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29th May 2010
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Observer meltdown discussion with Richard Thompson and Joe Boyd, Bandstand busking freestages feat. Johnny Fynn, Kate Tempest, Broadcast 2000 and more

For Richard Thompson’s Meltdown (11-21 June 2010), The Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall will be transformed into an indoor park environment with a specially created bandstand at its heart. Celebrating the tradition of free outdoor concerts and informal congregation, the bandstand ushers this spirit into one of London’s most popular indoor public spaces. It will feature a full programme of announced and surprise gigs on both Fridays and weekends during the festival, some programmed in partnership with Bandstand Busking.
 
In what promises to be a fitting opening event for this year’s Meltdown, Friday Tonic on Friday 11 June features members of Bellowhead as well as UK folk's rising star Sam Carter, Middle East music specialist Giles Lewin and musicians from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen and UAE who will take to the Bandstand stage at 6pm. Creating new material inspired by their respective traditions, they perform in what will be the first UK incarnation of Shifting Sands – a new British Council initiative in Partnership with Southbank Centre, that explores the musical roots of both the UK and the Middle East.
 
Following on from the Shifting Sands performance the previous evening, audiences are invited to the Shifting Sands Insight Day on Saturday 12 June where they can meet and discover more about the artists involved in the project. Starting with a talk and demonstrations at 11am, all advanced musicians (aged 16 and over) with an interest in traditional music of all cultures are then invited to join one of four workshops (12.30-3pm), culminating in a scratch performance at 3.30pm.
 
Bandstand Busking is a London-based project, breathing life into the city’s unused bandstands by showcasing music from some of the best up and coming acts around. All performances are available to view on the Bandstand Busking website. At Meltdown, the first Bandstand Busking Freestage runs from 1pm-7pm on Sunday 13 June, with musicians including independent American folk artist Sam Amidon, anti-folk movement artist Laura Hocking, Irish guitarist and singer Oh Ruin aka Eoin O’Ruainigh, the Trans Siberian March Band, London's very own all dancing corseted female morris troupe Belles Of London City and author (Child of Tibet) and singer Soname.
 
Tuesday 15 June sees a special event – The Observer Meltdown Discussion with Meltdown Director Richard Thompson and legendary producer Joe Boyd in conversation in the Purcell Room at 6.30pm.
 
BBC Folk Awards 2010 winner of the Horizon Award for best newcomer, Sam Carter performs with his trio as part of Southbank Centre’s weekly Friday Lunch free music series at 1pm on Friday 18 June. Carter is a startlingly perceptive and self-assured young singer-songwriter and guitarist whose debut album Keepsakes was released in August 2009.
 
Fisherman’s Friends - the singing fishermen from Cornwall, famously signed up by EMI for £1m, and who are to be the subject of a Pinewood Studios film, can be sampled in two performances on Saturday 19 June at 1pm and 6.30pm. Down the harbourfront of the tiny fishing village of Port Isaac, at around eight in the evening during the summer months, tourists and locals gather to hear this ten-man group mesh their voices in an incredibly rousing and joyful set of shanties and Cornish folk songs. These men have known each other since childhood and learnt their powerful brand of Cornish harmony singing at the local Methodist chapel. Their new album, recorded in a 15th-century church in nearby St Kew and released in April 2010, features a rich haul of 12 songs from their Port Isaac repertoire.
 
The second night of The Bandstand Busking Freestage on Sunday 20 June also runs from 1pm-7pm and artists include Sheffield folk-rock duo Slow Club, acoustic indie folk band Broadcast 2000, actor, poet and songwriter Johnny Flynn, British folk guitarist and singer-songwriter John Smith, London spoken word artist Kate Tempest, Appalachian Storm, a band who specialise in Appalachian and Celtic traditional and contemporary dance tunes and the Crystal Palace Brass Band.
 
Free Meltdown film screenings include Grizzly Man on Monday 14 June in the Purcell Room at 7.45pm. With a soundtrack composed and performed by Richard Thompson, Werner Herzog's celebrated film charts the life and death of Timothy Treadwell, who would spend months each year living in Alaska amongst wild bears. Using footage recorded by Treadwell and interviews with friends and bear experts, Herzog captures an extraordinary story of man and nature. Dreams with Sharp Teeth, the acclaimed documentary about the controversial American science fiction writer Harlan Ellison, will be shown on Friday 18 June in the Purcell Room at 9pm. With a soundtrack written and performed by Richard Thompson, this acclaimed documentary features contributions from some of Harlan Ellison’s fans, including Robin Williams and Neil Gaiman.
 
An innovative sound installation will be installed across the windows of the foyer of the Royal Festival Hall during the Meltdown Festival, linked to an interactive lounge in which the public can find out more about the music that influenced Fairport Convention. Festival goers will also be encouraged to contribute to Global Poetry System, Southbank Centre’s online call for poetry and verse from around the world.
 
Richard Thompson's Meltdown Festival - 11-20th June 2010 - Southbank, London
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Enjoy Meltdown events for free
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Free events at Meltdown 2010
Free Events – discussion
The Observer Meltdown Discussion with Richard Thompson and Joe Boyd
Tuesday 15 June, Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall, 6.30pm

Film Screening: Grizzly Man
Monday 14 June 2010, Purcell Room, 7.45pm, Admission Free (ticketed)

Film Screening: Dreams With Sharp Teeth
Friday 18 June 2010, Purcell Room, 9pm, Admission Free (ticketed)

Free bandstand events


Shifting Sands
Featuring musicians from Bellowhead, Sam Carter, Giles Lewin and musicians from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen and UAE
Friday Tonic
Friday 11 June 2010, The Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall, 6pm, Admission free
Shifting Sands is a British Council initiative.

Shifting Sands Insight Day
Saturday 12 June 2010,The Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall, 11.00 talk, 12.30-3.00 workshops, 3.30 performance, Admission free

Live post-show World Cup football &+ DJ

Saturday 12 June, The Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall, 7.30pm till late

The Bandstand Busking Freestage
Featuring Sam Amidon, Laura Hocking, Oh Ruin and more
Sunday 13 June 2010,The Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall, 1 - 7pm, Admission free

Sam Carter

Friday Lunch
Friday 18 June 2010,The Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall, 1pm, Admission free

Friday Tonic: Artist to be announced
Friday18 June 2010, The Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall, 6pm, Admission free

The Fisherman’s Friends
Saturday 19 June 2010, The Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall, 1 & 6.30pm,
Admission free

The Bandstand Busking Freestage

Featuring Broadcast 200, Slow Club, Belles Of London, Johnny Flynn and more
Sunday 20 June 2010,The Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall, 1 - 7pm, Admission free

Free events – Global Poetry System

Global Poetry System (GPS) is a user generated world map of poetry – the poetry that is all around us, from gravestones to graffiti, from pop songs to remembered classics, in the landscape and in our memories. In this special project for Meltdown, audiences are invited to join Richard Thompson in sharing a recording of their own traditional verse or poetry on the GPS map. It could be anything from a playground chant to a folk song, a proverb or nursery rhyme, a historical ballad or the first record they ever bought. In sharing it with the map, people contribute to a rich collection of global folk verse that starts this summer.

Free events – installation
Whispering Windows is an interactive sound installation taking over the windows of the Royal Festival Hall on Festival Terrace. It features music from Richard Thompson’s Meltdown artists as well as an exclusive playlist of tracks that inspired Fairport Convention and recordings of unique folk verse from around the world. Passers by can trigger the music via motion sensors and vote online to decide some of the tracks that play. The installation is linked to an interactive lounge in which the public can find out more about the music that influenced Fairport Convention, and contribute to Global Poetry System’s online call for folk verse from around the world.
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