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Christine and the Queens Meltdown Festival
Photography Paul Kooiker

Christine and the Queens announces the first acts for his Meltdown Festival

Taking place at the Southbank Centre this summer, the festival’s diverse line up includes Serpentwithfeet, Bat For Lashes, Yemi Alade, Sigur Rós and Chris himself

In the heart of London, on the edge of the river Thames, lies the Southbank Centre, one of the capital’s most important cultural hubs. Since its doors opened almost 72 years ago the institution has blazed the trail for creative showcases, and to this day remains Europe’s largest centre for the arts. With over four million visitors attending each year, the Southbank Centre complex, which includes the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery, has played host to a number of era-defining artists including David Bowie, Nile Rodgers, Patti Smith, and Nina Simone.

Held annually since 1993, the Southbank Centre’s own artist-curated Meltdown Festival returns for a 28th edition in summer 2023, this time spearheaded by Christine and the Queens, from Friday 9th to Sunday 18th June. Headlining the festival is, of course, Chris himself, who’ll be performing on both days of the finale weekend.

Joining Christine and the Queens across the festival are art-rock outfit Django Django, who will be promoting their ambitious four part album project Off Planet, and Warpaint, who are making their Royal Festival Hall debut after twenty years in the game. Bat For Lashes take to the Queen Elizabeth Hall stage on Thursday 15, while the electro pop styling of Lynks, Let’s Eat Grandma and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs are set to completely transform a brand new performance space in the hall’s foyer.

In his curation, Chris has also cast his net wider with an internationalist approach. African Baddie and Beyoncé collaborator Yemi Alade will take to the stage on Saturday 10, supported by South Africa’s own Moonchild Sanelly, while Oxlade, a powerful new voice on Nigeria’s music scene, will perform on Thursday 15.

Elsewhere, Serpentwithfeet, KOKOROKO and the Jim-Jarmusch fronted Sqürl are all set to perform, plus Sigur Rós will open the European leg of their tour alongside the London Contemporary Orchestra. More performers will be announced later this spring.

Chris is exhilarated to have them on board. Commenting on the first batch of names announced for Meltdown, he said: “Art to save the city, ten nights that are ours. Southbank Centre filled with beloved artists, some I discovered recently, some I know are amazing performers and poets. Dance. Theatre. Words and music. Friends and future friends. Raving, hopefully. Art to save the city! To free its contours and enliven the soul – it’s the why we do what we do. I can’t effing wait.”

Tickets for Christine and the Queens’ Meltdown will be on general sale Friday 17th March at 10am here.

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