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

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Classical and contemporary music, visual arts, literature and comedy all feature in our expert programmers’ latest artistic highlights
Find out about our free, open-air exhibition celebrating key workers
The writer and cultural historian reflects on a post-lockdown visit to the Hayward Gallery exhibition
In our interview, the artist speaks about portraying people whose work supports their communities
Introducing a new online season of music, literature and comedy
Watch a short video introducing the Southbank Centre’s outdoor exhibition
Take a look at our outdoor exhibition Everyday Heroes, ahead of its opening
Our Resident and Associate Orchestras share the best of their recent music-making
Get your laughing gear round this lot from our Comedy Programmer, Pax Lowey
Hayward Gallery is reopening! Find out more about our exhibition celebrating trees and forests
Our exhibition reimagining how we think about trees and forests returns on 1 August
Keep the little ones entertained with these family music activities
Colourful activities for you and your children to enjoy at home
She's been called a pianist of 'amazing power and panache'; find out more in our interview
Top tips from Jasmine Dellimore and Meera Ghanshamdas of Moon Lane Books
The designer discusses childhood inspirations, and his vision for the future of fashion in this podcast
A selection of some of the best online LGBTQI+ culture you can engage with at home. 
In 2008 Massive Attack became the first band to curate the iconic festival
Join us in honouring the Windrush generation, 72 years since the first arrivals docked in London
Relive Patti Smith’s 2005 Meltdown with tracks from the festival’s acts
Daniel Wallis shares online arts activities to help you find inspiration
Join the festival celebrating the contribution of refugees, through live comedy and music performances
Come with us back to the summer of 2002
Get involved in the first ever virtual Refugee Week with these activities from Counterpoints Arts
Get a look behind the scenes with rare footage from past Meltdown festivals
Enjoy tracks from Meltdown festival’s past curators
Watch a moving performance in tribute to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and all victims of racial injustice
Watch highlights from the comedian and musician’s 2012 performance
Listen to an empowering discussion with the celebrated writer, scholar and activist
Read all about it. You’re going to be making the news
Take a break from home-schooling and enjoy stories, performances and chance to move and dance
Enjoy these works, selected by National Poetry Librarian, Chris McCabe.
Listen to music that explores complex human emotions, chosen by our Director of Music, Gillian Moore
In Mental Health Awareness Week we revisit videos and podcasts that encourage mental health openness
Enjoy a selection of fun family-friendly activities to aid good mental health
Listen to visionary composers and performers in this Spotify playlist
The young performers share the apps and activities helping them through lockdown
Find out about the artist behind our latest Hayward Gallery billboard
...to help you and your little ones get creative at home, with a bunch of fun activities
Our Head of Contemporary Music shares new sounds, exclusive performances and old favourites.

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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