music shines at Bluedot

Bluedot 2017 review

published: Fri 14th Jul 2017

Around the Site

Friday 7th to Sunday 9th July 2017
Jodrell Bank Visitor Centre and Arboretum, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK119DL, England MAP
£159 for the weekend or £59 for any day
daily capacity: 5000
last updated: Mon 17th Jul 2017

In a nutshell Bluedot Festival is a three-day festival exploring the realms of music, science, technology and the arts, taking place at Jodrell Bank, with the famous Lovell Telescope as a wonderful backdrop.

This is the second year of the festival and they’ve surpassed themselves, with six stages jam packed with music and workshops, over 40 different acts just on Saturday alone.

Our first time at the festival, so what to make of it, who knows? Unfortunately we could only make the Saturday due to someone having a 42nd birthday, with a trip to Twickenham to see U2 on the Sunday.

The weather for the whole weekend was immense; I think it was the icing on the cake. I have never seen so many families and little sproglets running around, so family orientated, reminded me slightly of Carfest, which again is aimed at families but with less music. So much to do for the kids its untrue, I guess that’s why there’s so many of them.

Quite an early start as festivals go, 11am as a matter a fact, going through until 2am on Sunday morning., so you definitely get your monies worth.

There’s something for everyone here, if you’re not a star gazer or budding astronomer, or have a keen eye for space, there’s always the workshops and music. I think this festival is the most entertaining for families, the programme for just one day is mind blowing, it really is. I’m not an intellectual sort, stars and space don’t interest me, it’s all about the music always has been, always will be and today was no exception.

The sun was beating down and it was lush, picnic blanket after picnic blanket, Lamzacs galore (blow up hammock), and so much food and alcohol, everything you want from a festival. We started off having a quick gander around the site, which was huge and marvelled at the Lovell Telecope, I was amazed at how huge it is.

As the weather was beating down we went to and from the Lovell Stage, after nabbing a picnic bench and adorning it with a picnic and a few beverages.

What an absolutely glorious day., the music was sensational Post War Glamour Girls, Toothless, Boxed In, Shura and Goldfrapp topped off with Orbital.

Post War Glamour Girls, the Leeds quartet were the first act we saw, this band has seen a meteoric rise to fame gracing many a main stage. A 30 min set which was a whirlwind and a breath of fresh air to listen to.

Toothless, this is Bombay Bicycle Club’s Ed Nash’s band, and mighty fine they were too. Only a swift 30 minute set, it’s his own project in his own right as Bombay are taking a little hiatus. Featuring tracks from their debut album ‘The Pace of the Passing By’, which is only seven months old, it’s an absolute breath of fresh air.

Boxed In is the alias for British singer, songwriter and record producer Oli Bayston. The name for the band was inspired by Francis Bacon's infamous painting Head VI, once described as "the operation through which the entire body escapes through the mouth". Compared to Hot Chip & LCD Soundsystem, which is very fitting indeed. This guy’s been around for years and has quite a few supporters including Huw Stephens from Radio One and Lauren Laverne from BBC Radio 6 Music. Two albums in the bag and I would have to agree with the electronic comparisons above, this guy definitely has a pedigree.

A definite surprise of the day for me was Shura, an English singer/songwriter and producer, who has apparently worked in the Amazon rainforest, which is where she learnt her craft. She has a publishing deal with Universal Music, which is no mean feat for someone so young, and is so mind blowingly talented I couldn’t keep my eyes off her whilst she did her set. Her Debut Album, Nothings Real’, was released quite a while ago, but this didn’t stop the music sounding fresh and vibrant.

Goldfrapp – well what can you say about this band, I have been a longtime admirer of Goldfrapp, formed in 1999, with seven studio albums to their credit and latest addition to that list 'Silver Eye', which was released in March this year, is in my opinion a masterpiece. I seriously cannot stop listening to it, I think it surpasses everything else I’ve listened to previously Goldfrapp-wise, and I’m not dissing any of the old material here either.

Alison came on stage in what looked like a suit made out of Kitchen foil, all silver and dazzly, it was seriously epic for the occasion. An hours set wasn’t enough, I’d placed myself right on the barrier as I wasn’t gonna miss one minute of the set. They blew our socks off, I was totally in awe of still how good they are live, after all these years.

Hit after Hit after hit, including the epic ‘Black Cherry’, ‘Systemagic’, ‘Number 1’, and ‘Ooh La La’. It was well worth the 120 mile round trip to the festival.

Headliner on the Lovell stage was Orbital, innovators of dance music, strobe lighting galore.

This was a coup for Bluedot as Orbital split in 2014 and decided to get back together in February this year, tonight was only their third live show since getting back together.

With their trademark head torch glasses they gave a blistering set which featured an appearance from the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop with a dance version of the Doctor Who theme.

Highlight of the set included a sample from Belinda Carlisle’s ‘Heaven is a Place on Earth’ and ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’ by Bon Jovi intertwined into ‘Halcyon’.

This festival was made for Orbital and it topped off what was an absolutely amazing day with so many highlights.


review by: Michelle Owen-Williams

photos by: Michelle and Trish Owen-Williams

Friday 7th to Sunday 9th July 2017
Jodrell Bank Visitor Centre and Arboretum, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK119DL, England MAP
£159 for the weekend or £59 for any day
daily capacity: 5000
last updated: Mon 17th Jul 2017


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