Ray Davies has been announced as the artistic director of the 18th Meltdown festival, set to take place at London’s Southbank Centre on June 10-19, 2011.

The Kinks mainman follows in the footsteps of past Meltdown artistic directors such as David Bowie, Massive Attack, Ornette Coleman, Morrissey and most recently Richard Thompson. According to a press release, his programme choices will aim to represent figures from the worlds of music, comedy, film, theatre, literature and politics who have profoundly influenced and inspired him.

“My wish for Meltdown 2011 is that it will be a creative celebration through the decades,” Davies says. “A bridge between the past present and future. I am thrilled to be asked to suggest what I hope will be a diverse programme, particularly as it marks the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain.”

Jude Kelly, Artistic Director at the Southbank Centre, adds:

“Enigmatic, provocative and literate – his razor-sharp observations on British society especially have coloured perceptions of ourselves for nearly 50 years. Ray Davies is perfectly placed to head Meltdown as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of Festival of Britain next summer.”

The first line-up announcements are expected to be made in early 2011.

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