Meltdown Guy Garvey: “First and foremost, I wanted the line-up to be good”

The Elbow main man spills on his curation of this year’s Meltdown.

This year’s Meltdown (kicking off at London’s Southbank Centre today) is being curated by Mancunian hero Guy Garvey – we gave the Elbow frontman a buzz to find out just how he got involved.

Hello Guy! How exactly were you approached to get involved with this year’s Meltdown?
They approached me and said it was obviously because of Elbow but also my programme on BBC 6music, and the fact that, at the time they asked me, I was making Music Box, an iPlayer programme that I produced and presented. They know I’m all about helping out where I can with new talent, but also drawing to attention to music that’s changed and doesn’t get as much exposure as it should. Plus, I think, through my radio programme I’m constantly being taught about new music from my listeners, through the A Song for Guy feature, where I get people to recommend things they think I won’t know.

The line-up seems to reflect a lot of different elements: did you go in with quite a broad view when it came to curating?
I did. First and foremost, I wanted the line-up to be good. I asked all sorts of different acts and those that came back and yes, I was overjoyed about. There were a few that got away, who I wish would’ve been available for one reason or another. There’s a couple of genres that I’m interested in – it’s not immediately apparent from maybe the headline acts, but it’s really quite a diverse bill. A lot of the stuff that I’m really into will be on the smaller stages, the Brian Glancy stage. I think it’s a case of coming down to see the breadth of music that I’ve chosen.

Who is it in particular that you’re looking forward to seeing at Meltdown?
Well, I’m really, really glad that Laura Marling said yes – she was the first person to say yes. I’m over the moon that Lift To Experience are reforming, too. That’s a real coup! I once toured with those guys – about fifteen years ago – and through the years, I’ve kept in touch with Josh [T. Pearson] and we’ve become good friends. To get the band to reform for Meltdown is really unbelievable, so really excited about that.

DIY is an official media partner of Guy Garvey’s Meltdown. Tickets are on sale now. Visit for more information.

Photo: Victor Frankowski

Tags: Elbow, Festivals, Features

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