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. 

Listen to the thirteenth episode of our podcast series, in which we turn our attention to poetry and spoken word
Listen to the twelfth episode of our podcast series on the impact of Karlheinz Stockhausen on music
Listen to the best-selling author of The Hate U Give discuss her second novel
Listen to the eleventh episode of our podcast series as comedians and comedy writers talk politics
The tenth episode of our monthly podcast looks at human and robot interaction in the arts.
Hear from the Octavia Poetry Collective, and get an exclusive listen to the US writer's first UK appearance
The ninth episode of our regular podcast looks at the lack of diversity in children’s literature
Listen to readings and discussion from poets Richard Scott, Zaffar Kunial and winner Hannah Sullivan
Listen to a special podcast, recorded live at 2018’s London Literature Festival
Hear comedians including Dave Gorman, Maisie Adam and Glenn Moore answer questions on comedy
The seventh episode of our monthly podcast looks ahead to 2019’s SoundState festival. Take a listen
Listen to Sue Perkins discuss her book East of Croydon
Listen to the sixth episode of our podcast series as we take a comedic turn
Listen to Salman Rushdie, Marilynne Robinson, Sarah Churchwell and Terrance Hayes on modern America
Relive special moments from this year’s festival with these podcasts
Dissect the making and unmaking of civilisations and cultures with Akala and David Olusoga
Listen to The Who frontman discussing his new memoir in this special podcast
Listen to Anna Burns discuss her Man Booker award-winning novel, Milkman
The six authors read live from their shortlisted novels in this special podcast recording
Listen to the fourth episode of our monthly literary podcast featuring Khaled Hosseini and Nick Makola
In the fourth edition of Think Aloud, we join the #AskACuratorDay celebrations
Listen to the third episode of our monthly podcast, a preview of Unlimited
Listen to the second episode of our monthly podcast, as we discuss writing and the novel.
Listen to the two literary titans discuss their creative processes and the inspirations for their fiction
Listen to the second episode of our literary podcast, recorded backstage at Man Booker 50
Listen to a discussion of family dynamics, memory and desire, from two Booker Prize-winning authors
Listen to two Booker Prize-winning writers discuss how historical fiction can shed light on our present
Listen to the novelists discuss how fiction can capture lives on the margins of history
Go behind the scenes at Meltdown with the first episode of our new podcast series
Listen to the first episode of our new podcast series as we look back at past Man Booker Prize winners
Listen to this explanatory podcast with architect Richard Battye
Listen to award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in this great podcast from WOW 2018
Speakers including MPs Jo Swinson, Anna Soubry, Sophie Walker and Tulip Siddiq share their experiences
Hear from leading women in the creative industries creating change including Vanessa Kingori, Publishing Director at Vogue UK
Listen to an in depth talk with Alan Hollinghurst as he discusses his latest novel
Enjoy a series of podcasts featuring star speakers from the 2017 edition of Being A Man festival
An exclusive podcast from the comedian’s frank and funny conversation at Being A Man festival
Get a glimpse into the world of the the author’s many literary characters and creations
Enjoy some of the highlights of last year’s festival, including Hillary Rodham Clinton and Tom Hanks
Hear the DJ and visual artist in a candid discussion about his life and work

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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