Bluedot reveals full programme for 2023

Posted on 4 July 2023
By Khyle Deen
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bluedot (20 – 23 July) – the award-winning festival that fuses music, science and cosmic culture has unveiled the full line-up for the 6th instalment of the UK’s most intergalactic festival taking place at Cheshire’s iconic Jodrell Bank Observatory. 

bluedot will host an incredible billing of Lovell Stage headliners that will take centre stage under the shadow of the mighty Lovell Telescope. Max Richter will open the show in the coveted Thursday evening slot accompanied by The BBC Concert Orchestra performing Richter’s VOICES and Recomposed.

Friday evening will see electropop queen Roisin Murphy get the party started in her first-ever festival headline show and lo-fi pioneers Pavement headline Saturday at bluedot with their only UK performance for 2023. Iconic Grace Jones will close the festival on Sunday with her only northern show of the summer. Additional music highlights across the weekend include Django Django, Black Country, New Road, Dry Cleaning, Tinariwen, Sorry, CMAT, Nubya Garcia, Henge, Pictish Trail, The Go! Team, and Mercury Prize winning Young Fathers.

bluedot will host a special late night electronic music line up of international electronic artists, parties and A/V installations. Multiple Mercury Prize nominees Leftfield headline Friday’s late night at bluedot whilst David Holmes will perform a genre-spanning DJ set. Electronic pioneers 2manydjs close Saturday’s late night in the Orbit arena and the weekend will culminate with Max Cooper soundtracking an ambient AV art piece projected on the surface of the Lovell Telescope, following an immersive 3D/AV headline show in the Orbit arena.

Legendary ex-Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac will wrap up this year’s electronic music programme as she headlines the Sunday night Closing Party, with additional late night highlights across the weekend including Elkka, Erol Alkan and Future Utopia.

Expanding festival goer’s minds for the festival’s 6th year, bluedot’s science programme will feature headline talks from BBC Sky At Night’s Chris Lintott and Maggie Aderin-Pocock; representatives from the UK Space Agency, NASA collaborators Hassell Studio, the Square Kilometre Array Observatory, and Jodrell Bank and the Open University’s Monica Grady. Specialist talk topics and science highlights will feature deep dives into the Northern Lights, solar flares, pulsars and the Big Bang plus a look at the world’s largest particle collider with Collision: Stories From The Science of CERN, a talk from the British Antarctic Survey and many more.

In a celebratory nod to Dr Who’s 60th anniversary, bluedot will feature a unique weekend of Whovian programming, including a brand new live show Dawn of the Doctors from the Radiophonic Workshop, and a series of talks and panels curated by writer actor and Doctor Who expert Toby Hadoke and Delia Derbyshire Day, including a conversation on life as a Whovian – Anticipointment, with Radio 4’s Robin Ince and Why Do We Love This Silly Programme So Much with Dr Tom Attah, from Leeds Arts University, Jodrell Bank astrophysicist Dr Emma Alexander, and comedian and Doctor Who actor Bethany Black.

bluedot’s comedy and culture line-ups include two-time Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Nish Kumar, a screening and in-conversation with Moonage Daydream creator Brett Morgen, an afternoon with White Rabbit Books featuring talks with Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite, 90’s icon Miki Berenyi and Lias Saoudi of the Fat White Family, and a David Bowie special edition of Adam Buxton’s classic Bug! comedy show.
bluedot’s family line up will welcome the outrageously fun Brainiac Live where fearless scientists will conduct the experiments kids were never allowed to do at home live on stage. Kidocracy makes its bluedot debut, with a hilarious and thought-provoking interactive theatre show explaining politics to kids. Daytime raves include Our Kids Social and the return of Big Fish Little Fish’s Cosmic Disco, a mighty family rave mashup of club classics. Kids can expect to learn the ways of the force and channel their inner Jedi for the day with Jedi Lightsaber Training and the Pop-Up Puppet Cinema will condense classic movies including Back To The Future into punchy live puppets shows to comedic effect in its first ever bluedot appearance. Not to be missed, Actual Reality Arcade game zone will bring classic life-sized interactive games to the festival for a slice of retro and nostalgic fun!

After dark, the extraordinary Outer Space immersive arts village comes to life, with installations and experiences created by the likes of Opera North and Liverpool’s The Kazimier showcasing awe-inspiring moments of light, dance and performance. And after headline performances on the main Lovell Stage each night, the 76-metre Lovell Telescope will become an incredible, world-first arts installation as bespoke-curated visuals, including collaborations with Max Cooper’s MESH collective, are projected on the surface of the iconic dish.

For the second year in a row the VIP Village will be curated by Manchester based food charity Eat Well Manchester, raising money for those in poverty in Greater Manchester with exclusive culinary offerings by some of the very best restaurants in the region including Dishoom, Caroline Martins, Where the Light Gets In and Another Hand.

Festival founder Ben Robinson said of this year’s festival: “This year’s bluedot is our most ambitious yet, with new immersive experiences taking the bluedot atmosphere to a whole new level. After being named Festival of the Year and Line-Up of the Year last year, we wanted to go even further and we’re over the moon to be just a matter of weeks away from one of our most expansive programmes of music, science arts and culture to date, chock full with amazing moments. We can’t wait for you to come and experience a glorious weekend of cosmic culture this July.”

Bluedot 2023’s theme, Space Carnival, will come to life throughout the weekend with a brand new costume making station – Craft Punks – and a daytime parade featuring schoolchildren from across the region weaving through the festival on Saturday 22 July, in association with Arts Council England.

Final day and weekend tickets for bluedot 2023 are available now: