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Christine & The Queens announces first acts for Meltdown Festival 2023

The French singer-songwriter is curating the 28th edition of the London festival, which takes place from June 9-18 this year

By Hollie Geraghty

Christine And The Queens CREDIT: Paul Kookier

Christine & The Queens has revealed the first acts for Meltdown Festival 2023, with Sigur Rós, Warpaint, Django Django and more set to perform.

The French singer-songwriter is curating and headlining this year’s festival, which takes place at London’s Southbank Centre from June 9-18.

Other acts announced on the programme include Let’s Eat Grandma, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Serpentwithfeet, Bat For Lashes, Johnny Jewel, Kokoroko, Moonchild Sanelly, Yemi Alade, Oxlade, Lynks, Sqürl and Soap&Skin.

Christine & The Queens himself – real name Héloïse Letissier, who began publicly using male pronouns in August – will perform at the Royal Festival Hall on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18.

“Art to save the city! Ten nights that are ours,” the artist said in a statement. “Southbank Centre filled with beloved artists, some I discovered recently, some I know are amazing performers and poets. Dance. Theatre. Words and music. Friends and future friends. Raving, hopefully. Art to save the city! To free its contours and enliven the soul – it’s the why we do what we do. I can’t effing wait.”

Adem Holness, Head of Contemporary Music at the Southbank Centre, said: “Meltdown is all about inviting audiences and artists into the imagination of the curator, and the music they love.

“If you’ve ever had a chance to experience the creativity of Christine & The Queens, you’ll know it’s full of fun and joy, but also somewhere to help us make sense of the world around us, especially as queer people. Meltdown 2023 is shaping up to be like no other festival we’ve seen. With hugely infectious energy and bold ambitions, Meltdown will encompass creativity across Christine and the Queen’s creative spectrum.”

Mark Ball, Artistic Director at the Southbank Centre, said that Christine & The Queens’ “boundary breaking work has made him one of the most compelling artists of our age”. 

He added: “It’s thrilling to see the breadth of his extraordinary imagination come to life across Meltdown, one of the true highlights of the summer at the Southbank Centre. I can’t wait for us all to experience his curation and celebration of selfhood, identity and creativity.”

Tickets for Meltdown Festival 2023 go live on Friday (March 17) at 10 am GMT from the Southbank Centre website, where you can view the full schedule of events.

This year will mark the 28th edition of the London festival, which has been curated by the likes of Grace Jones (2022), Nile Rogers (2019) and Robert Smith of The Cure (2018) in the past.

“What an honour to be picked by the fantastical teams of the Meltdown festival to be a curator,” Christine & The Queens said at the time of the announcement. “I will pick musicians that have some gut-wrenching quality, and I wish for all of us to stroll around in those ten days being rejuvenated by artistic gestures.”

He added: “I hope you’ll enjoy this glorious edition and long live poetry that burns and musicians crazy and brave enough to keep going – they are shaping the emotions of the future. Let’s thank them all!”

Last week, Christine & The Queens announced the follow-up their 2022 pop opera Redcar les Adorables Étoile with Paranoïa, Angels, True Love. The 20-song album, out June 9, features guests like Mike Dean, 070 Shake and Madonna.