Dates: 20th - 22nd July 2018
Location: Jodrell Bank, Cheshire
This extraordinary brand new festival explores not only the realms of music and creative arts, but also science and technology. Held at the incredible Jodrell Bank Observatory, home to the third largest steerable radio telescope in the world, (the Lovell Telescope), this will be an event that can really claim to offer a unique and wide-ranging experience.
From the promoters of Kendal Calling and Forgotten Fields, Bluedot claims to be “The intergalactic festival of discovery […] Bluedot invites you to camp out under the stars, and to explore a stellar programme of music, science, arts, technology, culture, food and film.”
Although this is only their first year, they have secured a fantastic line-up – not only on the musical front, but also for their science and culture programmes. The legendary electronic composer Jean-Michel Jarre will be astounding audiences with his first live performance in six years, combining sounds, pyrotechnics and cutting edge visual digital technology with masterly effect. Also headlining are Caribou, Underworld, as well as Mercury Rev, British Sea Power and Everything Everything.
Brian Cox, the “astrophysics poster boy”, will also be there, recording a live show on site with BBC 4’s The infinite Monkey Cage with Robin Ince. Lectures and debates will take place throughout the weekend, alongside robot workshops, grapheme making and pulsar hunting. There will also be art exhibitions, film screenings and stand up comedy – really, something for everyone.
The site of the festival, the unbelievable Jodrell Bank Observatory, is also opening its doors to festival goers, who will be able to go in and see the Galaxy Garden, an exceptional horticultural creation showing the worlds development from the Big Bang to present day. This location has an amazing history – in 1957, the Lovell Telescope was used to track the launch rocket of Sputnik 1, and has long been considered an icon in the field of science and engineering. In 2006, it was voted Britain’s “greatest unsung landmark.”
The director of the observatory, Prof. Tim O’Brien, is very encouraging about the festival, predicting it will “celebrate our planet in the vast cosmos, showcasing humanity’s creative achievements in arts, science, technology and the exploration of space.” The name Bluedot was taken from the image of Earth taken by Voyager 1. It is supported by the UK Space Agency and Euroscience Open Forum, further strengthening Jodrell Bank’s reputation as a leader in public engagement with astronomy.
The Restaurant at the End of the World, with leading chef Aiden Byrne, will be offering “gastronaughts” galactic banquet menus inspired by space travel and exploration. The G’astronomy Village will also be offering delicious culinary delights – with the science behind them too – ever wondered why your champagne has bubbles? Well you won’t for much longer! You might also want to wonder through the Arboretum, or blow your mind in the Luminarium – so much for every sense to enjoy.
Tickets are available for children as well – so bring them too and start their fascination with our planet and its place in the cosmos early. Another option available at Bluedot is Stargazing – a truly humbling yet uplifting experience, this is definitely something to share with people you love. And what better place to go to bed, than right beneath those very stars? Portobello Tents are thrilled to be supplying Bluedot with affordable glamping accommodation – come and enjoy our gorgeous bell tents beneath a heavenly night sky after a day of music, science, fun and exploration.