Most northern music fans will have by now become more than accustomed to the site of the world’s second largest telescope playing host to some stunning shows.

The Transmission gig series initially laid on mind-blowing gigs by the likes of New Order, Sigur Ros and Elbow – all beneath the iconic structure of the Lovell Telescope.

Now in its third year, however, Bluedot Festival has brought an all-together more immersive experience to the site – providing a weekend-long extravaganza showcasing the best of the best in music, art, science, intergalactic education and everything in between.

When Far Out attended Bluedot’s first outing two years ago we were blown away by the rotating visual installation projected from the telescope by resident artist Brian Eno. This year it’s the turn of Marcus Lyall, who will illuminate the Lovell with his aptly named project ‘MegaStructure’.

However, even without all these amazing one-offs, Bluedot is set to host one of the best musical bills of the year when it returns to Cheshire July 19th-22nd. Here are a few of our picks NOT to be missed.

The Flaming Lips

Always a mesmerising live prospect, Wayne Coyne and co return to headline Bluedot just a few years after they played their own Transmission gig that has since gone down in folklore.  The thought of ‘Do You Realize??’ rippling across the summer sky with Coyne bouncing around in his trademark hamster ball has got us wondering whether we can handle the anticpation!

Hookworms

This group of Leeds-based Far Out favourites have made a triumphant return this year with their third full-length LP Microshift – a record that saw them step further towards toe-tapping electro-rock. The result is a kind of live show comparable to a more manic LCD Soundsystem – matching euphoric soundscapes with some introspective and darker lyrical content. We’ve followed these guys every step of the way, so why would Bluedot 2018 be any different?

Nadine Shah

Here we have another artist who it has been a joy to see develop over the last few years. From her 2013 debut, to last year’s offering Holiday Destination, Shah has built up a reputation for creating a most intriguing and immersive form of pop. Sprinkling her always flawless vocals over a production style that has you coming back again and again, her show at Bluedot is guaranteed to be special.

Unkle

The shapeshifting project of producer and multi-intrumentalist James Lavelle – Unkle are an outfit that always keep you guessing. Their first incarnation featuring the sampling talents of DJ Shadow saw them unleash Psyence Fiction – a star-studded collection of collaborations featuring Thom Yorke, Richard Ashcroft and Mike D of Beastie Boys. Fast forward 20 years and Lavelle is still going strong – all be it now as the group’s sole protagonist. Last year’s LP The Road: Part 1 was a magnificent return to form.

Chemical Brothers

We’ll finish our roundup in the same way in which Bluedot’s main stage will come to a close on July 22nd – with the unmistakeable talents of Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons aka The Chemical Brother. The barnstorming duo will bring the festival to an end with an awe-inspiring headline set sure to set the Cheshire sky alight. Check out our review from their amazing show at Blackpool’s Empress Ballroom to see just what you can expect from the eternal kings of electronica.

Take a look at the full lineup for Bludeot Festival 2018 below and get your hands on the last remaining tickets now before it’s too late!

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