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. 

Meet the man behind East London jazz champions Total Refreshment Centre
The iconic star of music and fashion is named curator of the festival’s 27the edition
Listen to a Spotify playlist of the music of the Meltdown 2020 curator
Listen to the Suede frontman discuss his latest book with Miranda Sawyer in this special podcast.
TRC’s Lex Blondin curates this special Spotify playlist
The young jazz starlett talks inspiration and gratitude
Electro-pop’s Pi Ja Ma shares a Spotify playlist of her current inspirations
Head of Contemporary Music, Bengi Unsal, looks ahead to Ólafur Arnalds’ takeover
Enjoy this Spotify playlist featuring artists from the festival
Listen to a Spotify playlist specially curated by the singer
Get to know the grime MC ahead of his Southbank Centre gig
How many of these artists have you seen perform here?
The BAFTA-winning composer looks ahead to his new festival
Akala, Femi Kuti, Denise Lewis and more help us celebrate everything Africa
Be the first to hear the next big thing
The Icelandic composer shares some of his favourite artists in this Spotify playlist
Relive the festival through the lens of photographers and gig goers
We spoke to the Syrian-American singer ahead of her Southbank Centre gig
What’s it like to be a DIY queer feminist punk band in 2019?

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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