David Byrne to curate Southbank Centre’s Meltdown 2015

Monday 17 – 28 August 2015, Southbank Centre

David Byrne, the Oscar, Golden Globe, Obie and Drama Desk award winning musician known for his eclectic collaborations and as a co-founder of the seminal new wave band Talking Heads will curate 2015’s Meltdown Festival at Southbank Centre. The festival, now in its 22nd year, will take place in August (17-28) and Byrne will follow in the footsteps of previous directors that include Jarvis Cocker, Patti Smith, David Bowie, Yoko Ono, Ray Davies and Ornette Coleman.

As well as the creative force behind Talking Heads, Byrne has a hugely successful solo career with eight albums to his credit and a reputation for constant reinvention. His collaborators span the spectrum of popular music and include Brian Eno, St Vincent, Morcheeba, Fatboy Slim, Paul Simon, Thievery Corporation, Arcade Fire and Anna Calvi. As well as a multi-instrumentalist and composer, Byrne is also a photographer, actor, artist and author—most recently penning his autobiographical explanation of musical form How Music Works. The festival marks a return for Byrne to the South Bank—his award-winning musical Here Lies Love had a successful limited run at the National Theatre’s Dorfman Theatre from September 2014 through to January 2015.

David Byrne, said:

“This is going to be exciting! I plan to invite performers I’ve seen – and I do get out – and others I’ve missed or have dreamed of seeing. It’s going to be a bit of fun puzzle-solving I imagine – seeing who’s interested, who is available and what venues at Southbank Centre are appropriate. I really hope to find things that take this beyond sit-down concerts as well – but of course I’m speaking way too early as I’m still working on my wish list.

“Hoping that I get to stay in the Room For London, on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof, for the whole time, but suspect that might expecting too much.”

Jude Kelly, Artistic director at Southbank Centre, said:

“Because a perfect Meltdown Director is David Byrne we can’t quite believe that fate has conspired to make it happen! All of us are thrilled at the prospect of his musicality and terrific brain power being used to curate our great and historical festival.”

Jane Beese, Head of Contemporary Music at Southbank Centre, said:

“To be able to work with David to put together the jigsaw puzzle of his Meltdown is a real privilege. He is the perfect candidate for the job with his ongoing and fearless desire to consume and create new work, as well as his enthusiasm and curiosity across musical genres and art forms. We’re really looking forward to sharing the programme with you shortly.”


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