“I expect this to be one of the most exciting weeks of my life,” said Nile Rodgers, curator of the 26th Meltdown, as we sat down with him on the eve of the 2019 festival. His expectations would not be found wanting.
For nine days straight in August 2019, Southbank Centre rocked, danced and discoed to an incredible breadth of live music from all corners of the globe. And throughout it all you couldn’t go more than ten feet without bumping into Rodgers himself.
The curator personally introduced every one of his headline performers, in each of our three venues, on every single night. From the guitar rock of Johnny Marr to the funk-infused Malian soul of Songhoy Blues; the South American dance-pop of Anitta to the haunting electronica of Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, Rodgers could be found championing each and every one of the performers on his remarkable bill.
And when not waiting in the wings, Rodgers was right there on stage - kicking off the festival in emphatic style with Chic and a special Studio 54 night, or joining Dave Stewart in an all-star line-up to present Eurythmics Songbook. It was a truly memorable Meltdown; one of the most exciting weeks in the life of Southbank Centre, let alone that of the festival’s curator.
Grace Jones will curate our next Meltdown festival, which has now been rearranged from this summer, to June 2021. Nile Rodgers may have left some pretty big shoes to fill, but if anyone can, Grace can; expect them to not just to be filled, but be kicking and thigh-length.
The show must go on(line)
Sadly, for everyone’s safety, our venues are currently closed. But you can still get your Southbank Centre fix online. We will continue to share inspiring and thought-provoking arts stories through our website and social channels.
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