We’re over the moon to announce a meeting of great music and science minds as Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne will be In Conversation with Professor Tim O’ Brien, Associate Director Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, and avid explorer of exploding stars.

The Flaming Lips headlined the first major music event at Jodrell Bank back in 2011. Wayne was given a personal tour of the Control Room before performing a landmark show beneath the iconic Lovell Telescope, declaring it was “the greatest place to be on Planet Earth”. During the tour, Tim and Wayne discussed our understanding of the Universe, the search for extra-terrestrial life, and the possibility of alternative dimensions. This coming together of the worlds of music, space exploration and creativity is what now lies at the heart of the bluedot festival.

These key themes and more will be explored at this exclusive In Conversation. This and the return of The Flaming Lips is set to be a momentous occasion in the bluedot cosmos.

Announcing our Roots Stage line-up, produced in partnership with Arts Council England and Manchester’s iconic Band on the Wall to bring together a vibrant programme of live music from around the world to the 2018 event. Over three days, the Roots stage will feature stunning music from South Asia, some of the most exciting emerging urban jazz talents, and a programme of afro-caribbean grooves – an eclectic mix of world music.

As part of a longterm ambition to diversify our music and culture programme, the partnership with Band on the Wall will see artists from Asia, Africa and the Caribbean perform at the festival’s home at Jodrell Bank across the weekend. As a venue focused on promoting equality and diversity through music, and bringing leading artists from around the world to the stage through touring programmes and trailblazing creative projects, this collaboration is set to enhance our already abundant live music line-up.


More music has been added to the programme including the likes of dark’n’heavy dubstep from JP Huzzle; mind-blowing synth trio Meteor Musik; dreamy; blissed out indie from Night Flowers; alt-pop / trip-hop hybrid Gymnast; a Moog and beats masterclass from International Teachers of Pop; and improvisational keyboardist Tom Rogerson. More side-splitting comedy has also been added with Paul Currie, The Delightful Sausage, Kemah Bob, Foxdog Studios, Amy Gledhill, Neil Harris, Danny McLoughlin, Simon Lomas, Kate McCabe and Tom Taylor.

DotTalk additions include Universe Under Construction with Cosmology researcher Scott Kay and Anna Bonaldi presenting Bigger, Better, Faster, Further – Back to the Cosmic Origins with the SKA telescope. 

Futher culture talks have also been added including:

The Future Of The Past – How do leading poets and novelists draw on the past to make new poems and fictions? Why are they drawn to particular period and how do new ideas about memory and commemoration inform their work? With Geoff Ryman, Frances Leviston, Paul Batchelor and Beth Underdone on the panel.

The Future Of The Book – The book has been at the centre of our culture for millennia, but seems now to be under threat as never before. How does the book co-exist alongside our use of digital media, and in the experience of cutting edge innovative writers, how do social media, literary journals, and performance change the ways books are made and read now? With panellists Kayo Chingonyi, Honor Gavin and David Hartley.

Both are organised by The University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing and will be chaired by John McAuliffe, poet, lecturer and editor of The Manchester Review.

We’re looking forward to discovering the bluedot in less than a months time.

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