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Festival Preview: Bluedot Festival 2016

Over the last few years Jodrell Bank Observatory has played host to some spectacular one-off live shows from the likes of The Flaming Lips, Sigur Ros and New Order to name a few.

The site, located on Macclesfield’s Cheshire outskirts, is home to the Lovell Telescope – the second largest of its kind on the planet.

With projections regularly beamed off the surface of the telescope’s huge dish, the setting is fit to win over even the most hard-nosed of audiences. And now, summer 2016 will showcase the most ambitious musical project Jodrell Bank has taken on in the shape of Bluedot Festival.

For the first time, the observatory will welcome tens of thousands of revellers for a three-day, camping-based festival, exploring a wide range of music, comedy, and intergalactic education.




The Lucid Dream

These punchy psych enthusiasts have been tickling our eardrums for a while now, and nestled within such a stellar lineup, they could prove one of the hidden gems at the inaugural Bluedot.

Expect an interplanetary trip through shoegaze, garage-rock and even dub reggae when The Lucid Dream take to the stage on the final day of festival and check out the video for ‘Love in My Veins’ below.

DJ Shadow

This production supremo has been at the top of the pile ever since he made history with the first hit album to be made completely from samples, Endtroducing.

Since then, he has proved himself to be a visionary over three decades and will soon release his sixth studio album, The Mountain Will Fall on June 24th. Famous for accompanying his live shows with some stunning visuals, it will be massively intriguing to see what he has in store for Bluedot.

Steve Mason

We saw former Beta Band and King Biscuit Time man Steve Mason on his Meet the Humans tour recently and he blew us away.

After joining forces with Elbow’s Craig Potter, his latest solo record features anthems aplenty, but these are often given an industrial twist with some smart sampling and big-beat percussion.

With a solo arsenal that means he no longer needs to rely on hits from the 90s, expect a fresh and exciting show from this indie stalwart. Listen to ‘Words in My Head’ below.

WHEN/WHERE: Jodrell Bank Observatory, Macclesfield, Cheshire. Friday 22nd July – Sunday July 24th.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Despite the slant of our preview, Bluedot is certainly not just about the music.

In addition to the sounds on offer, there will be a spellbinding visual show by none-other than Brian Eno, as well as The Infinite Monkey Cage – a collaboration between comedian Robin Ince and Professor Brian Cox.

… and as it that wasn’t enough, the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre will be open throughout the weekend, expanding the mind in the fields of Physics, Astronomy and space-age education.

If you only do one thing while you’re there…

Once the dead of night falls and the headline acts start to emerge, it can be difficult to focus on much else, but to really experience this festival’s uniqueness, make sure you get involved in one of Bluedot’s late night stargazing sessions.

University of Manchester Professor of Astrophysics, Tim O’Brien, will be joined by Pete Lawrence from the BBC’s hit show The Sky At Night to take space cadets on a nightly tour of the stars at one of the greatest spots on earth.


Underworld, Jean-Michel Jarre, Caribou, AIR, Brian Eno installation on the iconic Lovell Telescope, DJ Shadow,  Everything Everything,  Floating Points [LIVE], Public Service Broadcasting,  Mercury Rev,  George Fitzgerald,  Steve Mason,  65daysofstatic,  British Sea Power, Beth Orton, Steve Davis AKA Thundermuscle, Marc Riley, Tim Burgess, Stephen Morris, Shaun Keaveny, The Membranes, Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve,  DJ Yoda goes to the Sci Fi Movies, DJ Cheeba, Ben UFO, BBC R4’s The Infinite Monkey Cage w/ Brian Cox & Robin Ince.  Scientists: Tim O’Brien.  Helen Keen.

Moon Duo, Gwenno, Lonelady, Krysko, Dutch Uncles, Stealing Sheep, Galaxians, Aziz & Dal,  The Lucid Dream, Sundara Karma, Plastic Mermaids, Let’s Eat Grandma, Nai Harvest, The Vryll Society, Post War Glamour Girls, Cowtown, Mi Mye, Hot Vestry, Rhain, The Watchmakers, Sympathiser, Body Clocks, Pumarosa, The Big Moon, Olivier Heim, Mother, Cabbage, Revo – DJ, I Like Trains, Mother, The Clangers.

Lanterns On The Lake with the Royal Northern Sinfonia,  Urban Astronaut. Festival of the Spoken Nerd’s –  Helen Arney & Steve Mould. Steve Cross – Science Show off –  with special guests.  Jamed Veitch – Dot Con. Go 8 Bit Present WIFI WARS. IT Tock & Roll with FoxDog Studios.  Erica Wagner Hosts –   First Light A Celebration of Alan Garner. Stand Up with Robin Ince –  Tiernan Douieb & Adam Kay. Pete Lawrence. Matt Taylor. Andrew Smith.