Following previous curators such as David Bowie, John Peel and Morrissey, this year’s prestigious picker is Yoko Ono, who brings a gloriously attitudinal and provocative set of heroes from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s to the city this June.
Punk pioneers Iggy Pop and the Stooges are a major draw – headlining on the 20th June with support from upcoming Time Out favourites, Savages. Another totemic figure in punk rock – Patti Smith – also returns to Meltdown for an evening of music and words on the 21st, having curated the bill back in 2005. Siouxsie, formerly of Siouxsie and the Banshees, adds to the strong feminist presence this year with a headline show on the 15th.
As well as curating, Ono will be bookending the festival with two special performances – as the Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band on the 14th, and with the first ever live performance of hers and John Lennon’s ‘Double Fantasy’ album of 1980 – recorded just three weeks before Lennon’s murder.
Ono’s rich history of activism and performance art is also at the core of this year’s programme. Canadian electro-warrior Peaches will recreate Ono’s Cut Piece on the 16th – a performance that sees the subject slowly cut from their clothes by members of the audience. There’s also an Activism Weekend scheduled for the 15th and 16th and a Future Weekend to close the festival on the 22nd and 23rd. Names of contributors are still to be announced, but a range of influential campaigners and thinkers is promised.
With Marianne Faithful, Reggie Watts, Kim Gordon, Boy George, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Thurston Moore and many more also locked in, there are loads of reasons to get out of bed this June. Oliver Keens
For more info, see our comprehensive Meltdown listings and get ready to book from 10am Thursday.