What are we talking about? The Southbank Centre's annual music-based 10-day festival, guest-curated this year by Yoko Ono.
Elevator pitch Oh yes: Ono stirs up a right melting pot of music, movies, and activism,
Prime movers Yoko Ono, the unstoppable 80-year-old, has hand-picked her favourite performers. She opens things herself with her Plastic Ono Band and closes them by playing Double Fantasy, the last album she recorded with John Lennon, live in its entirety. The BFI also hosts a series of her favourite films, including Bowling for Columbine and Battleship Potemkin, as well as her own film art. There's also a chance to see her performance artwork, Sky Piece to Jesus Christ, which involves an orchestra being wrapped in gauze as they play ….
The stars Other acts include Siouxsie, Peaches, and Patti Smith; Deerhoof, Boy George, and Thurston Moore. Iggy and the Stooges play with support from Savages, and Marianne Faithfull plays with Bill Frisell. There are also talks and debates at "Activism" and "Future"-themed weekends.
The early buzz The BBC website wrote: "Ono will dip into her back catalogue to kick off the event, with the singer also launching an extensive film programme, including rare footage of her and Lennon … Ono will follow in some illustrious footsteps, with previous hosts including David Bowie, Scott Walker, Jarvis Cocker, Ray Davies and Morrissey." Time Out suggests that "it looks like being a vintage year for the Southbank Centre's annual series … this year's prestigious picker is Yoko Ono, who brings a gloriously attitudinal and provocative set of heroes from the '60s, '70s and '80s to the city."
Insider knowledge The line-up features one previous Meltdown curator, back to perform: Patti Smith. She'll be reading her poetry as well as performing her music.
It's great that … The John Lennon bus is coming! An educational, mobile recording studio, it'll park on the South Bank for the fest; young people can enter now for a chance to workshop how to make a music video.
It's a shame that … Ono fears she may risk an emotional, um, meltdown when she plays Double Fantasy; she told Radio 4: "I might faint, or scream."
Hit potential Usually a popular series; some events have sold out.
The details Meltdown is at various venues around the South Bank bewteen 14 and 23 June.Reuse content