The Southbank Centre has today announced that the next curator of its annual, award-winning Meltdown festival – the longest-running artist-curated festival in the world – will be French phenomenon Christine and the Queens. Announced ahead of his Southbank Centre debut this evening, Christine and the Queens will curate the next edition of the legendary festival, which will run Friday 9 June until Sunday 18 June 2023.

For his Meltdown, Christine and the Queens will transform the Southbank Centre and its venues into a ten-day celebration of music, arts and culture. Now in place as curator, Christine and the Queens will invite artists who have shaped his musical identity, and those who are shaping it today, to perform on the world-class stages of the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room. In addition to ticketed shows, two weekends of free outdoor gigs, performances and activities will celebrate Christine and the Queens’ unique oeuvre and creative vision.

This evening, Christine and the Queens will make his debut at the Southbank Centre having sold out the Royal Festival Hall for a one-off special as his new, experimental persona, Redcar, the first instalment in a series of new projects slated for 2023. Performing his brilliant new album, Redcar les adorables étoiles, the show will be an enthralling, electric preview of the ambitious musical world-making and unrivalled creativity that Christine and the Queens will bring to his Meltdown next summer.

Christine and the Queens made his explosive UK debut in 2016 with Chaleur humaine, and, after a ‘career-launching’ performance at Glastonbury, the album became the best-selling debut record of the year. For his follow-up, the eponymous Chris, he continued to strike out as a solo creative powerhouse, resulting in further international critical acclaim and reaching No.3 in the UK chart. With each album, Christine and the Queens reached new heights and attention and, in 2020, he released La vita nuova, heralded by many as his best work to date, featuring the hit single ‘People, I’ve been sad’ – TIME magazine’s song of the year. Entertaining rapturous audiences in concert halls and festivals around the world, Christine and the Queens has also embarked on hugely successful collaborations with artists such as Charli XCX, Caroline Poalchek and 070 Shake.

Earlier this month, Christine and the Queens presents Redcar released his new record Redcar les adorables étoiles, the beginning of angels. The self-produced 13-track album was mixed by US producer Mike Dean (Jay Z, Lana del Rey) and features singles ‘Je te vois enfin’, ‘rien dire’ and ‘la chanson du chevalier’. It was deemed ‘pop greatness’ by Rolling Stone and ‘angelic’ by The Independent in a 4* review.

Christine and the Queens joins a truly historic cast of previous Meltdown curators. In 2022, Grace Jones battled through disruption and delay to host her edition of Meltdown, the second highest grossing edition in the festival’s 27 year history after The Cure’s Robert Smith in 2018. Other legendary artists to have curated the festival include David Bowie, Yoko Ono, Patti Smith, Nick Cave, Lee Scratch Perry and Jarvis Cocker.

The first names for Christine and the Queens’ Meltdown will be announced in Spring 2023.

On curating 2023’s Meltdown festival, Christine and the Queens said: “ What an honour to be picked by the fantastical teams of the Meltdown festival to be a curator this year ! It’s a tough thing to be a curator. Art wise, recently, my curating was erratic. Visceral. Sometimes regressive, back to the music I listened to when I was a teenager. A life-savior, music. One song to soothe them all. We expect from art to still save us yet we endanger it so much, everywhere. Thinking it should sell and clatter like jewels. Thinking it should be the catchiest shit in less than ten seconds when truly the birth of an emotion takes years in some people. We want it to heal it all but we deprive it of it’s true strength, which is eternity, a cancellation of human time. Now it’s fast, quick, a lot, and never about eternity. Cause eternity is death, too. It’s a cycle of ashes and birth. Over and over again.

But I digress. Do I? I will actually pick musicians that have some gut-wrenching quality, and I wish for all of us to stroll around in those ten days being rejuvenated by artistic gestures. Discoveries. The time Meltdown takes is quite exquisite, the abundance feels appropriately generous too. We need this for ourselves, art in the city, art for the citizen, collective catharsis, a wonderful purge of the soul. I hope you’ll enjoy this glorious edition and again, long live poetry that burns and musicians crazy and brave enough to keep going - they are shaping the emotions of the future. Let’s thank them all!”