We announced the relaunch of the Young Academic Festival Guide last week and with it, our quest to find the ultimate summer festival. With Glastonbury having its first hiatus since the 2012 Olympics, the gauntlet has been well and truly laid for the UK’s other festivals…
Bluedot has been developing a stellar reputation since its inaugural event a few years ago, not least due to its fusion of science and music and its suitability for families and revellers alike.
This year’s line-up will have done no harm whatsoever to this burgeoning reputation, with global acts being complemented superbly with some of the best-emerging bands and DJs from across the globe.
19th – 22nd July
Jodrell Bank, Cheshire
The Chemical Brothers, The Flaming Lips, Future Islands & Blue Planet in Concert with The Halle
Public Service Broadcasting, Gary Numan, Little Dragon, Slowdive, Roni Size, Unkle, Gilles Peterson, Booka Shade, The Orb, George Fitzgerald, Nadine Shah, Adrian Sherwood, Crazy P, Hookworms
The festival has the quite unique backdrop of the Lovell Telescope, the unmistakable landmark of Jodrell Bank. Regarded as one of the planet’s most iconic research instruments, it lends itself perfectly to Bluedot’s theme of science and discovery.
Talks from world-class scientists and such thinkers as Richard Dawkins, Professor Jim Al Khalili, Alice Roberts and more make the event all the more enticing. They will look to cover topics from space exploration and climate change and guests will also be offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to ask the “Big Questions” of leading researchers.
The Radiophonic Workshop are also delighted to be celebrating their 60th anniversary with audiences and artists at Bluedot 2018.
In addition to playing a live set featuring iconic sounds and visuals from across their 60-year career, the Workshop will also be “artists in residence” at the festival. Using everything from the latest binaural recording techniques to the humble iPhone they will be collecting sounds from around the festival site across the 3 days and working them into compositions that embody the spirit of curiosity, creativity and collaboration at the heart of the Blue Dot experience.
Travelling to Bluedot
Getting to Bluedot is also an absolute doddle, especially for anyone studying in the Manchester area as it is just 30 minutes from Piccadilly station. Alternatively, you can get a direct train from London to Macclesfield, which takes just a couple of hours.
Bluedot Lineup 2018
THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS // THE FLAMING LIPS // FUTURE ISLANDS // BLUE PLANET IN CONCERT with HALLE // PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING // GARY NUMAN // LITTLE DRAGON // SLOWDIVE // PLUS SPECIAL GUEST RONI SIZE: NEW FORMS LIVE // UNKLE // GILLES PETERSON // BOOKA SHADE // THE ORB // GEORGE FITZGERALD [LIVE] // LAMB // ALEXIS TAYLOR // NADINE SHAH // ADRIAN SHERWOOD // CRAZY P [LIVE] // HOOKWORMS // BALOJI // VESSELS // LOST HORIZONS // AFRIQUOI // ACID MOTHER’S TEMPLE // RE-TROS // LANGHAM RESEARCH CENTRE // ANA MATRONIC [DJ SET] // DJ ANDY SMITH’S REACH UP DISCO WONDERLAND // DUB PISTOLS OUTTA SPACE [DJ SET] // MAD PROFESSOR // HUMAN AFTER ALL [A TRIBUTE TO DAFT PUNK] // WILL TRAMP! // AMBER ARCADES // WARMDUSCHER // BOY AZOOGA // TO KILL A KING // NABIHAH IQBAL // THE LONG NOW // WARM DIGITS // SNAPPED ANKLES // BANANA HILL [DJ SET] // PLASTIC MERMAIDS // LITTLE CUB // PARK HOTEL // AKDK // HENGE // FUTURE GET DOWN // HUSKY LOOPS // PINK KINK // JW RIDLEY // PEARL CITY // FEHM // DRAHLA // SPEAKMANSOUND // CRUEL WORLD // CHAOUCHE // FWAR // TOBI SUMNOLA // OUTLIERS [DJS] // LATE NIGHT TALES [DJ SET] // SCIENCE IN THE HOUSE // ALGORAVE // SPACE CASSETTE TAKEOVER: AGE OF GLASS // LOOK MUM NO COMPUTER! // BARBEROS // TALOS 400
Science, Nature & Technology
JIM AL-KHALILI // ALICE ROBERTS // DALLAS CAMPBELL // DAVE GOULSON // TIM O’BRIEN // STARGAZING LIVE EXPERIMENTS // EXPERT PANELS // WILDLIFE EXPLORERS // THE PLANET FIELD // RICHARD DAWKINS // ERICA WAGNER // DANIEL M DAVIS // JAMES THOMPSON // JIM WILD // RICHARD BETTS // MIKE GARRETT // TIME ALLCOCK & RACHEL PLATONOV // JON COPLEY // RICHARD BATTYE // KEVIN WARWICK // PHILIPPA BROWNING // RENE BRETON // PAUL VANEZIS, PETER CROCKER & STEVE ROBERTS // JULIA STEINBERGER // ANNA SCAIFE + MORE
Comedy At Bluedot
DAVID O’DOHERTY // CASSETTEBOY // ROBIN INCE // THE ELVIS DEAD! // SIMON MUNNERY // GARY DELANEY // JESS FOSTEKEW // ANDREW O’NEILL
A.C.GRAYLING // 50th YEARS OF 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY // E52 PRESENT: PALE BLUE DOT // ILLUMINATED SPACE PARADES THE OUTER SPACE // THE LUMINARIUM // AUDIBLE SILENCES // THE ELVIS DEAD
From The Fields
From The Fields is an award-winning, dynamic and innovative promotions team who specialise in festival curation, boutique events and forward-thinking experiences.
Its growing portfolio includes Bluedot, Kendal Calling, Live From Jodrell Bank, Off The Record, Inner City Electrics and Electric Fields. With an eye for detail and a flair for creating unique experiences, the team draws upon the wealth of industry experience enjoyed by its directors, Andy Smith and Ben Robinson.
From artists booking, design, & promotion, to boutique camping and immersive arts, From The Fields curates events with a personal touch and award-winning creativity!
Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre
The University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Observatory is the home of the world-famous Lovell Telescope and operates e-MERLIN, the UK’s national radio astronomy facility linking seven radio telescopes over 217km. The Lovell Telescope, which dominates the site, celebrates its sixtieth anniversary this year. The world’s largest telescope when it was completed in 1957, it is now more powerful than ever and has become an icon of science & engineering. The Discovery Centre at Jodrell Bank welcomes around 185,000 visitors each year, including 26,000 school pupils on educational visits. It showcases the heritage of the site and the research work of the University’s Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics to a wide audience and aims to inspire the next generation of scientists & engineers.
Lovell Telescope | Facts
When the Lovell Telescope was built in 1957 it was by far the largest telescope in the world. It was at risk of not being completed because it had run far over budget. The miracle that saved it was the launch of the first satellite on October 4th 1957, Sputnik 1, which it tracked by radar, making it world famous.
Although it had been intended for astronomy, the tracking of Sputnik led to it playing a key role in the space race, tracking both American and Russian spacecraft. It was even on standby as the UK’s early warning system against nuclear missile attack during the Cuban Missile Criss in 1962.
At 76 metres in diameter, it is now the third largest steerable telescope in the world after the Effelsberg Radio Telescope in Germany and the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope in the USA. Both are 100 metres in diameter.
The Lovell Telescope is so sensitive that using mobile phones on the site is normally forbidden. Even the microwave oven in the staff tea room is shielded inside a metal box to prevent interference.
The Lovell Telescope tracked the Soviet craft Luna 9 in February 1966, the first spacecraft to make a soft landing on the Moon. The telescope was used to hack into its signal and print the very first picture from the moon’s surface on a fax machine borrowed from the Daily Express.
The astronomers at Jodrell Bank also had a major role in the discovery and identification of quasars (QUASi-stellAR radio source). These are powered by interstellar dust and gas falling into super-massive black holes at the centres of distant galaxies.
Jodrell Bank was also instrumental in demonstrating gravitational lensing – the warping of space-time around massive objects. This discovery is a major plank in the evidence for Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
Astronomers also use the Telescope to investigate pulsars – the extremely dense remnants of stars left over from supernova explosions. They rotate and emit beams of radio waves, rather like a lighthouse.
The Telescope is regularly linked up with others across the UK in the e-MERLIN network, which increases the sharpness of its view, and to large radio telescopes across Europe and beyond in the European VLBI Network.
Other Cultural Facts
The Lovell and Mark II Telescopes at Jodrell Bank are Grade I listed buildings and the Observatory is now on the UK shortlist for World Heritage Site Status.
The Observatory regularly features in the media, including playing host to the BBC series Stargazing Live.
In Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Jodrell Bank scientists missed the alien invasion because they were having a cup of tea.
Jodrell Bank has a history of association with music being the location for videos by iconic Manchester band Doves, Placebo, Public Service Broadcasting and Brian Cox’s D:Ream. Elbow recorded an album and DVD of their 2012 performance “Live at Jodrell Bank”.
In a 1981 episode of Doctor Who, the Doctor’s fourth incarnation, played by Tom Baker, fell to his death from a walkway at the Lovell Telescope. He regenerated into Peter Davison.