This summer, Cheshire’s famous Jodrell Bank Observatory will open its doors once again to an event unlike any other. Since its launch in 2016, Bluedot has brought a fresh sense of discovery to the UK festival scene, where leading scientists and intellectuals share a space with ground-breaking artists and musicians. For 2019, Bluedot promises its most intergalactic event yet, with a host of special celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landings. Here’s what you won’t want to miss when the festival makes contact this July.
It could almost be said that Bluedot was made for this year’s headliners. Expect Indie favourites Hot Chip to kick the weekend off with fresh material from their upcoming album ‘A Bath Full Of Ecstasy’. They will headline Bluedot as an exclusive northern festival show, so don’t miss it! But be sure to save your energy for Saturday, when Electronic pioneers Kraftwerk bring their stunning 3D show to the Lovell Stage. The world-renowned set will blend art and technology, creating a spectacle worthy of Bluedot’s unique setting. On its final day, New Order will return to Jodrell Bank for the first time since performing at Bluedot’s earlier incarnation, Live From Joddrell Bank in 2013. The iconic Manchester band are sure to give festival-goers a proper send off on Sunday.
The rest of Bluedot’s line-up promises to be just as exciting, as Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker has recently been announced to perform under the title JARV IS, his latest ensemble project. Beginning as a set of intimate gigs dotted across the UK, Cocker now takes JARV IS (along with some new music) to Jodrell Bank for the Saturday. Another must-see is one of the UK’s most innovative artists of recent years: the mighty Kate Tempest. You can catch the award-winning spoken word artist at the Lovell Stage on Friday. There is no shortage of quality Electronica and Dance music in Bluedot’s line-up either, as heavy-weights 808 State and Jon Hopkins will lead the way to your weekend. In fact, 808 State have curated a Bluedot playlist on Spotify to get you in just the right mood. Look out for special DJ sets and events throughout the weekend too, such as The Full Moon Party or the inspired Jungle Boogie (for the David Attenborough-loving House fan, of course!).
What makes Bluedot so unique however, is that it’s not just a music festival. With a wide selection of talks, comedy and art installations on display, there’s always something to satisfy your curiosity. This is all thanks to the historic location of Jodrell Bank and its role in tracking the moon landings almost 50 years ago, so expect the moon and space exploration to take pride of place this year. Helen Sharman will take to the DotTalks stage to share how she became the first British astronaut, and broadcaster James Burke will talk about presenting the Apollo 11 landings live in 1969. Professor Tim O’Brien will discuss Jodrell Bank’s involvement in the landings, whilst other talks throughout the weekend will explore the scientific and cultural impact of this incredible achievement in human history.
Outside of DotTalks, art and music will also play their part in the celebrations. Set to make an appearance are Lunar Loops by Illuminos, which will see a combination of moon landing-related sound and artwork projected onto the Lovell Telescope, and Luke Jerram’s stunning Museum of the Moon installation. Radio Science Orchestra will present a special audio-visual event titled Music Out Of The Moon, whilst Stems are set to will perform the live scores of Georges Méliès to footage from the Hubble Telescope. Children’s television classic, Clangers also celebrates its 50th anniversary at Bluedot with a screening and Q+A. Make sure you don’t miss a thing by viewing Bluedot’s entire moon landing line-up here.
Bluedot Festival takes place on the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st of July 2019. Individual day tickets are still available, although Saturday is now sold out. Weekend passes are £169 and can be paid by using a flexible deposit. Visit discoverthebluedot.com for more information.
Preview - Ellen Jones
Photos - Brent Jones