Curated to be something different, Bluedot Festival is anything but routine.
With the majority of new festivals following formula and convention, and being anything but orthodox, Bluedot has broken the mould and purposely curated a festival like no other in the UK - amalgamating science, art and music in all into one incredible event.
Bluedot Festival 2018
Imagine astrophysics and electronica, cosmology and hip hop, theoretical physics and soul, quantum mechanics and the Chemical Brothers. All are subjects which you'd probably never see conjoined in a sentence, let alone at a festival.
Even the location itself is unique; it's fitting and visually stunning, being held at the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire - which has the third largest radio telescope in the world, The Lovell telescope, used as the backdrop to the festival's main stage.
Most contemporary festivals do follow formula, and whilst most music festivals continue to thrive, with more and more seemingly popping up each year especially city-day festivals, there is unequivocally room for the creative and forward thinkers.
Bluedot, named after the famous Blue Dot photo taken from Voyager 1 space probe in 1990, which was given its title by the philosopher/astronomer Carl Sagan, is now in its third year. Since its nascent, the festival has been winning awards, and also getting a name for itself for being brilliantly unique, combining music, science, art, culture and the exploration of the universe.
With fun for all ages too, punters can choose between the likes of music, lectures, panels, comedy sets, movies, experimental science, stargazing, or maybe even some lightsabre duals. Here are the best things to keep an eye out for over the three-day weekend.
Chemical Brothers (LIVE) - Sunday night
Undoubtedly the biggest draw on the festival bill, the electronic pioneers will appear at Jodrell Bank for the first time, and what could sound more exciting than a Chemical Brothers Live show, with all their lighting and theatre, in front of the space observatory? Known for their outstanding live performances, Tom and Ed's 2018 show is meant to be more mind-bending than ever before, and with the theme to the festival weekend, this just seems like a match made in heaven. Expect to hear all the hits including 'Hey Boy, Hey Girl', 'Star Guitar', 'Saturate' and 'Block Rockin Beats'.
Blue Planet 2 with the Halle Orchestra - Thursday Night
With Thursday being an optional extra for the first time this year, the draw of watching the BBC's award-winning awe-inspiring documentary with a live orchestra might be the thing that pulls you in a day early. Being shown on the main stage in front of the Lovell Telescope in glorious HD, with Manchester's greatest orchestra, this might just be the most perfect and blissful way to begin this unique festival.
Future Islands - Saturday
Highly synthesised pop and electronica, with connotations of space running through many of their song, seems to fit the concept of Bluedot perfectly. With many space-age noises being produced by the American band, expect to see their greatest hits from their five studio albums, with their last album 'The Far Fields' taking precedent after being so warmly received when they released it back in 2016. After selling out their last UK tour, expect a great show.
Richard Dawkins - Saturday
Best known for his world-wide best-selling book 'The God Delusion', which has sold over 3 million copies and enters most best-selling top 10s around the world, Richard Dawkins has become the face of atheism, whether he likes it or not. Naturally being challenged when he tours the world, Dawkins is an Oxford professor whose erudite teachings frequently embarrass those less knowledgeable than he. Being a champion of science, exploration and Darwinism, expect this to be fantastic talk - just hope for their sake there are no creationists on site.
Jim Al-Khalili - Saturday
If the name doesn't resonate with you, his face might, as over the years Jim Al-Khalili has become the face of quantum mechanics for the BBC. To be fair, if anything in the UK mentions quantum mechanics, you will find him somewhere involved. Having spent most of his adult life studying the world of the very, very, very small, this will be a wonderful insight into the world of the bizarre and almost unbelievable field of quantum mechanics.
Tim O'Brien - All Weekend
Stepping into Jodrell Bank Observatory is like stepping into Tim O'Brien's back garden, as he is a Professor of Astrophysics and an Associate Director of Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at The University of Manchester. All weekend he will be giving lectures about his research into the unimaginable world of the very, very large, looking at White Dwarves, binary Systems and Black Holes. On Friday evening, he will even be doing a Dot Talk with Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne, who will be headlining the Friday night too.
Elsewhere over the weekend, there is so much more music from the likes of Giles Peterson, Public Service Broadcasting, a special set from Craig Charles dubbed 'Craig Charles Space Funk Odyssey' and even a tribute to Daft Punk, called Human After All.
With many more fantastic Dot Talks over the weekend, head to discoverthebluedot.com for a more comprehensive look at the line-up.
The Blue Dot festival takes place from the 19th-22nd July.
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