SELECT artists.* FROM artists WHERE 1=1 AND artists.artistID IN (123511652,123544972,947631,123501984) GROUP BY artists.artistID ORDER BY artists.name LIMIT 10 OFFSET 0

15 of the best photos from Bluedot Festival 2019 - review

15 of the best photos from Bluedot Festival 2019 - review

Kraftwerk, New Order and interstellar travel: this cosmic Cheshire gathering continues to offer up a festival experience like no other.

Henry Lewis

Last updated: 23rd Jul 2019.
Originally published: 22nd Jul 2019

Following a perfectly lovely Thursday evening of orchestral music and sunshine beneath the recently UNESCO-listed Lovell Telescope, things took a turn for the biblically wet at Bluedot Festival 2019. So much so, in some corners of Jodrell Bank Observatory, there were hushed mumbles of cancellations.

But organisers were having none of it. What is a bit of convective precipitation to a festival which deals in matters such as interstellar travel, super massive black holes and legendary musical acts.

So, spare a few ditched cars and a bunch of sodden sleeping bags, on the festival soared, doing what it does best: fusing science, music, arts, kids stuff and allowing dad, if just for one day, to slip on those silver leggings.

Thursday

The Halle Orchestra takes the crowds at Bluedot on an interstellar ride, performing reworks of some the most recognisable sci-fi themes from film and TV

BD2019-Thurs-Halle-Scott-Salt-HR-15

Crowds gather around one of the many impressive art installations scattered across the festival site

BD2019-Thurs-Atmos-July2019-Jody-Hartley-Hi-Res-20

Afternoons at Bluedot are typically spent strolling around the famous telescope, taking in talks from the likes of Helen Sharman (Britain's first astronaut), discovering what space smells like, and catching the odd comedy set, while evenings are spent hoping between stages, tents, bars and, inevitably, the khazi.

Friday saw Hot Chip fill the main stage headline slot for what had to be one of the highlights of the weekend. With pulsating rhythms, spectacular lasers and a few radio bangers, the festival had official landed.

Friday

Ibibio Sound Machine put on a flamboyant show on the main stage

 BD19-Friday-Lovell-Stage-Ibibio-Sound-Machine-Lucas-Sinclair-highres

Singer/songwriter/poet Kate Tempest preaches to the masses at Bluedot

BD2019-Fri-Kate-Tempest-GH-Hi-Res-1

An astronomical night parade marches around the festival

BD2019-Fri-Night-Walkabout-GH-Hi-Res-1

Hot Chip frontman Alexis Taylor improvises with a beer can during their headline set on Friday evening

BD2019-Fri-Lovell-Hot-Chip-Scott-Salt-HR-2

Hot Chip's laser show wows beneath the huge Lovell telescope 

BD2019-Fri-Lovell-Hot-Chip-Scott-Salt-HR-12

On Saturday we spent a good deal of the day with 'Dr Spin' at the Deep Space Disco, before being charmed by Syrian-wedding-singer-turned-global-music-star Omar Souleyman, whose thumping Arabian beats and rhymes seemed to take the sunny Saturday afternoon audience unawares. We liked him a lot.

Later in the day, crowds flooded to the main stage for Jarvis Cocker (who unveiled new solo project: JARV IS) and the act everybody wanted to see: Kraftwerk...in 3D. On paper, the pretty much motionless German sixty-to-seventy-somethings standing in a row behind their blank synth workstations should be the most boring on the bill. Yet, giving their only UK show of the year, the electronic music pioneers, although lacking in presence, are absolutely flawless in delivery. And who needs presence when you've got a massive 3D show going on behind you...

Saturday

Circus Zambia performers captivate audiences at the festival

 BD2019-Saturday-Circus-Zambia-Lucas-Sinclair-highres-8

Henge put on an out-of-this-world performance

BD2019-Saturday-Lovell-Henge-Lucas-Sinclair-highhres-1

Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker introduces JARV IS to the crowd

BD2019-Lovell-Jarvis-Cocker-PW-Hi-Res-5-of-9

Legendary electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk mesmerise crowds with their 3D show

BD2019-Sat-Kraftwerk-GH-Hi-Res-2

If Saturday belonged to Kraftwerk, Sunday was all about New Order. Another legendary headline act with timeless tunes and big visuals, their setlist rolled out the hits, dipped into their most recent album, ‘Music Complete’, and worked in songs from the early days of Joy Division.

Another successful year then for Bluedot, which continues to redefine the festival experience, offering up a cosmic weekend quite unlike anything else out there... at least on this planet.

Sunday

John Grant falls into a trance-like state during his set

BD2019-Sun-John-Grant-Jody-Hartley-Hi-Res-3

La Discotheque fills the Orbit stage with glitter and joy on Sunday evening

BD2019-Sun-Lediscotheque-George-Harrison-Hi-Res-18

Anna Calvi bewitches the crowds at Bluedot with an intense performance 

BD2019-Sun-Lovell-Anna-Calvi-Scott-Salt-HR-4

UK rock legends New Order headline the Lovell stage on the final night of the festival

BD2019-Sun-New-Order-Jody-Hartley-Hi-Res-12

 

Words: Grace Price-Salisbury/David Blake

Image credits: Lucas Sinclair, George Harrison, Scott Salt, Jody Hartley

Festivals 2019