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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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?
“Had I curated it in the wake of Brexit, Trump and Farage, there’s a chance it would have been a different book”
Listen to the documentary-maker discuss his career on screen with comedian Adam Buxton
We’ll help you keep the children entertained this autumn
The BAFTA-winning composer looks ahead to his new festival
Join us for a different listening experience away from the noise of everyday life
Listen to the comedian discuss her new book in this special podcast
Southbank Centre’s Ramatoulie Bobb looks ahead to her first classical music encounter
Take a look at the new trailer for this family favourite
Introducing the brilliant YA writers and authors appearing at Southbank Centre
Listen to this Spotify playlist and hear some of the big beasts of the instrument world
Author Jeffrey Boayke looks at the musical genre's impact on male identity.
Cardboard Citizens’ Beyoncé Meikle introduces their interactive theatre piece
Don’t worry about what to wear or when to clap; you’re there for the music
Listen to this Spotify playlist and step away from the bustle of everyday life
Listen to Malorie Blackman discuss her latest novel Crossfire
Put your money away and make the most of the South Bank
Find out why the classical composer loves to hear his music covered and remixed
Richard Ayoade reflects on his award-winning films and comedy in conversation with Adam Buxton
Have your finger on the pulse and be the very first to hear a brand new piece of music
The psychotherapist and author discusses her latest book in this interview
How did the Weimar era pave the way for the rise of Nazism? Find out more in this Philharmonia Orchestra video
Akala, Femi Kuti, Denise Lewis and more help us celebrate everything Africa
The composer and orchestrator talks about bringing his father’s work to life
Get a flavour of the new season with this Spotify playlist
Take a look at the six books in the running for this year’s prestigious award
If you are a romantic at heart listen to this Spotify playlist and stir your inner emotions
Whatever your era, see in the new year with us
What was it like to be a student at the Bauhaus? Find out more in this Philharmonia Orchestra video
Go deeper into the exhibition, How Chicago! Imagists 1960s & 70s
Enjoy some of the distinctive documentary maker’s most memorable moments
Be the first to hear the next big thing
The Austrian percussionist and composer shares a special Spotify playlist of his favourite artists
Annette Isserlis and Kati Debretzeni explain the history behind the orchestra’s name in this video
Nicholas Hlobo introduces his work and discusses his use of materials in this short video
Get a recap of the author’s award-winning series
Tarini Malik and John Fleetwood discuss Thabiso Sekgala’s photographic legacy
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?
Nile Rodgers talks about his Meltdown festival in this exclusive video
The poet on the importance of Picasso’s work and the challenge of responding to it
The legendary singer and guitarist talks Chic, Nile Rodgers and Royal Festival Hall
Join us for popular performances and free activities across the weekend
Watch Tom McFarland and Josh Lloyd-Watson talk about performing at the festival
Watch the American musician and producer in this video
Take a look at some of the best social media moments from Meltdown so far
The pair discuss their portrait of Al-Kadhi’s drag persona in this short video
Watch a short video interview with the artist and hear a playlist of his work
Two artists from Kiss My Genders discuss figuration, abstraction, family and identity in this joint interview
A look at the remarkable journey of South African singer Nakhane
Get to know more about the two writers and former nurses
Ann Liebeck on how Havana and cabaret thrived on the eve of the Cuban revolution
Listen to the evolution of music from rhythm and blues to hip hop
Experience the film classic like never before with a live performance of Elmer Bernstein’s memorable score
The artist introduces his HENI Project Space exhibition in this short video 
We get to know the Queen of Brazilian pop
See who’s joining us at this year’s festival and Poetry International
Take the chance to hear from authors, writers and publishers in a series of intimate short talks
Watch the trailer for ZooNation’s summer 2019 Southbank Centre show
Poet Richard Price and The National Poetry Library’s Chris McCabe on responding to Picasso’s Guernica
The artists behind Stranger Things remarkable score, look ahead to their Meltdown gig in this interview
Hear from Jean-Paul Gaultier ahead of his Fashion Freak Show
Join us for some open-air classic cinema favourites at Southbank Centre this summer
Watch this video introduction to the exhibition, featuring Guest Curator Vincent Honoré and Assistant Curator Tarini Malik
Introducing an award-winning author with an increasingly global following
Read a short interview with the choreographer of ZooNation’s Tales of the Turntable
What to see during three days of fantastic free music performances
Find out how the artist creates the intricate sculptures on display in HENI Project Space
It's set to get lively on our Riverside Terrace across July and August
Take a look at the packed line-up coming to Southbank Centre later this year
Find out more about Muholi’s self-portrait, part of their ongoing series Somnyama Ngonyama: Hail the Dark Lioness
Enjoy a Spotify playlist of artists from New Music Biennial 2019
Introducing the author of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
Hear from three of the artists involved in Kiss My Genders in this roundtable discussion
See the bands and performers on their way to Meltdown festival 2019
Find out more about the first drag queen to run for president
Find out more about Hayward Gallery’s 2019 summer exhibition
Find out more about Hlobo’s sculpture
The Royal Ballet’s principal dancer Natalia Osipova discusses her performance in The Mother
Listen to the thirteenth episode of our podcast series, in which we turn our attention to poetry and spoken word
The Light In The Piazza’s Set and Props Designer on bringing Florence to the stage
The amazing story behind one of the most iconic disco anthems
Find out which poets have made this year’s shortlist
Discover the stars bringing the musical to life
Get to know the Philharmonia Orchestra’s new Principal Conductor
Enjoy BBQ, burgers, refreshing juices, craft beer, cocktails and views over the Thames this summer
Big name star after big name star; take a look at the cast of the new television series
Watch the Finnish artists discuss their dance-filled show in this video
Get up to speed on the author’s two LA Quartet series.
Watch a short introduction to the award-winning musical
Enjoy a Spotify playlist of music crafted by the man behind the sound of the 1980s
The artist discusses her exhibition in Hayward Gallery’s HENI Project Space
Reasons to get out the house and join us down beside the Thames
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
Gavin Plumley, series advisor, introduces the Orchestra’s new colourful series
What became of Lennon’s Steinway and Chopin’s Pleyel?

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American garage punk band Radkey performing at James Lavelle's Meltdown, Southbank Centre 2014
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