It has tak­en a huge effort for fes­ti­vals to adopt an eco-friend­ly approach. But the days of walk­ing over a crunchy car­pet of beer cans to get to the main stage is well and tru­ly over. None more so than at Blue­dot fes­ti­val, which, in its own words, ‘will be send­ing 0% waste to land­fill this year’. 

Every­one will be tak­ing part in the dri­ve: from the staff (all pro­vid­ed with reusable bot­tles), food traders (no plas­tic straws or cut­lery) to you, the fes­ti­val goer – with a moun­tain of ways you will be per­suad­ed to be kinder to the plan­et, such as:

Coach­es and car-shar­ing schemes 
Water sales in the form of Can O Water rather than sin­gle-use bottles
Camp­site crew on hand with recy­cling bin bags
Tent col­lec­tion for charity 

There’s a sus­tain­abil­i­ty-themed music and arts pro­gramme which opens on Thurs­day night with Blue Plan­et in Con­cert from the Halle Orches­tra. Con­duct­ed by Ben Fos­ter, the con­cert will com­bine HD footage from the orig­i­nal Blue Plan­et 2001 tele­vi­sion series with the orig­i­nal sound­track per­formed live, explor­ing the vast oceans on our pale blue dot and the envi­ron­men­tal chal­lenges they face. 

Play­wright David Win­dass and direc­tor Andrew Pear­son will bring their Pale Blue Dot The­atre Pro­duc­tion to the fes­ti­val. Set on a dystopi­an plan­et turned on its head by an eco-dis­as­ter, it offers an eye-open­ing look at what could be in-store for humankind. Anoth­er area of the fes­ti­val, the Plan­et Field, focus­es on ‘space­ship Earth’ and the ways in which we look after the only plan­et we can call our home. Locat­ed in The Arbore­tum, dis­cov­er the lat­est think­ing and inno­va­tion in how researchers and sci­en­tists are work­ing to pro­tect our pale blue dot, and catch exhibitors such as The Car­bon Impact of our Lifestyles and Prac­ti­cal Action.

Besides Blue­dot fes­ti­val’s amaz­ing com­bi­na­tion of music and space explo­ration, there’s a ground­break­ing pro­gramme of live sci­ence exper­i­ments, expert talks and immer­sive art­works, with this year focus­ing on the need for a more sus­tain­able future. Some of the envi­ron­men­tal good­ies on offer are:

Dot Talk from pro­fes­sor of Cli­mate Impacts Richard Betts

The Future Now series which will raise impor­tant ques­tions about the future of our planet. 

Rebuild­ing: Future Cities will shed light on the impor­tance of cre­at­ing sus­tain­able liv­ing through design

Blue­dot is great for kids, with the­atre pro­duc­tions, work­shops and a whole area ded­i­cat­ed to help­ing them under­stand about space, the plan­et and how to be envi­ron­men­tal­ly respon­si­ble. Reurn­ing this year is the Space Shed by Unlim­it­ed The­atre (pic­tured, top), bring­ing How I Hacked my Way into Space, a kids (and adults) show to the fes­ti­val: it’s about one man’s all-con­sum­ing desire to lift off into space. This year, they’ll also be bring­ing sci­ence inter­views and DJs. 

Learn­ing about our plan­et is a big part of the chil­dren’s area at the Star Field at Bluedot




Bluedot arboretum

The peace­ful Arbore­tum is home to instal­la­tions cen­tred around weath­er and sound… 2017 saw a piece by Aidan Moes­by and Tim Shaw named Between Still­ness and Storm.

Blue­dot fes­ti­val 19 – 22 July; tier 3 tick­ets on sale now

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