Each year, the Southbank Centre invites an accomplished artist to cherry-pick their favourite musicians for its Meltdown Festival—recent artists have included David Bowie, Morrissey, Yoko Ono and MIA. Now in its 25th edition, this year (15-24 June, 2018) Robert Smith from the Cure will curate. He says, "I have finally figured out my Meltdown festival psychedelic puzzle… and it really is just like heaven. Ten delirious June days at London’s Southbank Centre await!"
Smith hosts CURÆTION-25 (24 Jun), a one-off show to close the festival in the Royal Festival Hall. Joining him are friends and special guests including the Scottish post-punk band, The Twilight Sad. DJs will also perform in the Clore Ballroom, there will be free music outside on Riverside Terrace; free family-friendly activities and you can dance to 2 am at Concrete Lates. The festival is also a chance to listen to big names such as Nine Inch Nails, The Libertines, Manic Street Preachers and Placebo.
Heritage Live Summer Concerts is a series of concerts in three locations, including in the grounds of Kenwood, a stately home in Hampstead Heath. These concerts are the first at Kenwood since 2013. Sam Cooper, English Heritage’s general manager at Kenwood, says, "I can think of no better way to spend a summer’s evening than listening to wonderful music against the spectacular backdrop of Kenwood."
The headlining star is, of course, Katherine Jenkins. The Welsh mezzo soprano performs at the Last Night of the Kenwood Proms (24 Jun) alongside the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. Jenkins is best known for singing for the Pope and at the Queen’s 90th birthday, and for competing in the US show "Dancing with the Stars."
You can also dance to DJs Graeme Park and Mike Pickering of Haçienda Classiçal (15 Jun); wave your Union Jack for English tenor Alfie Boe (16 Jun) and catch the Texan country singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson (22 Jun). The Movies of John Williams (23 Jun)—film scores from "Star Wars," "Jaws," "Indiana Jones" and "Jurassic Park" played by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra—is another highlight.
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Now in its fourth year, Live at Chelsea Concert Series is an outdoor show in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Commissioned by King Charles II and designed by Sir Christopher Wren, the building and grounds have homed retired military ‘the Chelsea Pensioners’ since 1692. Each year some of the concert proceeds go towards the pensioners and maintenance of the Grade I-listed site.
Andrew Lloyd Webber – A Musical Celebration (17 Jun) is the hot ticket. Not content with winning seven Tonys, seven Oliviers, three Grammys, a Golden Globe and an Oscar, he’s also been knighted by The Queen and is an honorary member of the House of Lords. The composer puts on a spectacle of recording artists and West End stars, accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and culminating in fireworks. Sing along to familiar songs from his well-known musicals "Cats," "Evita" and "Starlight Express," plus hits by the West End cast of "School of Rock—The Musical".
Meanwhile, the English rock band the Kaiser Chiefs kick off the concert series (14 Jun). The following night, don’t miss guitarist Jeff Beck (15 Jun), who has recorded with Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner and Mick Jagger, and won eight Grammy Awards. The British singer/songwriter James "You’re Beautiful" Blunt (16 Jun) headlines as part of his world tour, The Afterlove.