Multi-award-winning North West festival reveals music, science and culture line-up featuring a UK exclusive from Pavement, Young Fathers, Django Django, Brett Morgen, Annie Mac, Chris Lintott, Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Tinariwen and many more join the bill. 

Bluedot – Cheshire’s multi award-winning carnival of music, science and cosmic culture – has revealed the first wave of artists for this year, with Grace Jones, Pavement, Roisin Murphy and Leftfield joining the already announced Max Richter and the BBC Concert Orchestra at the iconic Jodrell Bank Observatory from 20–23 July 2023. 

Lo-fi pioneers Pavement headline Saturday at bluedot with their only UK performance of 2023. Having headlined Primavera 2022 before embarking on a completely sold-out UK tour that took in four nights at London’s Roundhouse, Pavement are now firmly established as one of indie’s most legendary groups.

A cultural icon and one of the most influential musicians of her generation, Grace Jones needs no introduction. Following her curation of London’s Meltdown Festival last year, her influence has made her a towering figure of pop for over six decades. From the classic beats of Slave To The Rhythm and Pull Up To The Bumper to her gold-selling most recent album Hurricane, Grace Jones has become synonymous with a unique fusion of music, art and fashion that has inspired a new generation of artists. This will be Grace’s only northern show of the summer. 

bluedot is delighted to host the incredible Róisín Murphy in her first ever festival headline slot. Since achieving international acclaim as one half of Moloko, the defacto queen of electropop has delivered five solo albums, mesmerised audiences across clubland and is now set to open the weekend, with a cosmic dance party to usher in a new era following the success of her Roisin Machine album and tour.

Having been at the cutting-edge of UK electronic music since the mid-90s, Leftfield returned last month with the critically acclaimed This Is What We Do, featuring Lemn Sissay and Fontaines DC’s Grian Chatten. The multiple Mercury Prize nominees have become one of dance music’s most enduring and thrilling live acts, and their headline performance in bluedot’s Orbit arena will be an all out assault of live electronica and AV.

Also announced are Mercury prize winners Young Fathers, art rockers Django Django, feted post-punk four piece Dry Cleaning, Malian desert blues pioneers Tinariwen and experimental rockers Black Country, New Road, plus a Sunday Closing Party headlined by the iconic Annie Mac.

Nubya Garcia, Georgia, Max Cooper (3D AV), David Holmes, Beak>, Gwenno, Teleman, CMAT, Lava La Rue, Big Joanie, Skinny Pelembe, Scalping, Belief, Pictish Trail, Divorce, Madmadmad and Radiophonic Workshop also join the first wave of the festival’s music line-up. 

bluedot has also revealed the first science names visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Jodrell Bank Observatory, including BBC Sky at Night’s Chris Lintott and Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Brainiac Live and renowned climate change researcher and author Mike Berners-Lee, whose How Bad Are Bananas? was named by The Independent as one of its ten recommended “best books to help you live more sustainably”. UK Space Agency’s Libby Jackson OBE and The Open University’s Professor of Planetary and Space Science Monica Grady CBE will also return to the festival. The full science bill will be revealed in the coming weeks. 

There is also a first taste of the culture and comedy line-up including a David Bowie special edition of Adam Buxton’s Bug!, a screening and in-conversation with Moonage Daydream director, writer and producer Brett Morgan and an afternoon with White Rabbit Books featuring talks with Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite, Lias Saoudi of Fat White Family, and 90’s icon Miki Berenyi, whose book Fingers Crossed: How Music Saved Me From Success was named Rough Trade’s book of the year for 2022.

Families are well catered for with a host of exciting and interactive entertainment from Our Kids Social Silent Disco, Pop-Up Puppet Cinema and the ever popular Jedi Lightsaber Training and gourmets will delight in the VIP Village curated by Manchester-based food charity Eatwell and featuring some of the very best food and drink brands in the region including Dishoom, Caroline Martins, Where the Light Gets In, Another Hand and more. 

Festival director Ben Robinson said: “As we announce the line-up for the 6th edition of bluedot it’s with great pride in the team behind the show. From day one the festival has been ambitious in its programming and mission. Looking at the scale of iconic talent, breadth of genres & one off moments it really has matured into a very special vent. Thanks to everyone who’s continued to support the idea of bluedot, we look forward to gathering together again beneath the telescope with you all.”

bluedot was recently named Line-Up Of The Year at the UK Festival Awards, and Festival of the Year at the Live Awards, and has hosted headline performances from the likes of Bjork, Kraftwerk 3-D, New Order, The Chemical Brothers, Mogwai, Pixies, The Flaming Lips, Underworld and Jean-Michel Jarre, plus high-profile talks from Tim Peake, Brian Cox, Helen Sharman, Alice Roberts and Richard Dawkins and an array of groundbreaking arts and family experiences.