We’ve been to many types of festivals over the years; dance music, food, family, folk — as well as the grandaddy of them all, Glastonbury — but until a few weeks’ ago, we’d never been to a science festival.
Bluedot festival at Jodrell Bank is not just science though. I wrote a post about it back in March but — to be honest — until I’d experienced it myself, nothing quite prepared me for the sight of the main stage at Blue dot 2019 lit up and overshadowed by the iconic Lovell Telescope.
It was pretty spectacular.
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Our Bluedot Review for 2019.
The Sound of Bluedot Festival 2019
The music line up for Bluedot Festival 2019 looked pretty spectacular too.
Our favourites — Hot Chip — plus veterans Kraftwerk and New Order were headlining; plus a wealth of underlining bands and musicians.
The sound of rain on Dolly’s roof (and on the festival marquees) could also be heard at regular intervals too.
The weather leading up to Bluedot had been pretty mixed and the weekend itself suffered torrential downpours.
But just like Camp Bestival a couple of years ago, it never ceases to amaze me how stoic the British public are.
A little bit of rain certainly wasn’t enough to put anyone off; and we all donned our wellies and macs to watch the bands.
Hot Chip smashed it.
We’ve seen them play quite a few times and — if you’ve never seen them live — I urge you to go and seek them out.
Kraftwerk weren’t my bag at all. I was really looking forward to seeing them but, in hindsight, I really feel that a festival isn’t quite the right platform for their music.
Watching them do ‘Radioactivity’ (with the joyful lyrics) —
Chain reaction and mutation
Is in the air for you and meRadioactivity
— kind of flattened our mood somewhat.
That said, having seen the reaction on Twitter, I think I’m in the minority. Lots of people loved them — they just weren’t for me.
Thankfully, my overriding memory of Bluedot 2019 will be of the mighty New Order.
Hearing Blue Monday live is something that I’ll never forget; they sounded awesome.
Granted, Barney Sumner’s vocal wasn’t technically perfect (even in their hayday) but — at the age of 63 — the guy sounded no different to their album tracks. He was brilliant.
Seeing Bizarre Love Triangle and Temptation performed live was such a treat.
Yes, the rain was pelting down. Yes, it was muddy.
But did we care?
No; it was worth getting a bit soggy for.
Camping at Bluedot
As ever, we took Dolly with us to the festival, so we were camped in the live-in vehicle fields.
I’m not going to lie (it was tricky getting in and out) the field was really boggy. But the Bluedot team had rescue vehicles on standby; to drag motorhomes in — and out — of the field (if needed).
Given the weather, the tent areas looked fairly sensible. I’ve been to other festivals where the tents are surrounded by slurry but as the Bluedot team were putting down bark chippings to soak the worst of it up, the walkways between the tents still looked fairly grassy and unscathed.
Mud is an unfortunate reality of festivals but — to be honest — as long as you’re prepared, you’ll cope with it.
Everyone I spoke to said the weather/mud absolutely didn’t put them off.
There were mobile loos, fresh running water points plus the Meteor Showers at bluedot 2019. These featured hot showers, real flushing toilets and a pamper lounge with straighteners, salon quality hairdryers and make-up mirrors.
Personally, I don’t mind being feral for a few days.
Glitter covers a multitude of sins (eyebags and wrinkles) and my hair seems to suit the ‘hedge-pulled-backwards’ look; so I didn’t pay a visit to the Meteor showers.
But it was nice to know that they were there, if I fancied a little pampering.
Is blue dot festival child friendly?
I’ve had a few people ask me ‘Is blue dot festival child friendly? And to that I’d say yes!
There were so many things to entertain children of all ages. But where Bluedot really comes into it’s own is the wealth of science based activities on offer.
The boys did Jedi training, drove radio controlled buggies on the surface of the ‘Moon’ and ‘Mars’.
They learnt about magnetism, ecology and sustainability.
Saw a mass spectrometer in action — sounds very complicated — but the demo we were shown was the perfect way to get the attention of my little man-cubs!
We had to choose a fruit pastel (without showing anyone what flavour we’d picked) and chew it up — without swallowing!
Next, we blew into a tube and the mass spectrometer would cleverly calculate (from our breath) what colour sweet we’d chosen!! It was amazing — definitely a good way to get little (and big) children interested in science.
Food, Drink and a Cashless Payment System
Bluedot festival works on a cashless payment system; which basically means you add money to the chip on your festival tag, to then pay for all your food and drink. A bit like contactless payment on a credit card.
It worked really well on the whole — there were a couple of glitches but nothing major— and it was brilliant to not have to worry about carrying cards or cash around.
There were loads of great food vendors onsite; we could take our pick from Greek, Indian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese…. the list went on.
My fave was the chicken Katsu curry.
There were also loads of great bars; special mention to the team at Russian Standard, who made the best Bloody Marys we’ve ever had!
So what were the stand-out moments of Bluedot 2019, for us?
Definitely spending time with our friends The Mini Travellers. Festivals are always much more fun with friends.
We loved seeing Titan the Robot; he was hilarious. I’m so happy we happened to stumble across his show.
We didn’t know he was there and just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
We loved seeing all the Star Wars characters wandering around too, courtesy of 99th Garrison.
Bertie’s face when he met his hero — Kylo Ren — was a picture.
We loved wandering around the site, taking part in the science experiments and listening to the talks.
Bluedot had a wealth of activities on offer — perfect for little people and adults alike.
So Would We Recommend Bluedot?
In a word, yes.
It’s one of the few festivals we’ve been to that offers something truly unique and different.
From the amazing venue it’s sited on, to the fabulous science based activities on offer, Bluedot is a one-off.
If you’re looking for something a little bit different to take the kids to next summer, I highly recommend Bluedot. It’s a small enough festival to not feel overwhelming but there’s enough going on to keep everyone entertained.
To see our weekend in just three minutes, have a look at my little film — it gives a really good flavour of Bluedot 2019.
Tickets for next year’s Bluedot Festival 2020 (July 24th to 26th) are now on sale. Check out their website; click here for info on ticket options and pricing.
The Listed Home are proud to be official bloggers for Bluedot 2019 — we weren’t remunerated for our work but we received a family pass in exchange for a full review of Bluedot festival.
All thoughts and words — as ever — are entirely my own.
Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.