Morrissey given free hand with this year's South Bank music festival

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The Independent Culture

Morrissey, former lead singer of the Smiths, will have the opportunity to promote some of his favourite artists after being chosen as the artistic director of the 12th annual Meltdown festival.

The event will be held at the South Bank Centre in London over two weeks in June. The appointment gives Morrissey - whose predecessors in the role include David Bowie, Elvis Costello and Nick Cave - the opportunity to mix artists and art forms in producing his own eclectic show.

Previous festivals have featured the likes of Radiohead, Blur, Coldplay, Badly Drawn Boy and Nina Simone.

Morrissey, who was recently voted number one in New Musical Express's poll of readers' choice of the greatest artists of all time, said of his appointment: "For me, this is a privilege and I will rise to it. Curating Meltdown is a great opportunity for me to acknowledge some of the music and words that have excited me over the years. Some of you have iPods; I have Meltdown."

The producer of contemporary culture at the South Bank Centre, Glenn Max, said: "Morrissey's commitment to accurately representing himself and his favourite artists will guide this festival forward this year. He understands exactly what Meltdown is about and how to make it his own."

Organisers said the full line-up for the festival would be announced soon.

Morrissey is set to release his first album for seven years in May, to be called You Are The Quarry . His forthcoming concert in Manchester, which has a 16,000 capacity, was sold out in 90 minutes last weekend.