Most people would say that magic is pulling a rabbit out of a hat, or like, cutting a lady in half but then WHOA she gets out of her magic box and she’s a whole lady again!!! But then, most people haven’t been to the wondrous Meltdown Festival put on annually by London’s Southbank Centre. Meltdown takes place at the myriad venues of the Centre’s art complex, which includes the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and the Hayward Gallery. Organizers give the reins to a different music icon every year, and give him or her the leeway to curate music, art, film, performances, and discussions that reflect the artist’s unique interests. In the past, Meltdown has been directed by luminaries such as Laurie Anderson, Nick Cave, John Peel, Patti Smith, David Bowie, Morrissey, Massive Attack and… well, the list goes on and on, ever since the festival was born back in 1993. And this year the head of the fest is… drum roll please… the ever-eclectic Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons fame.
Antony takes over the Southbank Centre from August 1-12 this year. The lineup is yet to be announced, but it’s being carefully selected to mirror the themes of Hegarty’s work. The British-born musician has worked with everyone from Lou Reed to Björk to Boy George, so tickets should start flying once the lineup is unveiled in April. Antony described Meltdown in some very PR-friendly soundbytes, saying,”I want to create a kind of paradise. I want to walk through that forest and see and hear the hardcore beauty and strength in art and music that makes sense to me. The weather is changing and everybody knows it. I want to participate; What is my relationship and responsibility to the world around me?” Only five more months till fans can stroll through the forest with Mr. Hegarty as their guide.