bluedot Takes Fallow Year After Extreme Weather

Bluedot's Star Attraction, The Lovell Telescope. Pic: George Harrison

Bluedot – the award-winning festival that fuses music, science and cosmic culture at Cheshire’s iconic Jodrell Bank Observatory – has announced it will take a fallow year in 2024, as a result of the impact of weather at this year’s event.

This summer’s bluedot featured headline performances from Grace Jones, Pavement and Roisin Murphy, with keynote speakers including celebrated science broadcasters Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Chris Lintott and environmentalist Mike Berners-Lee, plus an array of original artistic commissions and cultural events. However record-breaking amounts of rainfall before and during the festival had a severe impact on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. In order for the land to fully recover, bluedot will be taking a fallow year in 2024, returning to Jodrell Bank in 2025.

The festival said –

“When we set out on the journey that is bluedot, our mission was to create a unique experience – a combination of discovery, exploration and grand cosmic ideas, soundtracked by the finest musicians from across the planet. An opportunity once a year to explore new and unique collaborations between science, music and the arts, to be amongst like-minded adventurers, and to rediscover and celebrate our shared humanity.

“Underpinning bluedot’s mission is a sincere love and respect for the earth and environment we are lucky to be part of. However, the earth beneath bluedot took a lot of strain. Experiencing the highest level of rainfall on the festival weekend since records began (records courtesy of Jodrell Bank’s own weather station!) we have patiently waited to see what the effects of this have been on the land itself. We have now sadly reached the conclusion that the ground on which the bluedot universe is built desperately needs some time to recover; a period of rest during which the soil will recover and regenerate.”

bluedot, which was celebrated as Best Line-Up at the UK Festival Awards last year, has shared a full statement on its website and thanked “our home of Jodrell Bank, the local community and Cheshire East Council, the artists, speakers and all festival staff for their support since day one, and especially in the most challenging moments of bluedot 2023.”