So where else to start than with the main man himself; Nile Rodgers sent his Meltdown flying out the traps with Chic and an incredible musical snapshot of his remarkable career.
That’s not where the festival started mind, it all kicked off on our Riverside Terrace with a lively old Saturday night of free vibes courtesy of Disco Wonderland.
Nile wasn’t done for day one just yet though, and over in Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer the opening night went on until the early hours, complete with roller-skaters and trapeze artists as we recreated the legendary Studio 54.
Thundercat kept the positive vibes going on Sunday night delivering his jazz and funk inspired sound in a special live set.
Monday night’s headliners Jungle set the tone for their performance early on as a dancer made his way through the crowd to the stage for their opening number.
Jungle’s electronic beats had the Royal Festival Hall on its feet from the start, ensuring a brilliant atmosphere in the seats.
Durand Jones and The Indications have completely perfected the late 1960s and early 1970s soul sound and were a popular act in Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein’s haunting 1980s inspired synth soundtrack has been as compelling as any of the action in the hit Netflix series Stranger Things; and our photographer Victor Frankowski captured this perfect profile of them backstage before they performed the tracks from the latest series live.
Brazilian superstar Anitta created a stir like no other when she played Royal Festival Hall; a performance which led to our daily staff report at Southbank Centre containing the words “aggressive twerking”. We decided it best not to ask.
Kokoroko are one of a number of upcoming UK jazz acts to be personally championed by Nile Rodgers, and both band and curator were delighted to meet up backstage.
Singer and guitarist Johnny Marr is so much a disciple of Nile Rodgers that he named his son after him. It was great to see him getting the Royal Festival Hall rocking on the festival’s sixth night.
One of the most talked about nights of the whole festival was Eurythmics Songbook, as Dave Stewart corralled an array of stars onto the stage to deliver some of the band’s fondest hits. Of course Nile Rodgers wasn’t going to miss out on a chance to strap on The Hitmaker.
The enchanting singer-songriter and producer SOPHIE may have offered a more subdued atmosphere than Stewart, but her Saturday night set was certainly no less mesmerising.
The final weekend of the festival saw a number of you dancing until dawn beneath our giant glitter ball as we welcomed back-to-back club nights courtesy of Despacio is Happiness.
It’s not often we see inflatable footballs punted around Queen Elizabeth Hall, but then it’s not often we host an act like Sweden's post-punk Viagra Boys, who had the honour of wrapping up the festival in our brutalist venues.
In a darkened Royal Festival Hall, the remarkable Snapped Ankles took the audience on a beat-heavy synth-enthused journey into the forests of their musical minds.
And last but by absolutely no means least to take the Royal Festival Hall stage in Nile Rodgers’ Meltdown were Malian superstars Songhoy Blues who ended things in the perfect style; with an onstage audience danceathon.
Of course we can’t wrap this up without another picture of the main man himself. The energy of Nile Rodgers was infectious throughout his festival as he personally took it on himself to introduce every single act to the stage throughout the week. Here’s to you Nile, these were our good times indeed.
Remember, live music is not just for Meltdown. Throughout the year Southbank Centre presents live contemporary music gigs and performances that blur genre boundaries and showcase the best new sounds from across the globe.