Grace Jones is set to curate the 2020 edition of Meltdown, the influential 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.”
Grace Jones has performed at previous editions of Meltdown, as part of Jarvis Cocker’s 2007 line-up, and the following year with Massive Attack. Her personally selected line-up for the 2020 festival will be announced in the new year.
Meltdown was founded in 1993, initially as a classical music-focused festival. It soon widened it remit, making curators of artists including Nick Cave and Scott Walker. Disco icon Jones is only the sixth woman to curate the festival in its history, following Laurie Anderson, Patti Smith, Anohni, Yoko Ono and MIA.
Chic legend Nile Rodgers curated the 2019 Meltdown Festival, bringing an eclectic line-up of artists to London’s Southbank Centre from 3-11 August. Rodgers himself performed with Chic, while the bill also featured Thundercat, SOPHIE, Songhoy Blues, The Eurythmics Songbook, a project by David A. Stewart, which had its world premiere at the event, alongside a reimagining of New York’s original Studio 54. The Guardian described the event as “a radical world party.”
The next Meltdown will take place from 12-21 June 2020. Jones, who is 71, released her last album, Hurricane, in 2008, and published the autobiography I’ll Never Write My Memoirs in 2015.