There’s only a few days to go until the return to Jodrell Bank, and here’s what we think you should know before you go.
Hopefully, you’re as excited for Bluedot as we are this year, with the likes of Björk, Metronomy, Groove Armada and Mogwai taking headline slots over the weekend, but we thought that we’d give some thoughts and tips to making the weekend the best it could be.
Firstly, we’ll start with your camping. Depending on if you’re able to get the day-off work, or willing to spend the extra, the Thursday upgrade (cracking around £30) is a good option.
You’re able to arrive earlier than the festival start, set-up your tent with limited people around, possibly finding a better spot than usual.
Previously, The Halle Orchestra performed on Thursday, however with their set on Sunday behind Björk, that won’t be happening.
Wonderfully, the collaborative effort between Hannah Peel and the Paraorchestra, preforming their upcoming album The Unfolding, will headline.
Picking your spot is important, if you’ve got any accomodation add-on, you won’t have to worry, but for the majority, you’re thinking about where to place your flag at Bluedot.
Bluedot has two areas for General Camping, one a tad closer to The Outer Space area and another moving towards the Space Pavilion.
The latter, for us, is the better of the two. Sure, you’ll get some foot traffic (as you will everywhere), but there’s nothing like being that close to the Lovell Telescope at night.
Either side of the General Camping area, we’ve got the Accessibility section (if you haven’t been accredited for that, it’s a no-go) and the other side has the Late Night Camping, for all you party people.
If you’re expecting to be up all-night, having yourself a fun-time, that’s the best place to be. Away from that, past the pre-purchase Tangerine Fields, sits the Quiet Camping and the Family Camping areas, if you want something more tranquil.
Be careful with which area you’re pitching your stake in, think about what you want.
We’re not going to list out essentials for you to bring, because you know what you need (especially suncream, and water), however if you do miss items out, Bluedot offers the “General Store”, which is situated in the Campsite Hub, alongside lockers and mobile phone charging station, which you can pre-purchase here!
Lovingly, Bluedot has again teamed with United Utilities for their special water bottles. The brilliant metal bottles can be refilled at stations, and you can order up to four right here. I’ve still got previous bottles, if you want a note on how good they are.
New for this year, Lush will be hosting their own area, with a shampoo bar and insightful talks, as they say. You can find that here.
Overall, Bluedot holds three stages for music (sans the Deep Space Disco), with the awe-inspiring Lovell Stage as the centrepiece.
Coming from the camping area each day, you’ll be from the Space Pavilion point, most likely.
Firstly, you’ll find the auxiliary stages and tents, where talks, podcasts and family friendly events are mostly found. The Notes tent will be the home of Tim Burgess‘ iconic Tim’s Listening Parties, which we couldn’t recommend more.
Meanwhile, the likes of the Space Pavilion, Big Bang Stage, and Mission Control will feature talks, showing of films, and stuff like the brilliant Pop-Up Puppet Cinema.
The Acts You Can’t Miss
Afterall, Bluedot is a music festival with a wonderfully unique space theme. Arguably, the recent years have featured more electric line-ups, but nothing to fault with the selection this year.
Let’s start with Friday, logically. The Lovell Stage will be home to our first acts of the weekend. Katy J Pearson, Tim Burgess and Los Bitchos all start-off early on the main stage. After that, a trip to Orbit is suggested for The Goa Express, and Jane Weaver.
Nebula Stage will also see Nabihah Iqbal teaming with quantum physicist Libby Heaney, as the two plan to show us an immersive set dedicated to real and artificial water-scapes.
If you’re looking for the “next things”, the incomparable NoSo, South London songwriter Donalee, the experimentalists Mandy, Indiana and Goya Gumbani are strong additions to the recommended list.
The recommendation for the evening would be to ditch the Lovell Stage for the headline set, as we couldn’t suggest Orbit more. The duo-sets of Kelly Lee Owens, and Spiritualized are ones not to be missed.
Taking to Saturday, you’ve got the Brainiac Live opening the Lovell Stage at noon, however we’d suggest Nebula to find FLUFF founder and self-proclaimed “gremlin who makes music” Norrisette. Likewise, the art-pop ace Elisabeth Elektra plays Orbit not long after.
Incideinery trio Hey Bulldog, Ethan P. Flynn, and the stunning Alewya are all acts to find throughout the early afternoon.
Coming into the evening, some vital voices of this generation (and next) pop around some of the stages, such as the barbed Porridge Radio, Yard Act and Working Men’s Club, who all follow one another at Orbit.
Opposite those on the Lovell Stage, will be the co-headliners for the middle night, as long-time electropop favourites Metronomy will bring their sound to a main stage, something that we’ve seen them conquer before.
They’ve set the stage for the noisy Scottish heroes Mogwai, who aren’t strangers to the loveable boutique festival scene.
Immediately after Mogwai smash the Lovell Stage, there’s two options elsewhere. The forward -thinking electronic legend Squarepusher will take stage at Orbit, likewise the Manchester-born electronic icon A Guy Called Gerald will finish things in the Deep Space Disco.
Finally Sunday, the closing day of the festival doesn’t really let-up. The highlights mostly are Sea Power, a late additional special guest, starting the Lovell Stage at noon.
Meanwhile, we’d highly recommend the collaborative performance between Bluedot favourites the Radiophonic Workshop team with Merseyside heroes Stealing Sheep to preform their crafted score to the 1973 animated sci-fi classic Le Planet Savauge. It’s a festival exclusive, so it’s definitely not one to miss.
The deep-spacers HENGE take to the Lovell Stage, which is always a treat. A Certain Ratio, the filthy Warmduscher are also highlights on the Lovell Stage, capped off by the strongly anticipated headline appearance by Björk, with the Halle Orchestra.
Elsewhere, our recommendations lie with the vivid Colombian synthpop artist Lido Pimienta, Oumou Sangarè, the vibrantly brilliant DJ HAAi are all in the Orbit tent.
Over at the Nebula Stage, there’s a lot to lookout for too, such as our friends VIDE0 who are always fun, the soaring Foxtrap, and the back-to-back sets from wonders Peaness, and finally, Manchester favourites W.H. Lung.
The best thing about Bluedot‘s music line-up, especially in 2022, is the diversity between musical styles, and gender. It’s something that, sure a lot of boutique festivals do well, but it’s wonderful to see.
If you’re heading to Bluedot, remember to follow This_is_SFN on socials for our coverage, and on-the-spot information.
You can also find our SFN Guide to Bluedot playlist, with the acts recommended above, right here: