With a line-up for the most discerning of modern music lovers – with headliners New Order, Kraftwerk, Hot Chip – bluedot’s fourth year of festivities under the iconic Lovell Telescope is embracing its usual challenging list of artists and speakers. Plus the latest announcement from Cheshire’s Jodrell Bank observatory is a right-on-it sustainability programme that will feature Extinction Rebellion and WWF.
This year bluedot, from 19 to 21 July, sees a trio of headliners that will be just irresistible for any electronic music fan with New Order and Hot Chip joining Sunday’s performance by Kraftwerk. What more to say? Just down the road from Manchester city centre, the New Order homecoming festival performance on the Saturday night is enough to draw the crowds all by itself. But then you say Hot Chip with the tantalising promise of brand new material on Friday. And Kraftwerk! Oh my! I think this is the headline pick of the festival season in my book anyway.
But back to the newly announced sustainability programme. The headline here will be women’s rights activist and writer Helen Pankhurst, alongside Tom Shakespeare and a representative from Extinction Rebellion on the panel talk ‘Protest for Change: Direct Action and Society’ exploring the effectiveness of direct action, from suffragettes to the recent high profile London protests. WWF will be onsite presenting screenings and In Conversation talks with the creators of the Blue Planet series, and TV Presenter Liz Bonnin will explore the problem of marine plastic pollution with lecturer Tamsin Edwards will cover the story of climate science.
To make your own contribution to saving the planet, you can keep down your carbon footprint by taking a canal side ride from Manchester to Jodrell Bank with Red Cycling, whilst earning yourself a VIP ticket upgrade and hot showers all weekend. There will be no single use plastic across the site, and bottles and wristbands will be bamboo and recycled plastic. Festival goers can also choose to make a ‘Carbon Offset’ donation when they purchase their tickets with bluedot investing 100% of this in renewable energy with Energy Revolution, a festival industry collaborative charity. Great stuff.
Elsewhere on the line-up is electronic pioneer Jon Hopkins, Mercury nominated poet, playwright and rapper Kate Tempest, alt-electro storyteller John Grant, Welsh psych wizard Gruff Rhys, Grammy nominated producer Jennifer Lee aka TOKIMONSTA and art-rocker Anna Calvi.
Following the successes of their 2018 world tour MOBO award-winning four-piece, Sons of Kemet, promise a kinetic, earth-shaking performance and are guaranteed to be a festival highlight. Geek-chic superstar and national treasure Jarvis Cocker is a welcome addition to the festival with a rare live set of new material and hits from his famous back catalogue.
Derrick Carter’s Cosmic Disco will provide a sublime mix of futuristic tribal house and tech-disco, hosted by La Discotèque. Plus there’s a don’t miss DJ set from actor and activist Maxine Peake.
We’re particularly looking forward to the appearance of first all-female West African supergroup – Les Amazones d’Afrique – featuring Mariam Doumbia of Amadou and Mariam and Angelique Kidjo, techno-dabke from Bjork & Caribou collaborator Omar Souleyman.
There will also be late night parties with Attenborough Jungle Boogie featuring visuals and audio samples from the beloved biologist, the Tarantino Disco cutting-up classic soundtracks from the legendary director’s movies, Manchester DJ and producer Willow and sets from award-winning DJ Ralph Lawson, both hosted by Inner City Electronic, plus Daniel Miller DJ Sets and Fleetmac Wood, an AV rave mash-up of hits from the legendary band.
One of the highlights at bluedot is always exploring the hidden areas of the site. This year, we’re going to be looking for Squid Soup’s ‘Submergence’. It’s an immersive walkthrough installation using thousands of points of suspended light to create feelings of presence and movement within physical space. Sounds gorgeous.
Can’t wait for July. Nuff said.