James Lavelle's Meltdown

Musical and artistic innovator James Lavelle curate the 21st Meltdown in 2014, following in the footsteps of some of music’s biggest names, including David Bowie, Yoko Ono, Patti Smith and Jarvis Cocker.

Combining creative entrepreneurship with a radical artistic approach, James’ genre-defying portfolio spans music, art, fashion, design and film, and as part of his groundbreaking work with UNKLE, boasts acclaimed musical collaborations with the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Nick Cave and Thom Yorke.

Collaboration, innovation and a spirit of non-conformism are central to his approach. James worked with young people to curate the programme, meaning that this very special Meltdown in line with his commitment to mobilising the next generation to become the inventors of their own culture.

Mo’Wax inspires a new generation

Both Meltdown and James Lavelle’s iconic label Mo’Wax turned 21 in 2014,  and as part of the festival, Mo’Wax21: Urban Archaeology, an interactive exhibition devised with Southbank Centre as part of the festival, celebrated the creative output of the label James launched as a teenager.

Doug Foster's installation No Beginning, No End in the Clore Ballroom, featured five cyclical artworks and UNKLE's The Heretics' Gate soundtrack. 

What to see during three days of fantastic free music performances
See the bands and performers on their way to Meltdown festival 2019
A Spotify playlist to get you in the mood for the CHIC-est of Meltdowns
Find out who's on the bill for the 26th edition of Meltdown festival
Enjoy the sarod players’ favourite music in these Spotify playlists
Listen to the artists performing at Southbank Centre in 2019
The singer shares ten tracks she’s listening to right now in a special Spotify playlist
Enjoy a specially curated Spotify playlist of the acts playing here in 2019
Enjoy live music from artists including Louie Vega, James Lavelle’s UNKLE, Yann Tiersen and The Orb
The musician/producer has curated a very eclectic Spotify playlist of his current favourites
Listen to the third episode of our monthly podcast, a preview of Unlimited
Get an idea of this year’s programme with these hand-picked events
Listen to specially curated Spotify playlist from the former Mercury Prize nominee
Your best tweets and Instagram images from this year’s festival
Find out about the history of the Argentine music and its links with Cuba and opera
Enjoy five brilliant performances from the incredible Malian music duo.
Discover more about this intriguing composer and musician
Listen to three powerful Spotify playlists from Carleen Anderson, Rod Youngs and Renell Shaw
The singer and journalist on the importance of music as a tool of protest
The celebrated composer, producer and tabla player shares some of his favourite music

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Meltdown stories

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American garage punk band Radkey performing at James Lavelle's Meltdown, Southbank Centre 2014
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The Guerrilla Girls use facts, humour and fake fur to expose discrimination