The Radiophonic Workshop, the synth gods of Doctor Who, play the Bluedot music festival while Toby Hadoke moderates a set of special 60th Anniversary panels
Sometimes an idea is so beautifully unexpected, yet so utterly perfect, that even the mention of it raises a smile. One such inspired thought is the Doctor Who 60th Anniversary celebration at the Bluedot music festival on July 20th-23rd. After all, it’s taking place at the perfect venue – the magnificent Jodrell Bank Observatory, location of one of the most iconic Doctor Who stories of the 1980s – Logopolis. Sunday will see three strands celebrating the show. The Radiophonic Workshop will be playing live, Toby Hadoke will be presenting a series of panels about the Doctor Who fan experience, and there’ll be celebrations of original theme arranger Delia Derbyshire with discussions of her work.
The Radiophonic Workshop, like all the greats, should need no introduction. They’re the latest incarnation of the collective that’s been associated with Doctor Who since 1963, when the Workshop’s Delia Derbyshire created the futuristic but haunting arrangement of the show’s theme song that instantly became iconic in its own right. In 1980, the Workshop’s Peter Howell than rebuilt the theme to rise again in glorious synths and starbursts. And various members of the team continued to provide the scores for episodes of Doctor Who right through the 1980s. In recent years they’ve recorded new albums and toured, showcasing a unique live version of the techniques that created some of the most distinctive music in television history. And their newest project, Dawn of the Doctors, will be making its live debut at Blue Dot.
The day will also be full of talks about everybody’s favourite Time Lord
Meanwhile, the superfan’s superfan, Toby Hadoke, will be hosting a series of fun but informative discussions celebrating the 60th Anniversary. On the line-up are:
- Anticapointment with Robin Ince
- Why We Love This Silly Program So Much with Tom Attah, Emma Alexander, and Bethany Black
- Doctor Who Made Me with Stephen Gallagher
Delia Derbyshire Day, celebrating the work of the woman whose pioneering innovations in electronic music created the Doctor Who theme as we know it, is marked with three more panels
- The Making of the Original Theme with Dick Mills and Mark Ayers of the Radiophonic Workshop
- The Science of Doctor Who with Ken Gupta, Simon Guerrier, and Emma Alexander
- Doctor Who and the Current Crisis: Managing the Future with Sashwati Mira Sengupta, Matt Hills, and Lorna Jowett
Doctor Who is just part of the fun of Bluedot this year, and tickets are on sale now
There will also be a full day of music, science and fun each day all weekend, with Grace Jones headlining the Sunday, and the likes of Pavement, David Holmes, and Leftfield playing across the weekend. While there’s also be a 1980s kids classic reborn in Knightmare Live and educational fun with the Brainiac team, and Adam Buxton’s Bowie special.
There are also add-on activities like glamping, yoga, and hot tubs – a far cry from your average musical festival. And, of course, all amid stunning scenery under the watchful dish of the Jodrell Bank Observatory. (Warning, if you want to lie underneath it to murmur that it’s the weekend but the moment has been prepared for, you’ll probably need to queue.)
Tickets are on sale now from the official Bluedot festival site, with tickets for the Sunday starting at £49.