bluedot hits Jodrell Bank next week
Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the lunar landings, the festival of music, science and cosmic culture takes place in the shadow of Lovell telescope – which captured the first images of Apollo 11 touching down on the moon.
The site, at Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site this week in recognition of its history of astronomical research and discovery.
It makes a breathtaking backdrop for the festival, which evolved from The Transmissions, a series of gigs staged under the telescope in 2011.
“Being able to programme such a unique festival in not only one of the most stunning and unique settings in the UK but also a location that has been pioneering science and world leading research of such historical importance, has been a real honour,” says festival director Ben Robinson.
“It’s no question that the location has been one of the pinnacles of the festival’s success and we are delighted to call it home.”
Now in its fourth year, the four-day festival returns from July 18th to 21st with another mind-expanding programme of music, talks, comedy and art installations.
Here’s everything you need to know if you’re going.
Bluedot 2019 line up
The festival opens on Thursday, July 18 with Manchester’s Halle Orchestra performing Lift-Off, a concert of sci fi classics set to specially-created visuals.
Friday, July 19 will be headlined by Hot Chip, joined by acts including Jon Hopkins, Kate Tempest, Ibibio Sound Machine and Les Amazones d’Afrique.
Kraftwerk headline the sold-out Saturday, July 20 with their 3D show, topping a bill that also includes Jarvis Cocker, 808 State, KOKOKO!, LIINES and Mama Racho.
New Order close the festival on Sunday, July 21 after a day of acts including Anna Calvi, GoGo Penguine, Gruff Rhys, John Grant, The Orielles and Sarah Yaseen.
We’ll have the full, stage-by-stage line up and set times soon so keep checking back here.
Bluedot 2019 tickets
Weekend tickets have sold out, but a limited number of day tickets were still on sale at the time of writing for the opening night on Thursday, July 18, featuring The Hallé Orchestra performing Lift-Off; Friday, July 19 featuring Hot Chip, Jon Hopkins, Helen Sharman and James Burke; and Sunday, July 21, featuring New Order, John Grant, Wallace & Gromit and more.
The festival site is fairly compact, with not too far to stroll from campsite to stage to bar.
The Lovell stage is the main stage, with its namesake telescope looming behind it and lit up by projections at night.
There’s also the Orbit stage, Nebula stage and Roots stage, where you’ll find smaller, up-and-coming acts performing.
Away from the music, you’ll find interactive science-based activities and talks at Mission Control, Contact stage, Big Bang stage, the Space Pavilion and the Star Pavilion.
You’ll also find areas for star-gazing, a beer festival tent and a wellness field with yoga and other replenishing activities.
You can download a PDF map of the festival site below.
How does the Bluedot Connect cashless payment system work?
The festival is going completely cashless this year – and won’t be accepting credit or debit cards either.
All traders, bars and merchandise stalls will be using the new BluedotConnect system, which is linked to festival-goers’ wristbands.
Ticket-holders will need to set up a cashless account online at discoverthebluedot.com/connect using their ticket barcode number, and then load it up with money.
On arrival at the festival, tickets will be exchanged for wristbands with the money already loaded on to them. Any credit left after the festival can be refunded until August 24, minus a £1 transaction fee.
Festival-goers who do not want to link their tickets to their wristbands can load funds on to them at top-up points dotted around the festival site instead (marked out on the map above).
Watch the video above for more information on how it works.
How to get to Jodrell Bank: parking and travel information
By train: There are no trams or railway stations very close to Jodrell Bank. The nearest train station is Goostrey, which is a 2.5 mile walk down country lanes, or Macclesfield, a 20 minute taxi journey away.
By coach: Coach services will be running to the festival site from Manchester city centre, Chorlton, Fallowfield, Stockport, Macclesfield and other locations around the country, priced from £24.50 return. Visit Tuned in Travel for more information.
By car: Car parking is available on site, priced at £22 for the weekend when booked in advance . It can also be bought on the day but will be more expensive.
The address to use in your sat-nav is Jodrell Bank Observatory, Bomish Lane, Cheshire, SK11 9DW (don’t use the Google listed postcode).
What time does Bluedot open and close?
It depends on what type of ticket you have. The car parks open at 12 noon on Thursday and those with weekend camping tickets can enter the festival site from then too.
Ticket-holders who are attending the Thursday night only can access the site from 5pm.
On Friday, the car park opens at 8am and gates to the festival site open at 9am for both weekend and day ticket holders.
On Saturday and Sunday the car parks are open 24 hours and gates to the festival site open at 9am for both weekend and day ticket holders.
The last entry to the festival site is at 9pm every day.
On Monday the car parks close at 1pm and festival-goers who have camped have until noon to exit the campsites.
For more information on the admissions policy and what you can and can’t bring in with you, visit the Bluedot website .