Festival Preview: Nile Rodgers’ Meltdown 2019, London Southbank Centre

You thought it was hot this week, but the true heatwave is coming next weekend:  On Saturday 3rd August, Meltdown Festival will be returning to London’s beautifully brutalist Southbank Centre for its 26th year. This year’s curator is the inimitable Nile Rodgers, whose expert selection is sure to deliver 9 days chock full of amazing music. Across the two weekends guests can dance in the summer sun at FIVE free parties – starting with Disco Wonderland on Saturday 3rd and culminating with Ministry of Meltdown on Sunday 11th, the former a retrospective celebration of Rodgers’ own shimmering career and the latter a vivid exploration of South London’s emergent Jazz scene.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a festival without Rodgers’ expertly selected line-up of genre-bending world-class musicians; on the 4th, the immensely talented and aggressively quirky Thundercat will take the stage, bringing his uniquely funky punk and RnB vibe in a European exclusive for 2019. He’ll also be bringing support from New York Jazz outfit Onyx Collective.

MIA at Meltdown 2018, courtesy Southbank Centre, photo by Mike Massaro.

On the 5th, the Royal Festival Hall will play host to Jungle: the irresistibly groovy west-London neo-soul outfit comprised of Tom McFarland and Josh Lloyd-Watson – this is sure to be a stellar performance. Two days later, London-based producer Alfa Mist will be bringing his smooth and jazzy hip-hop vibes to the beautiful Queen Elizabeth Hall.

65 Days of Static at Meltdown 2018, courtesy Southbank Centre, photo by Victor Frankowski.

In the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the saccharine-sweet and delightfully kooky Kero Kero Bonito will make an appearance, hopefully cheering up us weary brits with a dose of their “radical positivity” and infectiously catchy melodies. A dramatic tonal U-Turn will see guitarist and co-songwriter of the Smiths, Johnny Marr bring his legendary guitar to the Royal Festival Hall on the 8th, with plenty of songs old and new.

Also on the roster are the duo behind the music of Netflix-nostalgia-fest Stranger Things, performing music from the show, Eurythmics Songbook, Afrobeat 8-Piece Kokoroko, and a night of back-to-back bangers paying homage to NYC’s infamous Studio 54.

And this is all just a sliver of the spectacular offering over the 9-day festival, with various talks and activities crammed into the programme to keep punters entertained between the music. Tickets are still available for many of the events through the Southbank Centre website, as well as full line-up and venue information.  Don’t miss out, we’ll see you there!