Grace Jones to curate Meltdown festival 2020

The disco icon to follow in footsteps of Patti Smith, Yoko Ono and Nick Cave as curator of the London music festival, saying, ‘It’s about time, don’t you think?!’

Grace Jones is to curate the 2020 edition of Meltdown, the nine-day festival taking place at London’s Southbank Centre.

“Year after year, the festival continues to spread its colourful wings, allowing its curators to bring together an array of diverse talent not seen anywhere else,” Jones said in a press release. “It’s about time I was asked to curate Meltdown darling, don’t you think?!”

Bengi Ünsal, Southbank’s head of contemporary music, said: “Grace Jones is unlike anybody else. She was the first artist who made me feel that I could express myself, be whatever I wanted to be, and not be afraid of what the world might say.”

Jones has performed at previous editions of the festival, as part of Jarvis Cocker’s 2007 lineup, and the following year with Massive Attack. Her lineup for the festival will be announced in the new year.

Meltdown was founded in 1993, initially as a classical music-focused festival. It soon widened its remit, making curators of artists including Nick Cave and Scott Walker. Jones is only the sixth woman to curate the festival in its history, following Laurie Anderson, Patti Smith, Anohni, Yoko Ono and MIA.

The next Meltdown will take place 12-21 June. Jones, who is 71, released her last album, Hurricane, in 2008, and published the autobiography I’ll Never Write My Memoirs in 2015.


Laura Snapes

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Grace Jones' Meltdown: Solange, Skunk Anansie and Lee Fields to play
Curator of the London festival’s 27th edition announces trailblazers including Oumou Sangaré, Jimmy Cliff and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, as well as an ‘extraordinary’ show of her own

Laura Snapes

10, Feb, 2020 @11:00 AM

Article image
MIA to curate 2017 Meltdown festival
Musician to follow the likes of David Bowie, Patti Smith and David Byrne in choosing the lineup for the Southbank Centre event

Guardian music

07, Feb, 2017 @10:55 AM

Article image
Nile Rodgers’s Meltdown review – a radical world party
The Chic supremo serves up a genial, all-inclusive musical feast, with Brazilian pop star Anitta leading the charge…

Damien Morris

10, Aug, 2019 @1:00 PM

Article image
Vivid Sydney mixtape: Grace Jones, Bill Callahan, Auntie Flo and the KLF
Fom Vivid Live at the Opera House to Modulations at Carriageworks, Sydney switches on the lights for some musical heavyweights – here’s a taster

Monica Tan

20, May, 2015 @1:00 AM

Article image
Tom Moulton on Grace Jones: 'They were like her slaves, just looking at her all goo-goo eyed'
When legendary disco producer Tom Moulton first heard Grace Jones sing, ‘she sounded like Bela Lugosi’. But with determination, some singing lessons and his help, she turned herself into an extraordinary pop star

Alexis Petridis

08, May, 2015 @5:17 PM

Article image
Field Day festival set to go ahead after organisers, council and locals do battle
A fraught process of relocation to south London’s Brockwell Park has laid bare the troubles faced by big festivals in the capital

Ed Gillett

19, Apr, 2018 @5:00 AM

Article image
Grace Jones: where to start in her back catalogue
In Listener’s Digest, our writers help you explore the work of great musicians. Today: the strident, sensual, muscular disco, funk and pop reggae of Grace Jones

John Doran

13, Apr, 2020 @6:57 AM

Article image
Dry Cleaning; Oumou Sangaré review – stars of Grace Jones’s Meltdown
The deadpan London post-punk band and the gloriously danceable Malian musician offer a delicious contrast early in the festival

Kitty Empire

18, Jun, 2022 @1:00 PM

Article image
Nile Rodgers and Chic review – disco springs eternal
The ‘number one producer in the world’ puts on a breathless show packed with colossal hits that has everyone on their feet

Dorian Lynskey

04, Aug, 2019 @10:46 AM

Article image
Goldie and Chrissie Hynde among first names for James Lavelle's Meltdown
Goldie will perform Timeless with the Heritage Orchestra as part of the London festival curated by Mo' Wax boss James Lavelle

Sean Michaels

25, Mar, 2014 @9:10 AM