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. 

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Listen to the Star Wars actor on his role as one of the most famous droids in cinema
Join us in the run up to Christmas for a great evening out
Listen to some of the Australian rock musician’s most memorable tracks.
Beat the cold and keep the little ones entertained with us
Listen to this UK-exclusive talk about their new book, The Book of Gutsy Women
The popular TV presenter shares some of her favourite books
Meet the man behind East London jazz champions Total Refreshment Centre
Watch a short trailer for the artist’s Hayward Gallery exhibition
Come and join us for some favourite films this winter
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
Yes, we somehow managed to narrow it down to six
See who’ll be joining us during some packed months of live literature
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
Listen to the poet and activist in this podcast recorded live at Poetry International
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
Find out more about this incredible instrument and the world-class artists who’ve performed here
Find out about one of Riley’s first colour canvases
Take our fun interactive quiz to see which character matches your personality
Chris McCabe on his anthology of poems from endangered languages
What to see and hear at our longest running festival
Find out about one of Riley’s earliest black-and-white paintings
Go behind-the-scenes and listen to the best bits from our monthly curated event
Enjoy this Spotify playlist featuring artists from the festival
Listen to a Spotify playlist specially curated by the singer
Victoria Adukwei Bulley profiles the influential American poet
The much-loved comedian and actor looks back at his remarkable career
Find out why this early painting is a key work for Riley
Get to know the grime MC ahead of his Southbank Centre gig
The popular children’s author discusses his new book
The family-friendly interactive installation is back
The internationally bestselling author on the fascinating story of Lale Sokolov
Visitors the Hayward Gallery's 1971 exhibition of the works of Bridget Riley take in the art work.

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Find out about Bridget Riley’s long history with Hayward Gallery
Find out more about this influential artist, the subject of our major retrospective
How many of these artists have you seen perform here?

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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