The Bluedot science and music festival is returning to the world famous Jodrell Bank Observatory for summer 2018, with a lineup of live performances and talks over four days.


Under the shadow of the Lovell Telescope, this inquisitve and entertaining festival is held at the height of summer in the Cheshire countryside, and will include practical astronomy, planetarium shows, science demonstrations and a range of hot food and real ale.

This year's Dot Talks will explore quantum mechanics, the search for extraterrestrials, black holes, cyborgs, solar flares, climate change, the invisible universe and Doctor Who.

BBC Sky at Night Magazine staff writer Iain Todd pictured with Dr Anna Bonaldi of the University of Manchester, a speaker at Bluedot 2017. Credit: Iain Todd / BBC Sky at Night Magazine

The grounds also include camping areas to suit both late-night festival goers, those who require more ‘luxury’ accommodation and families who are seeking a relaxed festival experience.

The Chemical Brothers and The Flaming Lips will headline the 2018 festival’s live music lineup, which will also include performances from The Orb, Gary Numan, Unkle and Public Service Broadcasting, among others.

Also included in this year's music lineup are:

  • The Blue Planet in Concert
  • Slowdive
  • George Fitzgerald
  • Crazy P
  • Afriquoi
  • Craig Charles's Space Funk Odyssey
  • Nabihah Iqbal
  • Boy Azooga
  • Late Night Tales

There will also be live comedy from David O’Doherty, Cassette Boy, Simon Munnery, Gary Delaney, Jess Fostekew, Rob Kemp, and more!

Bluedot 2018 also includes a range of science talks and demonstrations throughout the weekend. This year’s talks feature:

  • Evolutionary scientist Richard Dawkins will bring his talking 'Science and the Soul to the Bluedot stage
  • Dallas Campbell, science presenter and author of Ad Astra: An Illustrated Guide to Leaving the Planet
  • Tim O'Brien, Associate Director of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics
  • Professor Alice Roberts will explore archaeology, history and genetics to reveal the stories of three species that have become humanity’s allies
  • Professor Jim Al-Khalili discusses quantum mechanics, and what it can tell us about the fundamental building blocks of life
  • Professor Dave Goulson, an expert in butterfly ecology and the conservation of bumblebees and insects (talk to be confirmed)
  • Libby Jackson, manager of the Human Spaceflight and Microgravity Programme at the UK Space Agency (talk to be confirmed)
  • Dr Tamsin Edwards is a climate expert who will discuss what the future may hold for our planet, and how it is responding to global warming
  • Professor Tim O’Brien, an Associate Director of Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at The University of Manchester (talk to be confirmed)
  • Dr Sheena Cruickshank, Senior Lecturer in Immunology at the University of Manchster
    • Suzie Imber, winner of the BBC TV programme Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes
  • Stephen Wilkins, astronomer at the University of Sussex

Also included in the science lineup are Jim Wild, Richard Betts, Mike Garrett, Tim Allcock & Rachel Platonov, Jon Copley, Monica Grady, Richard Battye, Kevin Warwick, Philippa Browning, Rene Breton, Paul Vanezis, Peter Crocker, Steve Roberts and Julia Steinberger.


For more information and the full lineup, visit the bluedot website.


Iain Todd BBC Sky at Night Magazine
Iain ToddScience journalist

Iain Todd is BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Content Editor. He fell in love with the night sky when he caught his first glimpse of Orion, aged 10.