Nile Rodgers announced as guest curator for Meltdown festival 2019

Prolific singer and producer of landmark pop anthems takes over Southbank Centre’s annual music series

Nile Rodgers has been announced as the curator of this summer’s Meltdown festival, the annual event at London’s Southbank Centre which sees a prominent musician given free rein to book a series of gigs and events which reflect their own interests.

The Chic singer will produce a “hand-picked lineup of show-stopping music, art and free events” from 3 to 11 August at the Royal Festival Hall and other Southbank Centre venues.

“To be able to curate and produce nine days of live music for the city of London, the UK and music enthusiasts visiting from all over the world is truly a dream come true,” Rodgers said.

“Anyone who knows my career knows that funk, disco, jazz, soul, classical, pop, new wave, R&B, fusion, punk rock, afrobeat, electronic and dance music all play a role and you can expect that to be reflected in the performances we are planning. It’s all about the groove and this August everyone in London will be dancing to incredible live performances!”

Rodgers’ career has spanned the last half century of music, with the workaholic musician being involved in some of the most recognisable songs of the 1970s and 1980s. In addition to writing Chic’s Good Times, one of the most sampled tracks in history, he co-wrote and produced the hits He’s The Greatest Dancer and We Are Family for Sister Sledge, in addition to producing the albums Let’s Dance for David Bowie and Like A Virgin for Madonna.

He gained a new audience in 2013 when he worked on the track Get Lucky with Daft Punk, which became one of the biggest songs in the world. Since then he has continued to tour, while producing the likes of Sam Smith and Disclosure. Last year he released the first new Chic album in almost three decades and has continued to tour, taking the time for a brief stint as a guest judge alongside Simon Cowell on the UK version of the X-Factor.

Bengi Ünsal of the Southbank Centre said she was delighted to announce Rodgers at the curator of this year’s festival, which was founded in 1993 and has since been overseen by the likes of David Bowie, Patti Smith, Yoko Ono, and Scott Walker.

“Meltdown is the longest-running artist curated festival in the world and for 25 years has been celebrating those at the frontiers of music,” Ünsal said.

“It’s hard to overstate the impact that this year’s curator has had both as part of Chic and as a solo producer on what we call popular music today. He is constantly creating and collaborating, and I can’t wait to see what he will create across our venues. One thing is for certain: this will be the funkiest Meltdown yet.”


Jim Waterson Media editor

The GuardianTramp

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