The annual Mela Festival was taking over the sprawling plaza in front of Oslo’s City Hall this weekend, offering its diverse cultural mix of art, music and food, free of charge.
Organizers claimed they weren’t worried that this year’s Mela Festival collides with the last two days of the popular and sold-out Øya Festival playing out across town at Tøyen. This year Mela (which means “to meet” in Sanskrit) was appealing especially to families with children: “We have built this year’s festival around children,” festival chief Khalid Salimi told newspaper Aftenposten. “We’ve never had more activities designed for children.”
They include a tower for children to climb, a labyrinth they can explore, face painting and tightrope walking. The festival is also holding several events in cooperation with the adjacent Nobel Peace Center and will, as usual, offer theater, dance and booths featuring crafts and international food such as chile con carne, spring rolls, couscous, kebab, chicken tikka and samosa.
The weather was mostly predicted to cooperate as artists from Angelique Kidjo to Mari Boine were scheduled to perform on the main stage. The Mela Festival (external link) runs through Sunday evening.