With the recent announcement of Festival No.6 on hiatus our attentions turned to a festival of other sorts this weekend, with the return of bluedot for 2018.
Set at Cheshire’s famous observatory Jodrell Bank and a stone’s throw away from Manchester, bluedot taps into it’s venues theme for a festival focusing on Science and Music. Read our review of bluedot 2017 for a round up of last year’s antics.
The festival itself stays true to form year on year, albeit mixing up the array of performers and talks available. It is this consistency which makes it so enticing to return year on year. STYLE etc has rounded up the reasons not to miss it next year.
1. The Consistently Good Music
2018 saw headliners The Chemical Brothers launch their new show within the UK, alongside other top music acts including The Flaming Lips and Gary Numan. What’s perfect about bluedot is it’s commitment to a theme, all music flows consistently to the beat of an electronic over arch, providing a nice synchronicity as you wander from tent to stage.
2. The Science Talks
This years talk with Richard Dawkins saw a huge line of revellers queuing up as the event began, with such a large interest some were left disappointed as they couldn’t fit into the tent. Other highlights included Blue Planet II: Untold Stories from Magical Worlds and Lisa Harvey Smith’s segment; an astrophysicist who focuses research on black holes.
3. The Amazing Food
We really do mean amazing! It’s a sentiment echoed throughout the event (overheard by more than one attendee) that the food at bluedot is far superior to many other music festivals. There is a quality about all of it and a want to impress and cater to all dietary requirements. The Wood Fired Pizza place (located by the Lovell Telescope) is an absolute must. The pizzas were so good we heard a few saying they were better than some restaurant efforts. Other cuisine is also available in the form of Indian, Chinese, Mexican and traditional British. For a sweet snack there are Creperie’s and Les Churros Amigos to keep you full.
4. A Variety of Drinks
From bespoke wine bars to cocktail happy hours, you won’t be left with an empty glass while you have a full purse or wallet. You can find tipple of all genres, with wide selection, including Gin pop ups and Whiskey stop offs on the way to the main arena.
5. The Lovell Telescope
Of course the main attraction, of which bluedot centers around, is the Lovell Telescope. A 3,200 tonne radio telescope with a focal length of 22.9 metres, the device is the third largest steerable device of it’s kind. Certainly a sight to behold in itself, it exists as a bonus to the festival for music fans and the center piece for science enthusiasts.
6. The Art Installations
As you wander the fields you’ll stumble across a few different activities and installations, with some gathering large crowds of interest of their own. The Luminarium warranted a 1 hour wait most of the day, but was truly worth it as part of the daytime things to do. A large tent-like device which is blown up like a bouncy castle, the Luminarium is an impressive creation which consists of several large rooms connected by tunnels.
The whole inside is lit up in lights of different colours, with sections of blue, yellow, green and red. The most interesting aspect is that the light is entirely natural, despite appearing otherwise. This attraction was of equal merit to both young children as a bit of a play area as well as their parents looking for somewhere to sit and relax for a while.
7. The Attitudes and Fashions
There is an ‘anything goes’ attitude to the event, giving free reign to don any look, from fancy dress to pared down casual and all inbetween. Many stay true to science theme and dress as astronauts and lab technicians, whilst others go altogether more zany in wigs and colourful attires.
The general atmosphere is a positive place to be. The festival welcomes all ages and groups, families there for the day fit in as well as young girls and lads there for the drinking and dancing. It’s a testament to the organisation and line up that it holds value for many demographics without overfilling it’s fields to cram in the numbers.
And reasons not to go…
(honestly there’s not much more than that we could think of as we whole-heartedly recommend giving bluedot a chance).
Visit Bluedot online.