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. 

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Discover the actors bringing the classic epic poem to life
The Hong Kong-born singer-songwriter on the unexpected influences of her grandparents' country
Classical musician Eberhard Spree takes us on a short musical tour of the city
Watch the fifth in a series of short films exploring key exhibitions from Hayward Gallery’s history
Take a look at the six books in the running for this year’s prestigious award
Dr. Cliff Lauson introduces Hayward Gallery's remarkable new group exhibition
Listen to the fourth episode of our monthly literary podcast featuring Khaled Hosseini and Nick Makola
The musician/producer has curated a very eclectic Spotify playlist of his current favourites
Whatever your era, see in the new year with us
Discover the writer known as the 'Chinese Tolkein'
Get involved in WOW in Bradford, Cardiff, Exeter and Perth
With so much to choose from, here are a few festival highlights
There is so much more to this Scottish writer than The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Senior Curator, Vincent Honore takes us on a mini tour of the gallery
In the fourth edition of Think Aloud, we join the #AskACuratorDay celebrations
From Sybil to Forrest Gump, take a look back at some of the actress’ most iconic performances
Take a detailed look at this year's shortlist with National Poetry librarian Chris McCabe
Double-bassist Eberhard Spree gives an introduction to Leipzig’s world-famous orchestra
The comedian and playwright tells us why more artists should take risks, in this interview
From André Aciman to Xia Jia; a look at the books our literature team enjoyed this month
Comedian and performer Jess Thom breaks down common misconceptions about what it is to be disabled
Listen to the third episode of our monthly podcast, a preview of Unlimited
Get an idea of this year’s programme with these hand-picked events
Listen to specially curated Spotify playlist from the former Mercury Prize nominee
Breaking down myths on the refugee crisis, the inspiration for Khaled Hosseini’s Sea Prayer
Read the remarkable story of Kurt Masur’s role in the downfall of East Germany
Watch the remarkable short film from BAFTA-winning director, Kieran Evans, here
All you never knew about one of Germany’s oldest orchestras
Hear how The Cure’s legendary frontman put together his festival this exclusive video interview
From the Be Good Tanyas to 2017’s Wildflower Blues, hear some of their great songs
A specially commissioned poem in response to an exhibition of the work of Lee Bul
Try your hand(s) at the LPO’s Rite of Spring clap-along game
Dom Thomas explains how Whyte Horses are quite literally a dream realised, in this video
Knocks, socks and schnapps; find out what goes on in the wings
Cap off a marvellous summer with our weekend of varied fun
Read a short-story, written in response to an exhibition of the work of Lee Bul
Listen to specially curated Spotify playlists from Simon Raymonde and Richie Thomas

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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