Meltdown 2023: ’Christine and the Queens is a big time icon’

You won’t need us to explain the feelings of excitement and anticipation that come ahead of attending a gig at Meltdown; chances are you’re very familiar with it. But how does it feel to be getting set to perform at Meltdown?

Well, given it’s our festival it would be somewhat remiss of us not to ask a bunch of artists appearing at this year’s festival exactly that. So ahead of 2023’s 10 day takeover of the Southbank Centre, we cornered Moonchild Sanelly, The Chateau, Lynks, girli, Nxdia and Katya Zamolodchikova to ask them what it meant to be part of Christine and the Queens’ Meltdown, and what they were looking forward to about the festival.


Moonchild Sanelly In pink

Moonchild Sanelly

‘I am so excited to be part of the Christine and the Queens’ Meltdown festival, what a perfect fit! And to be doing it with my African Queen Yemi Alade makes it even more special. 

‘I’m looking forward to performing to a different type of audience, an audience that will enjoy and appreciate the art. I’m so used to festival-goers so it is usually intimidating to have people sit down and watch you, but I love the challenge. I will definitely have everyone out of their seats by the end of my set. Expect energy, a whole lot of it. 

‘I’ve never experienced the Southbank Centre before, but I am feeling very honoured to be performing there. It means the world to me. My entire existence is music and being able to go to iconic venues and perform my music is freakin’ incredible.’


Photo of artist Tom Rasmussen in a costume making them look like a body builder made of tights.

The Chateau

‘Being part of Meltdown is honestly a dream come true. To represent South East London along with an amazing line-up of other artists is truly something special. There’s so much talent down here and to be able to share a snippet of what Qwe’re is with the rest of London makes me feel so blessed’.

Amor Ante, Qwe're

‘The Southbank Centre is legendary. Since I moved to London ten years ago I’ve imagined it, and experienced it, as a place that brings together such a vast array of culture that feels both accessible and completely unparalleled. I’m obsessed that I’m playing there for Meltdown festival, like what’s chicer than the Southbank Centre? With all these South East London legends? Come on now…’

Tom Rasmussen (pictured)


‘Being part of Meltdown is honestly a dream come true’

Amor Ante, Qwe're, The Chateau
Portrait of artist Girli in a cream and black leather outfit with highly decorative fingernails.
Fiona Garden


‘It’s a huge honour to have been picked by an artist I admire so much to be part of their Meltdown festival line-up. And to be playing alongside such an exciting artist like Lynks, it’s such an exciting thing to be a part of.

‘I’m looking forward to being part of something that champions creativity and freedom and wildness! It’s gonna pop off. 

‘I was born and raised in London. I’ve spent so much time on the South Bank – as a kid, teenager and adult – and the Southbank Centre has always felt like a cutting edge place where the most experimental, boundary pushing artists in the world exhibit and play. It’s such a full circle career and life moment to be playing here’.



‘I’m shitting, pissing and throwing up in excitement to be honest. Christine and the Queens is a big time icon. His Glasto 2019 set is one of the best things I’ve ever seen. Being on a poster with his name on it feels like I’ve won a first place medal at Crufts. A big time woof for Lynks.

‘I’m looking forward to singing lyrics like ‘go jack off in your grandmother’s basement’ and ‘he’s the type of boy to take a shit in a sauna’ in a hall named after the late Queen Elizabeth, feels fairly camp in my opinion, so that should be good. I’m sure she’d be very proud!

‘I had the honour of channelling a gimpified David Bowie for the 50th anniversary of his Aladdin Sane album at the Royal Festival Hall in April! Honestly, it’s gonna be hard to top that, but if anyone can do it, it’s me. I’m very excited. It really is an honour to be able to turn such hallowed ground into a queer electro dystopia. And frankly, I can’t bloody wait’.


‘I’ve spent so much time on the South Bank – as a kid, teenager and adult – it’s such a full circle career and life moment to be playing the Southbank Centre’.

Portait of drag queen Katya Zamolodchikova in red and in front of a red background
Andrew Yang

Katya Zamolodchikova

‘Being asked to be part of Meltdown? Frankly speaking, it is such a humbling and deeply moving opportunity to be on stage alongside an artist of such unflappable spirit, unshakeable nerve, and undeniable international global sex appeal.

‘I’m looking forward to pretty much the thing I always look forward to, my raison d'etre, to dress like a woman and act a fool.

‘I haven't yet had the pleasure of performing at the Southbank Centre, but I am beyond excited to appear there, especially for my London fans who are some of the best in the world.’


Portrait of Nxdia in a lime green top with her left hand lifted to her face
Joshua R Drakes


‘Honestly it’s a dream to be asked to be part of this Meltdown, especially when I’ve listened to Christine and the Queens and really admire his artistry. I’ve been loving performing live more and more, so to have this opportunity so soon feels unreal to me.

‘I’m super excited to experience the crowds’ energy, to have as much fun on stage as possible and to preview unreleased material. Really excited to see other artists and soak up the music.

‘I have never experienced the Southbank Centre before. So to get to perform there as well as experience it for the first time sounds like a great time to me! I love the energy in London, so I always feel lucky when I get to experience it’.


‘Honestly it’s a dream to be asked to be part of this Meltdown’

Victor Frankowski
Christine and the Queens’ Meltdown

Christine and the Queens’ Meltdown, here at the Southbank Centre in June 2023 was the 28th edition of our annual contemporary music festival. Enjoy more articles and videos connected to this Meltdown, below.

Two members of Morcheeba against a black background wearing  black clothes, one person in a hat.
Michelle Hayward
Gigs at the Southbank Centre

Enjoy live contemporary music gigs and performances that blur genre boundaries and showcase the best new sounds from across the globe.