Meltdown is one of the UK’s most anticipated music events each year, as an iconic artist curates their own personal festival, revealing their interests and influences.
In 2017, the 24th Meltdown was curated by the acclaimed rapper, producer, director, visual artist and activist, M.I.A. Sri Lankan-born and London-bred, Mathangi 'Maya' Arulpragasam put together a 10 day featival celebrating contemporary music from across the globe, following in the footsteps of renowned festival curators including Jarvis Cocker, Patti Smith, David Bowie, Yoko Ono, Ornette Coleman and David Byrne.
With influences ranging from Nu Rave and dancehall to electro and hip-hop from around the world, M.I.A.'s albums including Arular, Kala, /\/\/\Y/\ and AIM have topped critical charts with their politically conscious lyrics and inimitable genre-blending.
'I plan to bring together music’s best forward thinkers who have contributed to all our lives,' is how M.I.A. framed her curation of Meltdown , and the bill didn't disappoint. From Afro-trap pioneer MHD to established Grime artist Giggs, and LGBTQ voices breaking down the boundaries of North American music, such as Young M.A, Tommy Genesis and Princess Nokia, 2017's Meltdown pushed a fresh range of artists front and centre on the Royal Festival Hall stage.
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No, each show is individually ticketed.
No, in line with Southbank Centre’s mission to bring arts and culture to all and widen access to events and performances wherever possible, around 50% of the events at Meltdown are free. This includes Hip-Hop Karaoke, free after parties, a Rinse FM Block Party, Meltdown Mela, Just Vibez Carnival, a series of talks, a t-shirt exhibition and much more. You can find all the free events here.
No, all the events at Meltdown are now listed here on our site.
Unfortunately yes, however we do take returns, so keep an eye out for these especially during the week leading up to her performance. In the event we get a large number, we will announce it on our Twitter account.
Yes, M.I.A. is around for most of the festival, and is taking part in an I AM... talk which is free but ticketed.
Definitely not, we’ve had Jon Hopkins, Ghostface Killah, Booka Shade, Underworld and Outlook Orchestra (to name a few) play in our venue, and we would never try to stop you dancing – here’s General Levy getting the crowd going in January.
Yes, there is a designated area, Sunley Pavilion, where we are inviting anyone who wishes, to break fast during Meltdown with dates and olives each evening from 8pm.
Yes, the gig actually starts at the stated time on the ticket. We publish the stage times onto the event page on the day, so check back then for the most up-to-date information.
Audiences are not permitted to bring in their own alcohol into our venues, we have plenty of bars on site that serve a wide variety of drinks.
As with all festivals, towns and cities across the country, UK law applies and we have a zero tolerance drugs policy. If you do bring drugs into our venues they will be confiscated and you risk being prosecuted.
Meltdown is open to everyone, however some of our events are recommended for ages 16+ with any under-18s to be accompanied by an adult. Please check the Need To Know section in the event you're interested in, to see what the age policy is for that event.
Since 1993 some of the world’s most distinguished musicians have been the guest directors of Meltdown. From John Peel through to Massive Attack, via David Bowie, Patti Smith, Morrissey and more, Meltdown has given seminal artists the chance to pick their favourite artists to play and exhibit their work at Southbank Centre.
1993 George Benjamin
1994 Louis Andriessen
1995 Elvis Costello
1996 Magnus Lindberg
1997 Laurie Anderson
1998 John Peel
1999 Nick Cave
2000 Scott Walker
2001 Robert Wyatt
2002 David Bowie
2003 Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry
2005 Patti Smith
2007 Jarvis Cocker
2008 Massive Attack
2009 Ornette Coleman
2010 Richard Thompson
2011 Ray Davies
2012 Antony Hegarty
2013 Yoko Ono
2014 James Lavelle
2015 David Byrne
2016 Guy Garvey