Cultural icon Yoko Ono takes the reigns of this year’s Meltdown Festival, for which tickets go on sale to the general public on Thursday 2nd May – Southbank Centre members can purchase from Monday 30 th April. The festival takes place across ten days with a number of music and visual arts events. So, for those travelling from outside of London, a number of great London hotel deals can be found on LondonTown.com.
Celebrating its 20 th anniversary, the alternative music festival has become one of London’s cultural highlights of the year. Yoko Ono, who celebrates her own 80 th birthday this year, will bring a lifetime of achievement in music, visual art and peace activism to the occasion.
The two bookmarking weekends of the London festival revolve around different themes. The first of the two (15-16 June) is a subject that’s close to Ono’s heart, an activism weekend. With special guests such as Guerilla Girls and the launch of Let’s Start a Pussy Riot, it will be two days of talks, debates, films and performances. While the closing Future Weekend (22-23 June) provides the chance to evaluate and debate some of the challenges society faces in today and tomorrow’s political decisions.
Having also featured on the Sundance London programme, electro-rock goddess Peaches has been handpicked by Ono to perform twice in Meltdown. Her first appearance will see Peaches perform Ono’s iconic Cut Piece, a ground-breaking piece of performance art in which the protagonist has their clothes cut off by the audience. Having first been performed by Ono in 1964, the piece was considered quite shocking. Since then, Ono has staged the piece in numerous countries and has encountered different audience reactions dependant on the culture. Peaches will then appear later in the festival to perform a number of tracks from her own back catalogue.
Further festival highlights include a performance from Iggy & The Stooges, the return of Siouxsie and her band – her first live outing in five years – and a rare show from Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band, which is led by Ono’s Son, Sean Ono Lennon. There will also be a silent disco and a BFI film programme screening a selection of Yoko Ono’s favourite films, including some by John and Yoko.