!”