Grace Jones' Meltdown

June 2022

Victor Frankowski

In 2022 it was the turn of international music, fashion and film icon Grace Jones to curate Meltdown.

Delayed two years by the Covid-19 pandemic, the festival’s 27th edition was undoubtedly worth the wait; bookended by headline sets from Jones herself. In between we were slaves to the rhythm of international stars, including Peaches, Skunk Anansie, Baaba Maal and Angélique Kidjo.

As with any self respecting Meltdown there were some iconic collaborations; Hot Chip teamed up with Kasai Allstars to present Hot Congotronics, and the Paraorchestra took on the guise of The Love Unlimited Synth Orchestra to rock the Royal Festival Hall with the help of Shingai Shoniwa, Kele Okereke, Enow Williams and Betty Boo. We also shook, shimmied and shoe-gazed to up and coming British acts including Big Joanie, Skinny Pelembe and Dry Cleaning.

Beyond the auditoria, this Meltdown also drew on Jones’ diverse interests and heritage. The place to experience all this was our Riverside Terrace, where cameras flashed at fashion shows, windows reverberated to hefty soundclash bass, hips swayed in hula-hoops, and limbs splayed on roller-skates.