London’s Southbank Centre has announced that the next curator of its annual Meltdown festival will be French singer Christine and the Queens.

Meltdown, which claims to be the longest-running artist-curated festival in the world, will run next year from 9-18 June across three Southbank Centre spaces – the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room.

Christine and the Queens – the youngest curator of Meltdown in its 27-year history – will invite artists to perform ticketed shows, which will run alongside two weekends of free outdoor gigs, performances and activities. 

This evening (22 November), the singer will make his debut at the Southbank Centre having sold out the Royal Festival Hall for a one-off special as his new persona Redcar

He follows previous Meltdown curators including Grace Jones in 2022, whose year-long delayed event was the second-highest-grossing edition in the festival’s history after The Cure’s Robert Smith in 2018. Other artists to have curated the festival include David Bowie, Yoko Ono, Patti Smith, Nick Cave, Lee Scratch Perry and Jarvis Cocker.   

Southbank Centre artistic director Mark Ball said, “Meltdown not only allows us to understand the passions of an artist, but uniquely to see them come to life as a fully-formed festival across the Southbank. And to get inside Chris’s imagination – an artist whose ideas and inspiration comes from his politics, his history and identity, his love of theatricality and of transgressive underground culture – will be an incredible musical treat for audiences.”

The venue’s head of contemporary music Adem Holness said, “We are incredibly excited to be working with such an ambitious artist who, I am sure, will show us all what more Meltdown can be as a festival and a celebration.”

The first names for Christine and the Queens’ Meltdown will be announced in Spring 2023.