John Peel Wiki

Meltdown is an annual arts festival held at at London's Southbank Centre. Peel was chosen to curate the 1998 event. As well as drawing up the programme, he also broadcast a selection of the music on his shows.

The eight nights of the event coincided with the 1998 World Cup, but the organizers installed screens to show matches.[1]. According to the BBC site, this "meant that one night, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci had to wait until after 11pm to take the stage whilst England lost to Argentina. (Nonetheless, Peel was happy because Liverpool's Michael Owen scored, so the match wasn't all bad!)."[2]

In Margrave Of The Marshes, Peel's wife Sheila recalled several things about the event:

  • Peel was "especially proud about the inclusion of Culture, who played a storming gig". (Hardback edition, pg 258)
  • He arranged for pictures by friend, neighbour and artist Laurie Self to be displayed at the foyer of the Royal Festival Hall during the event. (pg 270)
  • He was pleased to able to put Blur and Silver Apples on the same bill, after Damon Albarn had asked about Silver Apples during Blur's first visit to Peel Acres. (pg 376)

For Sheila herself, the set by XOL Dog 400 was "one of the best and wildest of the fortnight and maybe the year". (pg 347)


(Compiled with help from the official programme posted at the Songs To Learn And Sing blog.)

20 June
21 June
  • FSK, King, Trash Project, Project Dark
30 June
1 July
2 July
3 July
4 July
5 July


Festive Fifty

1998 Festive Fifty