Here’s all the free events at Grace Jones’ Meltdown Festival

The slate includes a roller disco workshop, takeover from No Signal radio, soundclash celebrating the music of Jones' native Jamaica and more

The Grace Jones-curated edition of London’s Meltdown Festival kicks off this Friday (June 10) and – alongside exclusive gigs – features a raft of free public programming.

Events will run across the Southbank Centre’s venues for the duration of the festival, which runs until June 19, offering a host of activities for fans to get involved in.

Throughout the whole festival a new audio installation from poet Travis Alabanza will lead visitors in saying “grace” to Jones. The We Say Grace installation will be played around the Southbank Centre site from Friday.

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Workshops will be on offer for a variety of activities, including rollerskating at the Roll Up To The Bumper event at Riverside Terrace on June 11, and hula-hooping at the Do or Die…or Disco with Marawa’s Majorettes, which takes place at the same venue on June 17.

The former will feature DJ sets from Kengo, Frankie J and Petite while some of London’s finest skaters show punters the ropes. At the latter, the performance troupe Marawa’s Majorettes – who have performed at Glastonbury, Camp Bestival and Lovebox – will teach attendees the way of the hula.

Grace Jones
Grace Jones (Picture: Andrea Klarin / Press)

Elsewhere, Friday will see DJs from the No Signal radio station take over Riverside Terrace to celebrate artists from across the Black diaspora, while Sunday (June 12) will see the venue play host to the Island Life Reggae Soundclash.

On June 17, other events will include A Night Of A Thousand Graces in which Jones’ iconic fashion looks will be honoured in collaboration with Africa Fashion Week London and Creative Resilience International, while ShezAr & The Soul Sirens will rework the star’s classic songs into gospel versions at Slay To The Rhythm.

For more information on the free public programming at Meltdown 2022 visit the Southbank Centre website.

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The bill for this year’s festival has been handpicked by Jones and features acts including John GrantSky FerreiraPeachesHot Chip, Greentea Peng, BlancmangeSkunk AnansieNova TwinsHoney Dijon and more – as well as two performances by Jones.

“In the face of adversity, there is no pandemic in the world that will stop me from curating the Meltdown festival,” Jones said of the upcoming run of shows. “It is my mission to present to you many exciting and gifted artists from various sectors of the music world. Come, see and listen; experience this dazzling plethora of talent at the Southbank Centre.”

You can win tickets to select gigs at Grace Jones’ Meltdown via NMEclick here for more details on the contest, which closes today (June 6).

Meanwhile, Skunk Anansie frontwoman Skin recently described the invitation from Jones to perform at the festival as “an honour”.

“I was aghast because we were the first band she asked,” Skin told NME. “She wrote us a letter saying: ‘If you don’t do it, I’m going to break your neck!’ Something like that! It was a typical Grace Jones letter and it cracked me up.”

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