Meltdown Festival

M.I.A.’s Meltdown Festival featuring Yung Lean, Mykki Blanco and many more

Legendary rapper, producer, director and visual artist M.I.A. has crafted a Meltdown Festival like no other.

And hell we need surely deserve cheering up with a better vision of the future this year? So who’s floating our boat in the line up.

Pictured above: Yung Lean (pic by Fredrik Andersson) – M.I.A. – JD Samson

M.I.A.’s Meltdown | Southbank Centre | 9-18 June | From Free

We are in love with M.I.A.’s Meltdown festival manifesto:

Free events for all

Throughout M.I.A.’s Meltdown a range of free activity including music, multimedia, art and film events to celebrate London’s diverse melting pot of cultures including:

  • Mass Carnival (10 June) Carnival comes south of the river with a day of free music and dancing.
  • Block Party with Rinse FM (11 June) A free day-long party for everyone on the riverside terrace.
  • Meltdown Mela (18 June) A day of outdoor entertainment from the UK’s South Asian communities.

The line up

M.I.A.’s line up sizzles with hot international talent and we hope that the rather lofty Royal Festival Hall can handle the heat!

Here’s the three picks we’re looking forward to:

1. Young Fathers (9 June)

The award-winning Young Fathers kick off Meltdown with a one-off show which promises to tear it down! (Apparently the set up is even challenging the Royal Festival Hall’s roof).

🎧 Warm up track: Only God Knows

Young Fathers

2. Young M.A./Tommy Genesis (17 June)

Canadian rapper and visual artist Tommy Genesis music blurs the lines between electronica and hip-hop and stay on for viral sensation Young M.A. who makes her UK debut.

🎧 Warm up track: BIG BOI by Tommy Genesis

Tommy Genesis

3. Mykki Blanco / JD Samson (17 June)

US Performance artist turned riot grrl rapper and queer pioneer Mykki Blanco takes to the Clore Ballroom stage, followed by a DJ set from legendary Le Tigre musician, DJ and activist JD Samson.

🎧 Warm up track: Loner by Mykki Blanco

Mykki Blanco


Plus don’t miss:

  • London-based rapper Afrikan Boy’s unique fusion of rap, afrobeat and grime bringing together the bass-heavy sounds of urban London with the rhythmic beats of Nigeria for a late night show (10 June).
  • Soulwax have recently been added to the lineup and are at Meltdown to show off their new album From Deewee with a live studio set-up featuring a seven-piece band including three drummers.
  • A night of atmospheric hip-hop from Swedish rapper Yung Lean in his only European show this Summer (14 June) and now including the rising star Princess Nokia.
  • Festival curator M.I.A.‘s festival finale is bound to thrill and surprise (18 June).


I am Joint Editor at To Do List. I like free, cheap & offbeat London, especially: cabaret, art, theatre, pop-ups, eating out, quirky films, museums, day trips, social enterprise & much more.