Bluedot 2016

Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th July 2016
Jodrell Bank Visitor Centre and Arboretum, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK119DL, England MAP
£129 for the weekend
daily capacity: 5000
last updated: Mon 17th Jul 2017

around the festival site

Taking place from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th July 2016 at Jodrell Bank, the Cheshire observatory at the cutting edge of humanity’s quest for knowledge, Bluedot is a brand new three-day festival of discovery that promises to fuse a complex mix of artists, speakers, scientists and performers into an event unlike any on earth, all in the shadow of the towering Lovell telescope.


Jean Michel Jarre, Underworld, and Caribou, headline plus Air, Krysko, Marc Riley, Lanterns on the Lake + Royal Northern Sinfonia, Everything Everything, Public Service Broadcasting, Mercury Rev, Steve Mason, 65daysofstatic, and British Sea Power, Moon Duo, Beyond The Wizards Sleeve, Ben UFO, DJ Yoda, Gwenno, Lonelady, Stealing Sheep, Dutch Uncles, 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, and Body Clocks.

Latest additions Beth Orton, The Membranes, NZCA Lines, iLiKETRAiNS, snooker player turned DJ Steve Davis, Unabombers playing a special cosmic one-off as the Lunabombers, Cheeba, Space Cassette ft Henge, Age Of Glass, Paddy Steer, Algorave, Bernard & Edith, Pumarosa, The Big Moon, Olivier Heim, Mother, Actor, Cabbage, Worriedaboutsatan, The Spills, Mi Mye, Blair Dunlop, Cambio Sun, Sam Brookes, Steve Parker, Musaic, The Lion and The Wolf, and Alter Hanglands.

Plus a performance of Be play One a collaboration between an artist, a scientist, half of Spiritualized and 40,000 real life bees.


Helen Keen and her 'It Is Rocket Science' stand-up show, Helen Arney and Steve Mould from 'Festival of the Spoken Nerd', Dr. Steve Cross' cabaret 'Science Showoff', James Veitch's 'Dot Con' show that charts his correspondence with a host email scammers and con artists, live & interactive comedy game show 'Wifi Wars' (take a charged smartphone!) and 'Foxdog Studios' surreal and interactive show. Robin Ince, Tiernan Douieb, and Adam Kay will also be bringing the cosmic comedy. Plus previously confirmed was Radio 4's The Infinite Monkey Cage with Prof. Brian Cox and Robin Ince will be recording an episode at the festival.


The science line-up includes more than 150 experts and academics on site across the weekend debating and illuminating some of the most important and fascinating topics in their fields.These include TV presenter Dallas Campbell, Danielle George the Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering at the University of Manchester, Professor Monica Grady, Dr Matt Taylor project scientist for the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft, ESA’s Professor Mark McCaughrean, Professor Stuart Reid of the University of the West of Scotland, BBC Sky at Night presenter Pete Lawrence, and of course Professor Tim O’Brien the Associate Director of Jodrell Bank.

FutureFest – devised by Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation – has curated the Mission Control stage on Friday night with a host high profile figures discussing the future including Fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies Professor Andy Miah, co-founder and Creative Director of body>data>space Ghislaine Boddington, head of futures research at Nesta Jessica Bland, journalist, reporter and author, Kate Russell and anthropologist Lydia Nicholas..

There will be a chance to discover a world of wonder and discuss the latest discoveries with our very own festival scientists in the interactive, intergalactic Star Field, featuring tents and stalls packed with displays from Plants That Bite Back to the Carrot Clarinet..

For family festival goers there's the Star Field which also features a host of specially designed science shows for the young and young at heart – a dazzling array of surprising tricks, giant bubbles, science superheroes and weird brain illusions, with loads of chances to join in.

The EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) will curate its own mini-series of talks and performances at bluedot including The National Graphene Institute’s composer in residence Sarah Lowes who will discuss the making of the Graphene Suite, a six movement piece mixing different musical styles and nuances as well as perform a number of extracts with orchestral accompaniment; Professor Phil Diamond the director of the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope exploring the first stars and galaxies; Mark Abrahams the founder and Master of Ceremonies of the Ig Nobel Prize who will do dramatic readings from bizarre-seeming scientific studies with help from friends; and Anita Howard from Twinkle Space Mission talking about how we democratise the space race.

ESOF will also present CERN’s incredible Cosmic Piano, an electronic instrument devised by particle physicists based at the Large Hadron Collider. When a cosmic ray passes through one of four separate detector pads of the Cosmic Piano, it triggers a musical note and a colourful flash of light. The rays arrive in random intervals, and once they’re combined with modern jazz notes some very interesting polyrhythmic jazz is created.


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Weekend camping tickets are priced at £129, weekend camping for youth aged 11-15 years are priced at £69, weekend camping for child aged 6-10 years are priced at £19, weekend camping for child aged 5 years and under are priced at £10. Live in vehicle is priced at £69, a weekend car park ticket is £20. Adult Friday day ticket £35, Adult Saturday day ticket £49, Adult Sunday day ticket £49, and any day child aged 6-15 years are priced at £25, and dasy tickets for child aged 5 years and under are free. A one day car park ticket is £10.

More info

A full science and culture programme will be announced in the coming weeks but attendees can expect an incredible array of talent from across the scientific, literary and arts communities with five distinct arenas featuring space orchestras, talks, screenings of films, lectures, comedy and debates and a vast spectrum of hands-on activities including the Luminarium, art installations, robot workshops, a planetarium, the Galaxy Garden, pulsar hunting, graphene making classes and much more.

Families will also be well catered for at bluedot with a fun-filled line-up of contemporary and classic entertainment. TV show The Clangers will be treating audiences to swanee whistles, storytelling, guest appearances and a few surprises…

Bluedot will also present a brand new artwork by Brian Eno, designed specifically for Jodrell Bank. The unique projection piece will be displayed across the Lovell Telescope which for the duration of the festival will be in the zenith position.

Additionally the Contact Stage, will be home to science and space-related authors and presenters. These include 'First Light' a celebration of sci-fi author Alan Garner. Hosted by Erica Wagner, editor of 'First Light', a new anthology celebrating Garner's work, and the Stone Books author will be making an extremely rare appearance at Bluedot, to sign books. Andrew Smith, author of 'Moondust: in Search of Men Who Fell to Earth', will be talking about his experience of tracking down every astronaut who walked on moon between 1969 and 1972, and how if effected them. Andrew will also be talking about meeting the people who have signed up for a one-way ticket to Mars, as part of the Mars One project.

The Charlatans front man Tim Burgess talking about his new book with BBC 6 Music’s Shaun Keaveny. Shaun will also be appearing on the comedy stage performing a stand-up set. Stephen Morris from New Order will also be in conversation. Director Kieran Evans will be talking with Erol Alkan and Richard Norris from Beyond The Wizards Sleeve about 'And So The Sleep', their collection of short films they have made to accompany their album 'The Soft Bounce', before an exclusive screening of the films.

The Science Garden will be home to a performance of 'Urban Astronaut' a new direction in physical theatre providing a glimpse of a future that might be...where problems surrounding air pollution have grown to a crisis point, is there any way back? Combining stunning design and a unique travelling flying machine with simple storytelling and a moving dance performance that appeals to all ages, Urban Astronaut searches for a solution to the environmental disaster that is present in our near future.

The festival will also host 'Hello Moon Can you Hear Me?' an audio-visual exploration of the universe featuring signals from spacecraft at the dawn of the space age, the death throes of an exploding star and the sounds which flooded through the universe after the Big Bang. Music producers Jim Spencer and David Tolan have been working with astrophysicist Tim O'Brien to remix sounds from space creating a unique record released on the O Genesis label. The title 'Hello Moon' echoes the recording of a voice bounced off the Moon made more than 50 years ago right here at Jodrell Bank.

Gourmets can also expect to find the 'Restaurant at The End of The Universe' where chef Aiden Byrne has created a stratospheric seven-course menu especially for the event, which takes diners on a space odyssey, navigating an entire cosmos of experimental tastes. Inspired by intergalactic travel and exploration, the chef has taken his cues from astronomy, the cosmos and futurism, with rehydrated and freeze-dried meals normally found on manned missions being replaced by gourmet courses that celebrate space exploration and science. Tickets are strictly limited to 400, are on sale now and expected to sell out fast.


A nod to Carl Sagan’s pale blue dot, the festival will celebrate our planet in the vast cosmos, showcasing humanity’s creative achievements in arts, science, technology and the exploration of space. Bluedot is supported by the UK Space Agency and the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF), Europe’s largest interdisciplinary science meeting taking place for the first time in Manchester 23-27 July 2016.


For those wishing to enjoy the three-day festival, a diverse mix of culinary options will be on offer along with standard and luxury camping options.

More information will be here when available.

Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th July 2016
Jodrell Bank Visitor Centre and Arboretum, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK119DL, England MAP
£129 for the weekend
daily capacity: 5000
last updated: Mon 17th Jul 2017

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