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 this Spotify Playlist of tracks featuring samples from Nile Rodgers’ music
The co-founder of CHIC is named as the curator of the 26th Meltdown festival
Listen to the artists performing at Southbank Centre in 2019
See live performances from artists including Actress, James Lavelle, Sergio Mendes, Virginia Wing, Amjad Ali Khan and more
Enjoy nine inspirational pieces of music from the jazz saxophonist in this Spotify playlist
The singer shares ten tracks she’s listening to right now in a special Spotify playlist
The pianist and composer shares a specially curated Spotify playlist of his influences
Listen to covers of some of the composer’s most iconic songs in this Spotify playlist
The remarkable career of the man bringing his reimagining of Gershwin to Southbank Centre
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 young jazz starlett talks inspiration and gratitude
Listen to this specially curated playlist of ‘the father of South African jazz’
The musician/producer has curated a very eclectic Spotify playlist of his current favourites
From the Be Good Tanyas to 2017’s Wildflower Blues, hear some of their great songs
Listen to music from acts playing Southbank Centre in autumn in this Spotify playlist

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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