Tim Peake will headline an out-of-this world line up for families at this year’s bluedot festival, taking place at Cheshire’s Jodrell Bank Observatory.
Now in its fifth year, bluedot is an award-winning music, science and culture festival hosted at the site of the awe-inspiring Lovell Telescope – one of the biggest telescopes in the world and an icon of global astronomy.
With Björk, Groove Armada, and Mogwai announced as the musical headliners, Tim Peake is set to be a huge draw for science and space-loving families. After beating 8000 applicants to be selected as a European Space Agency astronaut, Peake spent several years in intensive training finally joining the crew of the International Space Station in 2015 for two consecutive missions totalling over six months. In that time, he completed approximately 3000 orbits of the Earth and travelled over 78 million miles. During his time in space, he also managed to run the London Marathon from the ISS treadmill and present Adele with a Global Success award at the 2016 Brit Awards – a true pioneer of fusing music, science and space travel!
The family programme will also see appearances by Clangers, Brainiac Live, and The Space Shed.
Described as ‘the science museum meets Top Gear’, Brainiac Live is an outrageous science show based on the iconic TV series, with live experiments featuring daredevil stunts, exploding dustbins, combusting microwaves and an all-round breathless ride through the wild world of the weird and wonderful.
CBeebies series Clangers – a family of imaginary creatures who live on a blue planet in space – first aired in the late 60s at the height of the space craze. The show returned in 2015, narrated by Michael Palin, to delight a new generation of children, and the characters join bluedot 2022 for a weekend of fun including a DJ set and more to be revealed.
Elsewhere across the family weekend, the incredible, astronomical, and awe-inspiring Space Shed will returns to bluedot for 2022, amazing its audience with stories, interviews and DJ sets from the country’s coolest garden shed.
The Actual Reality Arcade, a life-sized interactive game zone suitable for children of all ages, will bring classic arcade games of the past to life with families playing together for a dose of classic arcade nostalgia.
Pop Up Puppet Cinema will bring its much-loved adaptations of classic Hollywood films to bluedot, mocking the originals with plenty of warmth and admiration through hilarious puppetry.
Dance and party fun take centre space at bluedot this year, with the dance workshops, discos and parades throughout the weekend. Combining both music and science, Twisted Time Machine will take audiences on an interactive journey through time and space landing in the best music decades from the 1920s through to modern day and beyond. Suitable for all members of the family, the award-winning babywearing dance class, Dance Like a Mother – the family edition, also joins the family programme.
And when it comes to immersive arts experiences, the Luminarium, a beloved bluedot favourite, returns with an immersive light tunnel maze experience for exploration and play, while bluedot’s fire garden is reinvented as the Origins experience.
bluedot has also announced an impressive family science offering programmed by Jodrell Bank. With over 30 hands-on science stalls and workshops, there’s something to engage all budding scientists. Highlights include Live Science Shows from guests including Chester Zoo, Ancient Antarctic Ice Cores with British Antarctic Survey and Meet and Learn sessions from scientists including Sarah Crowther and The Volcanologists. Celebrating the iconic setting of the festival, families will also be able to walk beneath the iconic Lovell Telescope, take in late-night Stargazing sessions and explore the wider areas including Woodland Glade Nature Trials, the Whispering Dishes and The Jodrell Bank Arboretum.
Other confirmed family acts at bluedot 2022 include film screeings with Aardman Animations alongside a specially-curated bill of Morning Family Films, Hengercise, Big Fish Little Fish presentingtheir Cosmic Disco, Twilight Parades with Global Grooves, Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventure for Kids and Bhangracise, plus much more.
Festival director Ben Robinson said: “After a two-year hiatus, our fifth instalment of bluedot looks set to be one of our best yet. Welcoming Tim Peake to Jodrell Bank to excite and inspire families under the Lovell Telescope is going to be really special. Tim has lived the dreams of so many of our visitors, young and old, and we’re delighted that he’ll be here.
“We have a packed line-up of activities and experiences for festival-goers. While our musical acts are a massive draw and promise spectacular performances, bluedot offers so much more. Jodrell Bank is a jaw-dropping location and the perfect place to be inspired as a family by the wonders of science and culture, with hands on workshops, electrifying experiences and hilariously engaging shows. We can’t wait to be back in action.”
bluedot 2022 will take place 21-24 July. Named Best Medium Festival at the UK Festival Awards, it has quickly gained a position as one of the most hotly anticipated festivals in the country for families and music-lovers alike. Music and science headliners revealed so far include Björk and The Hallé, Groove Armada, Mogwai and Metronomy, plus Radio 4’s Jim al-Khalili, The Sky At Night’s Chris Lintott and more.
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