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 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

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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