Monday, 13 June 2016

Bluedot Festival at Jodrell Bank 22nd - 24th July

We are going to Bluedot! I'm so excited, it's my dream festival and I'm an extremely lucky gal to have a ticket, I wanted to share some of the incredible sights and sounds that I'm looking forward to seeing there - obviously, I'll be blogging the whole experience and trying to get as many selfies with cosmic space explorers as possible - but in the mean time I'm spending quite a lot of time looking up the bands and food (the food!) that we will get to experience in the out-of-this-world setting, the shadow of the massive Lovell telescope.

Photo by Simon Melhuish

The Lovell telescope, situated at Jodrell Bank, is the third largest steerable radio telescope in the world. It's used for looking for signals deep in space, including tracking various probes sent from Earth to make discoveries within our solar system and further into the cosmos. It also forms part of a much larger radio telescope array - for the non-technical space fan, this means it's one of a network of radio telescopes that when used together can pick up microwave transmissions and signals from deeper into space than a single telescope ever could. By increasing the surface area of the radio receiver with a network of telescopes across the globe, we are able to discover and research deep-space features such as quasars,pulsars and black holes.

Jodrell Bank Mission control has been featured heavily on Stargazing Live, so if you follow spacey programs you might recognise it from there. 

Bluedot Festival has bought together hundreds of artists with a cosmic theme, from music and food to talks and Q & A sessions with space travellers and experts, and my cosmic-loving heart could not be happier when I scroll through all the wonderful events happening over the weekend. Here are three picks that are at the very top of my must-see list!

1. Floating Points

I went to see Floating Points at Brixton Electric recently, and they pretty much blew my mind (and eardrums!) 


One of the most interesting parts of their set for me, aside from the utter weirdness of being in such an elaborate and ornate venue and swaying gently with a crowd to some serious electronic, cosmic beats, was the stunning visuals that Sam Shephard creates from the music itself, playing out on a giant screen behind the musicians. I can't wait to see what they bring to Bluedot - unmissable!

Check them out below, a track from their debut album Elaenia.

2.  Restaurant at The End Of The World - Aiden Byrne Presents

If I could just do one thing at Bluedot,it would be this.  A 'stratospheric' seven course meal in the shadow of the Lovell telescope. I can't say it better than the Bluedot website, which describes the feast as "Taking you on space odyssey, navigating an entire cosmos of experimental tastes, which are truly out of this world." 

We aren't entirely sure if we are going to be able to go yet, the cost (75.50 plus 30 for the essential champagne) is slightly prohibitive for this ordinary little blogger, but just check out the menu...

I'm a mega-fan of technology-inspired food and molecular gastronomy, so this meal would be a dream for me - I'll keep dreaming for now, though!

3. CERN's Cosmic Piano

When I saw the name of this out-of-this world instrument pop up,  I knew it was going to be something I wanted to see at Bluedot. Cosmic piano? I'm there. When I started researching it,I realised it was actually infinitely cooler than I'd anticipated (my initial imaginings of a galaxy-painted grand piano hovering slightly above the stage were destined to be dashed anyway)

You can read about the Cosmic Piano in greater detail here but in a nutshell,  it turns particle data into music - poly-rhythmic jazz music, to be precise.  I adore the idea of tapping into invisible cosmic rays to create something beautiful for our eyes and ears and I think this will be a real spectacle for anyone with an interest in space and music. Which is basically everyone right? It's on the essential list for us - I can't wait to share our experience of it with readers of this little blog.

So, there's my top three. These are just the first three things that have jumped out at me from the huge line-up of goings-on at Jodrell Bank over that weekend in July. Stay tuned to my twitter, Instagram and here on the blog - I've got festival shirt DIY's, top picks for Curious Yellow festival and lots more coming up over the summer, as well as more in-depth looks at some of the things we are itching to see at Bluedot.

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