Hegarty’s Meltdown festival announce first line up details

South Bank Centre’s annual finest music festival, curated by New York singer Antony Hegarty, announced a line up packed with "a constellation of courageous artists".


Words by: Charlie Jones

The Southbank Centre, London’s most vibrant cultural quarter , holds an annual festival called Meltdown (which has been running since 1993), and each year invites a different cultural figure to act as director of the event and pick the performers of their choosing.

In August 2012, audiences will get the chance to encounter the musicians, performers and thinkers who have helped shape the life and art of Antony Hegarty, lead singer with Mercury Award-winning Antony and the Johnsons, curating this year’s edition of the festival.

The first line up has been announced, featuring a roster of exciting acts that will be performing in the UK’s largest arts centre. Antony’s Meltdown line up includes, in addition to several other artists, a rare live performance by the singer Elizabeth Fraser (6/7 August, Royal Festival Hall). The Scottish singer has lent her stunning voice to projects with Massive Attack, Craig Armstrong and Peter Gabriel in recent years, and these will be her first full shows since she left the Scottish alternative-rock band Cocteau Twins in 1998. She will also be joined by New York’s underground voice Diamanda Galás, musical icon Laurie Anderson, experimental musician William Basinski and many more.

In Hegarty’s words: “I dreamed of assembling a constellation of courageous artists, all of whom have used their platforms as cultural producers to challenge us. They have exhibited a ferocity in their pursuit of beauty, and, falling like a guillotine behind it, justice.”

“Today I am among a group of artists from NYC (some of whom are performing at this Meltdown Festival) who reject patriarchy in its myriad virulent and apocalyptic manifestations, and who advocate for a fundamental shift towards the feminine in all our systems and structures of governance. We have named this approach Future Feminism.”

Tickets go on sale to Southbank Centre members at midday on May 8th, and to all at midday on May 10th. For full line up and ticket details visit the Meltdown website.

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