15 – 24 JUN 2018

Meltdown 2018 was nominated for Music Week Awards' Festival of the Year and won the AIM Independent Music Awards' Act of Independence award. 

Robert Smith curated the UK’s longest-running artist-curated music festival in its 25th year. Smith is the lead singer and principal songwriter of The Cure, and its only constant member since the group formed in 1978.

One of popular music’s defining bands, The Cure took the ‘alternative rock’ genre mainstream around the world and garnered numerous awards including a Brit Award for Best British Band, an MTV Icon Award, a Q Inspiration Award and NME’s Godlike Genius Award. Smith has also been presented with an Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement.

An iconic figure in his own right, Smith’s influence reaches across popular culture, film, art, and fashion.

His many collaborations include performing and recording with artists as varied as David Bowie, Billy Corgan, Blink 182, The Stranglers, Placebo, Crystal Castles, Faithless, Korn and 65daysofstatic.

Meltdown is one of the UK’s most anticipated music events each year, in which an iconic artist curates their own personal festival, revealing their interests and influences. Robert Smith follows in the footsteps of such legendary curators as Patti Smith, Nick Cave, Yoko Ono, Massive Attack, Ornette Coleman and 2017’s M.I.A.

I have finally figured out my Meltdown festival psychedelic puzzle… and it really is just like heaven… 10 delirious June days at London’s Southbank Centre await!
Robert Smith
Classical and contemporary music, visual arts, literature and comedy all feature in our expert programmers’ latest artistic highlights
Introducing a new online season of music, literature and comedy
Enjoy these works, selected by National Poetry Librarian, Chris McCabe.
How will Coronavirus affect the climate crisis, and what lessons can we learn from it?
Poet Pratyusha tells us what’s beyond her lockdown window, and shares her poem 'stilltime'
Poet Mark Waldron tells how he brought the outside in, and shares his poem Trees, Breeze and Rabbits
The activist and writer on how the restrictions of lockdown have altered his interaction with nature
These are frightening times, and whilst it is easy to feel despair, there is hope to be found
Find out which other literary stars we'd lined up to appear at the Southbank Centre later this year
VICE UK’s executive editor on good journalism, the importance of sleep and channeling climate change anger
The Booker Prize-winning author discusses the third book in her Thomas Cromwell trilogy
Listen to the author discuss everything from drugs to Dostoevsky in this podcast
From Fantasy Football to Father Dougal McGuire’s profanities
Ten poets join us on World Earth Day to read responses to the artworks of Among The Trees
A programme of talks and events inspired by Among the Trees and climate change
Actors Liadán Dunlea and Fra Fee read 'Translations' / 'Aistriúcháin' by Gearóid Mac Lochlain
The author joins David Freeman to discuss his latest book Outgrowing God: A Beginner’s Guide.
The artist discusses the inspiration behind her National Poetry Library exhibition
Just some of the highlights of the year ahead, as chosen by our senior programmers

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meltdown 2018 stories

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Take a look at some of the best images from across the ten days of 2018’s Meltdown festival
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See the band as they prepared to play Robert Smith’s Meltdown festival, in this video

watch videos from meltdown