Southbank Centre's annual Meltdown Festival begins this week, which sees Anthony Hegarty bestowed with the curators hat, following in a longline of creative-curatorial genii such as David Bowie, Patti Smith, Elvis Costello and Nick Cave.

The festival features 12 days of music, art, performance and film that will reflect Hegarty's vision and artistic ethos, over the 21 acre arts complex in central London that overlooks the Thames. Renowned singer Diamanda Galás kicks-off proceedings on August 1st, known for her politically charged performance works; the same night also sees Planningtorock and Light Asylum in the Front Room of Queen Elizabeth Hall.

In reagrds to his choices of acts, Hegarty has this to say:
I want to create a kind of paradise. I want to walk through that forest and see and hear the hardcore beauty and strength in art and music that makes sense to me. The weather is changing and everybody knows it. I want to participate; What is my relationship and responsibility to the world around me? Frontier expressions of emotion and beauty can be fantastic tools with which to enter that discussion.

Inspiring words indeed - reflected in the remarkably strong line-up. Hergarty himself will be making a much-anticipated appearance with Hercules & Love Affair, resuming his role as guest vocalist for the high-camp disco-loving New Yorkers. He will also be performing on the previous evening with the show 'Antony & The Ohnos' alongside Yoshito Ohno (for a celebration of the Buhto dance), Johanna Constantine, William Basinski and a tribute to Kazuo Ohno.

Other highlights in music include Marc Almond on 9th August, who'll showcase a live performance of 1983 release Torment and Toreros; the electronica duo Martin Schmidt and Drew Daniel as Matmos on 6th August; and Lou Reed with his band on the penultimate night on August 11th at Royal Festival Hall.

You can still enter our competition to win tickets for Joan As Police Woman on 3rd August.

For the full line-up and to purchase tickets, head over to the Meltdown website - have a listen to their playlist below: