Today Southbank Centre announces further names for this year’s Meltdown festival curated by Nile Rodgers, including five days of the hottest parties in London, open to all and totally free. The longest running artist-curated festival in the world returns for its 26th year taking over the 17-acre site on the south bank of the River Thames from 3-11 August with nine days of unmissable music.
Tickets go on sale to Southbank Centre Members on 12 June and to the general public on 14 June at southbankcentre.co.uk/meltdown. A limited number of tickets to previously sold-out events will also be released.
Joining the line-up today are: Jungle, the West London duo Tom McFarland and Josh Lloyd-Watson, who have gained a reputation for one of the most exciting live acts today, joined on the Royal Festival Hall stage by their seven-piece band for a high-energy night of aspiration, escapism and modern soul (5 Aug, RFH); guitarist and co-songwriter of The Smiths, Johnny Marr, who brings his legendary guitar and hits both old and new for a very special evening in Royal Festival Hall (8 Aug, RFH); and a host of the hottest new sounds from across the globe, including London-based synth pop experimentals Kero Kero Bonito, high energy New York jazz from Onyx Collective, transatlantic trio Radiant Children, Franco-Israeli singer-songwriter Yael Naim and the powerful, emotionally-charged South African singer, Nakhane.
Rodgers sets the mood of his festival with five big free outdoor parties running each weekend until 1am on Southbank Centre’s sunny Riverside Terrace and across the site. Disco Wonderland is a free day-long disco honouring the curator’s own sequin-spangled career, featuring a mass disco anthem singalong led by London’s Some Voices choir, and DJs spinning dance hits until 1am (3 Aug). Sunday afternoon is carnival time, as Meltdown Mardi Gras comes to town with a battalion of brass, a riverside parade, lindy hopping and a breakdance battle with the public crowning the winner.
Rodgers’ commitment to supporting emerging talent is showcased in And The Beat Goes On (9 Aug): an afternoon of free performance from the best young musicians across the UK, including rising stars at the world-famous BRIT School (whose alumni include Amy Winehouse, Adele and Loyle Carner), topped with a showstopping headliner.
On Saturday (10 Aug) Meltdown celebrates CHIC’s place in the original underground LGBTQ ballroom culture, as the soundtrack for a generation to dance, vogue and pose, in the C’est Chic Vogue Ball. In this Meltdown exclusive, groups - known as ‘Houses’ - from London and beyond ‘walk’ - i.e., compete - on the riverside runway in a host of extravagant categories for trophies, prizes, and ultimate glory.
The final day goes back to Rodgers’ roots and showcases one of his first loves - jazz. Ministry of Meltdown (11 Aug) celebrates the explosion of activity and innovation in the genre from South London featuring some of the most exciting names on the scene playing out the festival on the Riverside Stage until 1am.
Nile Rodgers, Curator, said: “In curating Meltdown I’m effectively creating my own live concert playlist of my favourite artists, new and old. I’m delighted to announce the addition of Jungle and my great friend Johnny Marr to the lineup as well as new artists like Kero Kero Bonito, Anaïs and Nakhane. Alongside the incredible artists previously announced such as Eurythmics Songbook, KOKOROKO, SOPHIE and CHIC every night is going to be special.”
Artists announced today:
• NICKY SIANO:
• The original resident weeknight DJ at Studio 54, Siano joins the line-up for
• A Night of Studio 54 (3 Aug, QEHF).
• For one night only the Queen Elizabeth Hall foyer is transformed into the notorious New York nightclub complete with state-of-the-art soundsystem, roller-skating go-go dancers and legendary DJs. A limited number of tickets to this currently sold-out event
• to be released 12 and 14 June.
• ONYX COLLECTIVE:
• The elusive, nebulous ensemble bring their energetic punk jazz sounds from New York to London to support Thundercat in Royal Festival Hall (4 Aug, RFH)
• YAEL NAIM:
• In her only live performance of 2019 announced to date, Franco-Israeli singer-songwriter, producer,
• pianist and guitarist brings her pop-folk sounds in English and Hebrew to Purcell Room (4 Aug, PUR)
• London-based singer and musician Anaïs is
• one to watch. She brings her epic 90s pop-soul vibe and impressive vocal skills to Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room in a not-to-be-missed chance to catch her on such an intimate stage (5 Aug, PUR)
• The Nigerian-born, east London-based singer-songwriter, musician and producer with a co-sign from the late Prince, and collaborations with Gorillaz and Massive Attack under his belt, brings his personal, confessional and soulful R&B to Purcell Room for one
• intimate evening (7 Aug, PUR)
• RICHARD NORRIS:
• London-based musician and producer brings his ambient, deep listening and experimental grooves to support Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein performing the music of cult TV hit
• Stranger Things (7 Aug, RFH)
• NEW FRONTIERS IN MUSIC:
• In an enviable opportunity to hear from two music industry
• heavyweights, Nile Rodgers is joined in conversation by his manager and business partner, Merck Mercuriadis, former manager of globally successful artists such as Beyoncé, Elton John and Guns N’ Roses, and founder of Hipgnosis Songs Fund, the only fund listed
• on the London Stock Exchange that invests and offers shares in the songs and associated intellectual property rights of songwriters. The event,
• New Frontiers in Music,
• will be recorded live for a very special edition of the
• Sodajerker On Songwriting podcast, hosted by Liverpool-based songwriting team Simon Barber and Brian O’Connor, and featuring some of the most successful songwriters in the world
• (8 Aug, QEH)
• KERO KERO BONITO:
• Synthpop clashes with Japanese rap and indie rock influences for this Queen Elizabeth Hall debut from experimental London trio Kero Kero Bonito (9 Aug, QEH)
• Love, joy and self-acceptance emerges in Nakhane’s enchanting and emotionally charged music, revealing a truly unique voice in modern pop. The South African-born, London-based trailblazer comes to
• for his only 2019 London show announced to date
• (9 Aug, PUR)
• PETER CAT RECORDING CO.:
• In a Meltdown special edition of Southbank Centre’s
• regular free-gig Friday slot, Peter Cat Recording Co. perform their genreless blend of gypsy jazz, psychedelic cabaret, ballroom waltzes and epic space disco in Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer (9 Aug, QEH Foyer)
• V**GRA BOYS:
• Fresh from the release of their critically acclaimed full album,
• Street Worms, this Swedish six-part make their Southbank
• Centre debut, bringing their punk rock sound from Stockholm to London for a night of unadulterated raw energy (11 Aug, QEH)
• RADIANT CHILDREN:
• Creators of one of the most original releases
• of the year, Tryin’,
• transatlantic trio Radiant Children join the
• line-up with their blend of R&B, soul, funk and
• jazz, infectious melodies and captivating lyrics, for a Southbank Centre debut (11 Aug, PUR)