What do you do when the artworks are too big to fit in the lift? In January we discovered the solution involved a pretty huge crane, as our instal team prepared for Hayward Gallery’s reopening exhibition of the photography of Andreas Gursky.
WOW (Women of the World) is always a big hit at Southbank Centre, and in March we welcomed writers Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Reni Eddo-Lodge (pictured here backstage) for a particularly fascinating Royal Festival Hall talk.
In April we said hello again to Queen Elizabeth Hall after three years of renovations and refurbs to restore the venue’s original iconic concrete, and the distinctive auditorium seating.
The summer of 2018 seemed to go on forever; from May through to September our garden and terraces were regularly packed with Londoners making the most of the spectacular sunshine.
This year saw the 25th anniversary of Meltdown, with curator Robert Smith delivering a fitting silver anniversary edition of the festival. This fantastic shot of The Cure frontman was taken by Andy Vella up on the roof of Royal Festival Hall.
In July we celebrated the 100th birthday of Nelson Mandela with a special exhibition in Queen Elizabeth Hall, that even enticed The Duke and Duchess of Sussex along to Southbank Centre.
When we weren’t outside soaking up the summer sun, we were enjoying some incredible performances indoors, including the incredible acrobatics and physical theatre of Backbone, who appeared here in August.
Well-loved regulars at Southbank Centre, the energetic young performers of Kinetika Bloco were back in the summer of 2018 with a celebration of New Orleans jazz.
The reopening and refurbishment of Queen Elizabeth Hall has opened up some new spaces and opportunities for our programme in 2018. One such new addition is our new club night Concrete Lates, which drew crowds to the Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer Space until the early hours.
Unlimited returned in September shining a light on extraordinary work by disabled artists. This shot is from behind the scenes of the festival’s striking publicity shoot, featuring members of The House of Krip, a deaf and disabled collective of vogue ball performers.
September also saw the annual Koestler Trust exhibition return to Royal Festival Hall, showcasing the artwork of prisoners and detainees, including these paper superheroes.
The striking architecture of Southbank Centre continues to entice photographers onto our site. Among the many fantastic photos that caught our eye in 2018 was this one by Rory Gardiner, featuring Hayward Gallery.
The undeniable hottest tickets in town this year were for Michelle Obama’s appearance at Royal Festival Hall in early December. Around 50,000 people tried to get tickets to see her discussing her memoir Becoming, with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A big hit on our Instagram this year has been some of the photos we’ve unearthed from Southbank Centre’s archive so it seems only right to finish on such picture; from the archives of The Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation it’s an incredible shot of the Royal Festival Hall’s restaurant shortly after its 1951 opening. Check out those Robin Day chairs!