Guy Garvey's Meltdown

Robert Plant, Femi Kuti, Laura Marling, I Am Kloot, Nadine Shah, The Staves, Connan Mockasin, Lift To Experience, This Is The Kit, Nick Mulvey, K.O.G & The Zongo Brigade, Guy Garvey, and more. 10 – 19 June 2016.

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Southbank Centre’s Meltdown festival is famed for bringing to life the world of its director. This year Guy Garvey, lead singer of multi­award winning band elbow, solo artist, BBC Radio 6 Music DJ and TV presenter will curate Southbank Centre’s Meltdown Festival from 10­19 June 2016.

Southbank Centre’s Meltdown festival is famed for bringing to life the world of its director. This year Guy Garvey, lead singer of multi­award winning band elbow, solo artist, BBC Radio 6 Music DJ and TV presenter will curate Southbank Centre’s Meltdown Festival from 10­19 June 2016.

In 2016, its 23 year, Meltdown includes a day dedicated to addressing the refugee crisis. 

Highlights include:

  • An extraordinary on e­off concert The Boat We’re In launching Refugee Week at Southbank Centre with appearances from Robert Plant, Guy Garvey, Nick Mulvey, Nadine Shah, and Josephine Oniyama, joined onstage by Southbank Sinfonia and choirs (19 June)
  • Josh T. Pearson’s Lift to Experience reunited for a world exclusive, playing their first show in 15 years (10 June)
  • Acclaimed Mancunian indie trio I Am Kloot performing their Mercury Award nominated album Sky at Night i n its entirety with a 13­piece orchestral ensemble (13 June)
  • Afro­beat royalty Femi Kuti playing a one­off show at the Royal Festival Hall (11June)
  • Laura Marling performing an intimate concert drawn from her hugely popular albums Once I Was an Eagle and Short Movie (18 June)
  • Meltdown director Guy Garvey performing material from his critically acclaimed debut solo album Courting the Squall in a unique show featuring special guests (17 June)
  • Acoustic folk­rock trio The Staves performing a mixture of new music as well as songs from their album, If I Was in a special one­ off UK show
  • Psychedelic troubadour Connan Mockasin set to surprise and delight in equal measure in a rare London show (15 June)
  • An opportunity for festival­goers to display their crooning skills with Big Bandeoke, karaoke with a live backing big band (18 June)
  • Meltdown The River party boats complete with live music, DJ’s and dancing leaving from the Royal Festival Hall (11 June)
  • Folk­rock multi­instrumentalist Kate Stables aka This Is the Kit performing with her six piece band in the Southbank Centre’s roof garden (11 June)
  • North West spoken word night Evidently making a London debut featuring a UK Poetry Slam Champion Deanna Rodgers and the multi­award winning spoken word poet Ciaran Hodgers, alongside others from around the UK (14 June)
  • More shows to be announced!

Guy Garvey, said "My Meltdown is coming together. It feels like an extension of my 6 Music radio program. I get to put my name to other people’s hard work and talent. Brill.

“I've not overthought it. I've put together a bill I'd love to see and I've made sure there’s something for everyone. All time greats that have never been far from the cutting edge, to brand new talent worthy of more attention and some reunions I never thought I'd see. There’s plenty more still to announce but currently, alongside the music, we’ve got poetry and a ton of interactive events, and there is an overarching theme ­ boats.

“I have a personal obsession with boats as well as seafarers on both sides of my family. The Southbank Centre is on the Thames and there will be boat parties featuring all kinds of performances as part of my plan. It’s the best way to see the capital. I was recently told that the Royal Festival Hall’s interior was modelled on a cruise ship so that neatly fits.

"The theme of boats is also a reminder that being an island nation, every one of us is the direct descendent of a desperate immigrant, probably in a boat. The whole festival will end with a unanimous shout from the world’s musicians to Europe’s leaders, that we are all in the same boat and to deny the people begging our help with hell at their backs, even temporary asylum is a generation's shame.

“Come and have a look. Of course have a think, but most of all have a lovely time.”

For press information please contact 

Hugo Mintz – / 020 7921 0917

Notes to editors:

Meltdown Festival, 1993 – present

Southbank Centre’s annual Meltdown festival has been running since 1993 and each year invites a different cultural figure to act as director of the event and pick the performers of their choosing. Previous directors include: Elvis Costello, David Bowie, Patti Smith, David Byrne, Lee Scratch­ Perry, Morrissey, Massive Attack, Jarvis Cocker, Nick Cave, Scott Walker, John Peel, Ornette Coleman, Richard Thomson, Laurie Anderson, Yoko Ono, Ray Davies and Antony. Performers have included musicians, artists, filmmakers and comedians and have included Jeff Buckley, Nina Simone, Ivor Cutler, Radiohead, Grace Jones, Sir Michael Palin, Damon Albarn Sir Les Paterson, Nancy Sinatra and The Master Musicians of Jajouka. Meltdown has a reputation for staging one­off performances and collaborations by legendary artists. The New York Dolls reunited for Morrissey; Jeff Buckley played his final UK show at Elvis Costello's Meltdown; Nick Cave, Grace Jones and Pete Doherty sang Disney songs with Jarvis Cocker; Patti Smith performed Horses in full for her Meltdown; Ray Davies re­staged the TV pop show Ready Steady Go!, and a rare live performance from Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser as part of Antony’s Meltdown.

Guy Garvey

As the lead singer and lyricist of elbow for over 21 years, renowned DJ for BBC Radio 6 Music, proud Mancunian and, latterly, solo artist and TV presenter, Guy Garvey has been a driving force in UK culture for over a decade. The co­recipient, alongside his 'best mates', of a BRIT Award, the Mercury Music Prize, two Ivor Novellos and a host of other honours, Guy has also been awarded an honorary degree from the University of Manchester for his work in the arts, has co­produced albums for I Am Kloot and is patron of Manchester's Craft and Design Centre.

Refugee Week

Refugee Week is a UK wide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrates the contributions of refugees to the UK and promotes better understanding of why people seek sanctuary. Refugee Week is coordinated and managed by Counterpoints Arts. This year the week takes place on 20–26 June and will be launched at Southbank Centre with a day of activity at Meltdown festival.

About Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre, occupying a 21-acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and the Hayward Gallery as well as The Saison Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection.

Let the Light In

We are carrying out vital restoration work on the Hayward Gallery, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room to make the buildings fit for future generations to enjoy, more information can be found here: