First names revealed for Robert Smith’s Meltdown festival

Today Southbank Centre reveals the first names in what is shaping up to be a legendary line up for Robert Smith’s Meltdown in June. For the festival’s 25th anniversary year, the lead singer, guitarist, lyricist and principal songwriter of The Cure curates
a who’s-who of some of the most influential artists of the last 40 years of alternative popular music, taking place across Southbank Centre’s site from 15–24 June 2018.

Meltdown festival is famed for bringing to life the world of its director. For this jubilee year, Robert Smith has hand-picked some of his favourite bands to perform, bringing together trailblazers and pioneers from a variety of genres and across the globe, from indie, pop, glam, industrial, shoegaze, post-rock, electro, metal and beyond. The line-up promises rare live performances and one-off shows from stadium and arena acts including Deftones, The Libertines, Manic Street Preachers, Mogwai, My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails, Placebo and The Psychedelic Furs – many of them making their debut in Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall.

Robert Smith’s Meltdown is also the first major festival to take over Southbank Centre’s newly re-opened venues, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room. After two years of detailed re-design and refurbishment, the spaces provide even more opportunities for intimate gigs and fresh new talent.

Meltdown acts announced today include:

  • Alternative rockers The Psychedelic Furs open the festival with a show in the Royal Festival Hall, with support from Australian legends The Church (Friday 15 June)
  • One of the defining alternative rock bands from the past 20 years, Placebo perform music from across their illustrious career in a special intimate show (Saturday 16 June)
  • Indie rock legends The Libertines make their Royal Festival Hall debut (Sunday 17 June)
  • Welsh rock titans Manic Street Preachers return to Royal Festival Hall for the first time since 2008 following the release of their 13th studio album Resistance Is Futile, with support from The Anchoress (Tuesday 19 June)
  • Alternative rock icons Deftones take to the Royal Festival Hall stage for their only UK show in 2018 (Wednesday 20 June)
  • Glasgow rock pioneers Mogwai play a one-off show in the Royal Festival Hall, with support from singer-songwriterKathryn Joseph (Thursday 21 June)
  • The incomparable Nine Inch Nails brings its cathartic live music experience to Southbank Centre as the band makes its Royal Festival Hall debut (Friday 22 June)
  • Shoegaze pioneers My Bloody Valentine return to the Royal Festival Hall stage for their first UK show in five years(Saturday 23 June)
  • Previous Robert Smith collaborators 65daysofstatic bring their distinctive mix of electronic melodies and rock instrumentation to the Queen Elizabeth Hall stage for an energetic live show (Friday 15 June)
  • Electronic rock fusion from German indie band The Notwist in the Queen Elizabeth Hall (Saturday 16 June)
  • French post-metal band Alcest bring their atmospheric metal to the Queen Elizabeth Hall (Sunday 17 June)
  • Songwriter, guitarist and singer Kristin Hersh performs in the Queen Elizabeth Hall (Thursday 21 June)
  • Japanese instrumental rock group MONO take over the Queen Elizabeth Hall with their unique blend of orchestral arrangements and shoegaze guitar (Friday 22 June)
  • Many more acts to be announced!

Established in 1993, Southbank Centre’s Meltdown is the longest running artist-curated music festival in the UK. It has an unparalleled reputation among artists and is famed for providing a stage for exclusive collaborations and intimate, once-in-a-lifetime musical experiences for diverse audiences.

Robert Smith follows in the footsteps of 24 legendary artists selected to share their vision as curators of Meltdown – from the very first curator, British composer George Benjamin in 1993, though other luminaries such as John Peel, David Bowie, Nick Cave, Patti Smith, Massive Attack, Ray Davies, Yoko Ono and David Byrne, to the most recent curator, M.I.A in 2017.

Robert Smith, Curator, said: “Curating this 25th Meltdown festival is a dream come true, a fantastic experience… albeit getting 60 wonderful artists, including many of my all time favourites, to come together for 10 days in June is not without its challenges – as one of my predecessors noted, it is akin to figuring out a giant psychedelic puzzle… But as each invitee confirms, as each shimmering piece falls into place, I pinch myself – this is really happening… And the complete picture will undoubtedly be out of this world!”