James Lavelle's Meltdown

Musical and artistic innovator James Lavelle curate the 21st Meltdown in 2014, following in the footsteps of some of music’s biggest names, including David Bowie, Yoko Ono, Patti Smith and Jarvis Cocker.

Combining creative entrepreneurship with a radical artistic approach, James’ genre-defying portfolio spans music, art, fashion, design and film, and as part of his groundbreaking work with UNKLE, boasts acclaimed musical collaborations with the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Nick Cave and Thom Yorke.

Collaboration, innovation and a spirit of non-conformism are central to his approach. James worked with young people to curate the programme, meaning that this very special Meltdown in line with his commitment to mobilising the next generation to become the inventors of their own culture.

Mo’Wax inspires a new generation

Both Meltdown and James Lavelle’s iconic label Mo’Wax turned 21 in 2014,  and as part of the festival, Mo’Wax21: Urban Archaeology, an interactive exhibition devised with Southbank Centre as part of the festival, celebrated the creative output of the label James launched as a teenager.

Doug Foster's installation No Beginning, No End in the Clore Ballroom, featured five cyclical artworks and UNKLE's The Heretics' Gate soundtrack. 

Classical musician Eberhard Spree takes us on a short musical tour of the city
There is so much more to this Scottish writer than The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Double-bassist Eberhard Spree gives an introduction to Leipzig’s world-famous orchestra
Read the remarkable story of Kurt Masur’s role in the downfall of East Germany
All you never knew about one of Germany’s oldest orchestras
Try your hand(s) at the LPO’s Rite of Spring clap-along game
Knocks, socks and schnapps; find out what goes on in the wings
Discover the roots of this inspirational young orchestra
Spend your summer weekends enjoying free live performances on our outdoor stage
Find out about the history of the Argentine music and its links with Cuba and opera
Watch an excerpt of Mahler’s dramatic work featuring acclaimed mezzo soprano Michelle DeYoung
See footage from the cellist’s appearance at Meltdown as she explains her distinctive sound
Watch the conductor introduce the Philharmonia’s 2018/19 season in this short video.
Artists from Robert Smith’s Meltdown tell us what they’re looking forward to at the festival.
Love, murder and a platoon of ghostly knights – get to know Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder in one minute
Watch the violinist describe how the conductor shaped his early music career
Discover the turbulent relationship between Sergei Prokofiev and the Soviet regime
Read our short but sweet interview with the young British composer Charlotte Bray


Meltdown stories

American garage punk band Radkey performing at James Lavelle's Meltdown, Southbank Centre 2014
The Guerrilla Girls use facts, humour and fake fur to expose discrimination