15 JUN 2018 – 24 JUN 2018

Meltdown 2018 has been nominated Festival Of The Year in the 2019 Music Week Awards. 

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
Listen to the best-selling author of The Hate U Give discuss her second novel
Read an interview between the artist and Hayward Gallery Director Ralph Rugoff
The author introduces her new novel Lost Children Archive
Hear music that has inspired this innovative composer and video maker
The best-selling writer and essayist discusses finding her place in feminism, intersectionality and grappling with pop culture
Find out more about British composer Helen Grime and Estonia’s Erkki-Sven Tüür
Catch up on the Oscar-winning actress discussing her autobiography In Pieces at London Literature Festival
Meet Dai Fujikura, Vito Žuraj and Oliver Christophe Leith
What music inspires this acclaimed contemporary composer?
What are the Herne Hill pop duo listening to right now?
Discover how the Israeli-American pianist got started – and how Meryl Streep inspires him
Chosen by the National Poetry Library especially for the occasion
The Brazilian has gone from child prodigy to piano legend
Learn how this cross artform collaboration is being brought to life
The Philharmonia Orchestra's Principal Conductor on this season's programme
The Hong Kong-born singer-songwriter on the unexpected influences of her grandparents' country
The musician/producer has curated a very eclectic Spotify playlist of his current favourites
There is so much more to this Scottish writer than The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
In the fourth edition of Think Aloud, we join the #AskACuratorDay celebrations
Listen to the two literary titans discuss their creative processes and the inspirations for their fiction
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
Discover more about this intriguing composer and musician
Watch an excerpt of Mahler’s dramatic work featuring acclaimed mezzo soprano Michelle DeYoung
Discover works from this groundbreaking National Poetry Library exhibition
Find out about the world's first exhibition of this emerging art form
Get a unique look into Hayward Gallery history with this remarkable anthology
Read our short but sweet interview with the young British composer Charlotte Bray
These two artists prove they still have plenty to offer
Read an enlightening interview with the celebrated South Korean composer
Tackling questions of power, sexuality and violence, Philip Venables’ music always makes an impact
The comedian talks us through some of his favourite performances
Electronic music and Queen Elizabeth Hall grew up together – find out all about it
Ahead of her appearance at WOW - Women of the World, read our interview with the acclaimed activist and author.
Find out more about one of our new associate companies
Key change-makers and activists from our WOW festival share their tips
See the celebrated conductor discuss the work of her mentor Leonard Bernstein
The Professor of Cognitive Neuroimaging at Aston University looks at recurring misogyny in neuroscience research
Why are conductors are so drawn to the music of Gustav Mahler? Find out in this short video interview
Looking for a laugh? Join us at Southbank Centre this spring for some huge names in stand-up comedy
Listen to up-and-coming conductors on the art of baton waving and more
Find out about this great of the 20th century
The composer accidentally invented rock’n’roll you know
Watch the acclaimed artist discuss the process behind her distinctive Fox Talbot inspired photogravure prints
An exclusive podcast from the comedian’s frank and funny conversation at Being A Man festival
Watch this pre-concert talk as the pioneering Icelandic pianist discusses the rare condition which makes him see pitch as colour
Watch a series of short videos with the up and coming Icelandic musician
Discover the master of erudite pageturners
A reading list for people who can't get enough speculative fiction
The drum & bass stalwart is back with his third artist album and his second autobiography
In the first of our 'Six things...' series Julian Baggini muses on the notion of truth
All you need to know about our Artist-in-Residence
Ali Smith, Mohsin Hamid and George Saunders are all in the running
Read our primer on John le Carré's legendary character
Find out which Nobel Laureates have graced us with their presence
Introducing some of the figures who’ll be helping us try to identify what makes a man
Listen to the writer reflect on fiction, friendship and capturing a changing world on the page
Read more about the celebrated poet and novelist
The pianist will perform two concerts at Southbank Centre to raise money for the MS Society.
Watch an exclusive interview with the Turner Prize-winning sculptor
The celebrated writer and performer discusses the roots of his new work, Prurience
Award-winning author Naomi Klein discusses her latest book ‘No is Not Enough in this audio podcast
Great news for fans of the Swedish pop sensations
How do you explain a ‘multi-sensory encounter of shifting sound and light’?
Relive the night The Outlook Orchestra blew the Royal Festival Hall audience away
Discover more about the author ahead of his appearance at London Literature Festival
Read how photographer Annie Leibovitz considers her work on Women never done.
Emily Peasgood discusses her background, and looks at her past and future works.
Hear the composer and musician explore the themes of unity and division behind her new work
Take a look back at the most memorable moments from M.I.A.’s Meltdown festival
Reviews, tweets and more from midweek at M.I.A.’s Meltdown
Mohamed Sarrar, of Borderline, shares his experience of escaping Sudan as a refugee.
The electronic artist and composer on the inspiration for Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia
See exclusive video from Young Fathers performance at M.I.A.'s Meltdown
Read the story of comedy performer Enayatullah Jalalzai who, age 16, escaped Afghanistan as a refugee
See how M.I.A.’s Meltdown got underway with an epic opening weekend of live music and more
Musicians, writers and journalists tell us who they're looking forward to seeing at Meltdown
All you need to know ahead of her debut UK performance at Meltdown
See video excerpts from Philip Venables: Illusions featuring performance artist David Hoyle
Introducing the LGBTQ and QTPOC artists who occupy the heart of M.I.A.’s Meltdown
Hull composer Daniel Elms offers a preview of his piece Bethia, ahead of New Music Biennial
Ahead of our premier of his new work Sea Change, we caught up with composer Eivind Buene
The composition professor explains how his new work transforms rejection into inspiration
Watch Lucy Carter, director and lighting designer, on channelling the emotion of a performance
Which of the 16 artists playing at Meltdown is your perfect personality match?
All you need to know about the viral French music sensation ahead of his gig at M.I.A.'s Meltdown
Watch Lawrence Power, one of the world's leading violists, reveal the secrets of the viola
What are Southbank Centre's Youth Ambassadors looking forward to at Alchemy festival?
The author, advertising consultant and expert on Generation M shares her thoughts.
Take a look at the stellar line-up of literary speakers heading to Southbank Centre
Leicester comes to Alchemy for a special East Midlands Mela
Listen to a hand-picked collection of works by the brilliant Pavel Haas Quartet and young Russian pianist Denis Kozhukhin
Hear the composer and musician discuss Rolf's new work and the excitement of working together across different genres of music
Listen to the London Sinfonietta's eclectic playlist featuring Björk, Sigur Ros, Kaija Saariaho and Jóhann Jóhannsson
The award-winning pianist speaks to us ahead of his debut Southbank Centre performance
Hear the two artists discuss different approaches to Reich’s composition
The new billboard art-work, Station II (2015) by Noémie Goudal, is installed at Hayward Gallery
The composer and solo percussionist take a look at Reich's joyous composition, Tehillim
Hear from Ballet and Contemporary dancer, Richard
Hear composer and musician Mica Levi talk about her approach to music-making
Discover the most unusual performance the composer and musician has been part of
Composer and musician Mica Levi shares the musical influences behind her score to Under the Skin
The celebrated novelist spoke to us ahead of her appearance in Prophets, Visionaries and Power
Ahead of Prophets, Visionaries and Power the journalist and educator spoke to us about spirituality
Dive into M.I.A.'s Meltdown with our playlist, featuring tracks from all the names taking the stage
Hayward Gallery stages the first major retrospective of the work of photographer Andreas Gursky
How do we fight sexism without ignoring other issues such as race, disability, sexuality and class?
Hear insights from the journalist and Channel 4 News reporter
The presenter talks about her book OPEN: A Toolkit for How Magic Messed Up Life Can Be
Hear the percussionist in conversation with Southbank Centre's Director of Music, Gillian Moore MBE
The legendary activist talks about women, race and class in the post-Trump era
Listen to the Nigerian novelist speaking live at Southbank Centre's Women of the World 2017
Hear a panel discuss what challenges lie ahead for British women, post-Brexit
We asked the co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party how she sees the future for women
Award-winning journalist and black feminist Reni writes about class, race, gender and social justice
Hear what conductor Marin Alsop and participants had to about their experience of Southbank Centre's Women in Music Series in January 2017
We caught up with actor Gillian Anderson and journalist Jennifer Nadel
Want to know if you’re a feminist? Take this easy quiz
Hear from Melanie Eusebe, founder of the Black British Business Award and executive producer of WOW
Hear conductor Paavo Järvi talk about his upcoming concert, London audiences and his love of Japanese food
The conductor discusses the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s science-themed concerts part of Belief and Beyond Belief
Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Tamara Stefanovich perform Brahms and Messiaen
Hear the LPO's Principal Conductor, Vladimir Jurowski, introduce our new festival Belief and Beyond Belief
Bloc Party's Kele Okereke talks about his life and work
Listen to audio highlights of Southbank Centre's Being a Man festival 2016
This winter we welcome trapeze-swinging, tightrope-walking, aerial-spinning circus company NoFit State
Rapper and actor Ashley Walters (aka Asher D) opened Being A Man Festival 2016 in an honest discussion with Southbank Centre's Artistic Director Jude Kelly.
Rapper Professor Green opened 2016's Being A Man festival
Discover Carl Nielsen with Paavo Järvi and Andrew Mellor
Milanese keyboard wizard Ottavio Dantone on the parallels between music and football
We caught up with Tasmin Little before her performance of Walton's Violin Concerto
Use our timeline to discover what our experts predict will take place over the century to come
‘I saw huge buildings rise up faint and fair, and pass like dreams…’
In recent years, disabled artists have grabbed the narrative from non-disabled hands
Our 2016 Being A Man festival asks what it means to be a hero in the modern world
Dame Vivienne Westwood talks with Shami Chakrabarti about human rights
Barbara Hannigan, renowned Canadian soprano, talks about why she loves the 1930's opera 'Lulu'
An exclusive interview with violinist Leonidas Kavakos
An utterly remarkable percussion solo from a true master -Mohammad Reza Mortazavi
Brian Griffiths discusses his work for British Art Show 7
John Hegley reads his favourite childhood poem, Tarantella by Hilaire Belloc
Laura Dockrill, reads her favourite childhood poem Roald Dahl's The Pig
Peaches talks to music journalist Jude Rogers about social and political activism
Victoria Hamilton reads Shakespeare's Sonnet 64: When I have seen by Time's fell hand defac'd.
Yoko Ono's piece features members of an orchestra who are wrapped in gauze as they perform
Billy Bragg travels down to Guy Marsh Prison, Dorset getting guitars into prisons
Bettany Hughes is speaking on the nature and power of erotic love
Preview of 2011's mini-festival with Lang Lang
How like a winter hath my absence been...
Not marble nor the gilded monuments
For the first time in history, all five UK and NI poet laureates are women
An audio podcast on the legend that is Duke Ellington
What was it that made Salome such a scandal?
Ben Winters from The Open University gives a talk about Erich Korngold
Christian Blackshaw talks in depth about his love for Schumann and Schubert
Find out more about Josephine Baker, an influential 20th Century performer
Hear novelists and friends Kazuo Ishiguro and David Mitchell in conversation
Who was the composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold?
Find out more about Schoenberg and avant-garde composers
Radiohead's Colin Greenwood discusses the future of classical music
How does Shankar's music continue to resonate today?
Alex Ross gives his second keynote talk for 2013's The Rest Is Noise festival
Performed by Southbank Gamelan Players. Recorded by Richard Van Nairn
Alex Ross on Vienna in the early 1900s
The most exciting artists from South Asia and the UK gather at Alchemy
Artists inspire each other this month at Southbank Centre
Violinist Pekka Kuusisto talks to Britten Sinfonia about his blowtorch skills and cephalopod ambitions

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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

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