Photography by Paul Kooiker

George Ward
George Ward

Freelance journalist based in Bristol. Can be found at the Grain Barge, Rough Trade or in his tiny basement bedroom writing for CLUNK.

Synthpop legend Christine and the Queens drops the first wave of acts performing at his Meltdown curation at the Southbank Centre

The Southbank Centre is the home of Meltdown, the world’s longest-running artist-curated festival. In 2023, they will celebrate their 28th year with a curation from none other than Christine and the Queens

Chris, the youngest curator of the festival yet, has put together a diverse and seriously exciting lineup, spread over a number of dates from 9th-18th June. As well as performing himself on 17th and 18th June, 15 other artists/bands will hit the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Purcell Room. 

These artists include veterans Django Django, fellow art-pop artist serpentwithfeet, jazz/afrobeat outfit KOKOROKO and a special collaboration between Sigur Rós & The London Contemporary Orchestra.

However, this is just a fraction of the talent on show and you can see the full list below. What makes Chris’s choices so exciting is the blending of styles. You really cannot put your finger on one genre for the curation due to the huge variety. 

From well established acts such as Warpaint and Bat For Lashes to buzzy newcomers such as Let’s Eat Grandma and Lynks, all the choices share the same qualities: innovation, self-confidence and exhilarating live performances. 

Full lineup for Christine and the Queens’ Meltdown:

Django Django – 9th June

Serpentwithfeet – 9th June

Let’s Eat Grandma – 10th June

Yemi Alade + Moonchild Sanelly – 10th June

SQÜRL – 11th June

Warpaint – 12th June

KOKOROKO – 14th June

Johnny Jewel Live – 14th June

Oxlade – 15th June

Bat For Lashes – 15th June

Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs Live – 16th June

Sigur Rós & London Contemporary Orchestra – 16th June

Christine and the Queens – 17th + 18th June

Soap&Skin – 18th June

Lynks + Special Guest – 18th June