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. 

Hear from YONAKA lead singer Theresa Jarvis in this video recorded at Robert Smith's Meltdown
Watch Stephanie Rosenthal, exhibition curator, introduce Hayward Gallery’s amazing exhibition of Lee Bul’s work
Watch the conductor introduce the Philharmonia’s 2018/19 season in this short video.
Watch a preview for Scottee’s dance show about flab, double-chins and getting your kit off
Love, murder and a platoon of ghostly knights – get to know Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder in one minute
Watch Deftones’ Chino Moreno get a first look at Royal Festival Hall
Watch the violinist describe how the conductor shaped his early music career
Discover the turbulent relationship between Sergei Prokofiev and the Soviet regime
Watch a series of short video interviews with the famed guitarist and composer
Watch this illuminating video interview with the celebrated Korean composer
Enjoy a unique and in-depth insight into the photographer’s work in this video
Watch Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Laura Bates and Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu in discussion, in this video from WOW 2018
Ruby Wax in conversation about her new book, How to Be Human: The Manual
See the celebrated conductor discuss the work of her mentor Leonard Bernstein
The legendary Finnish composer and conductor reveals his thoughts on Mahler’s First Symphony and the passage of time
Watch Ralph Rugoff, Director of Hayward Gallery, introduce the gallery’s incredible Gursky retrospective
Visual artist Sam Winston questions how we see darkness in this video about his installation
Watch the acclaimed artist discuss the process behind her distinctive Fox Talbot inspired photogravure prints
Watch a trailer for the return of this festive favourite
A short video of key moments and messages from the fourth edition of the festival

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Meltdown stories

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