At aged 38 Bluedot was the first festival I stayed over at. I have social anxiety and the thought of being “trapped” in a confined area with 5,000 unknown equations has always scared me. If you know me it may seem odd me saying that as I’ve been photographing big events, festivals, gigs, the arts for over 10 years. I love photographing events. The difference there is that’s photographer me. He’s way better at dealing with social anxiety than regular human me. I guess my camera is a security blanket camera. Things get awkward and I dive into the viewfinder looking for photos. But I couldn’t do that at Bluedot because my wife and I were going for the full weekend and I was attempting to be human, which meant less photography and more “dancing”. Naturally I took a camera because, well, just scroll down and I’d have hated to have missed out on those moments. Socially anxious sure, but I do enjoy photographing events like this.

I’ve been to Bluedot before it was Bluedot. I proposed to Sam there when it was just a day event and we saw Elbow. I know what to expect there. But staying over? That’s too many what if’s to account for. Still, there was a strong part of me that wanted to do that and so we did. We glamped in a cosy little hut for the weekend. We were away from the every day folk and it was tranquil. It was also very expensive and so this year we’ve down graded a little. Maybe I’ll get to a point where I can officially camp but for now I need a space that is calm. My credit card does not appreciate having to accommodate for my social anxiety. I mean what’s the worst that can happen? A Jawa tries to steal your stuff?

Upon arrival I quickly came to realise I was among like minded folk. I saw a unicorn hugging a human, a man wearing unicorn leggings (and nothing else), and numerous geeky t-shirts.

I even saw life size shrink wrapped Star Trek figures.

Once we were settled in I think my anxiety levels dropped, especially when I found there was a Delorean I could sit in!

The evenings were amazing. I think once it goes dark at Jodrell thats when it really comes alive. There’s of course the big named bands playing but there’s also scientists giving interesting talks and even Star Wars playing on the cinema screen they have. If you wanted you could totally ignore the big named bands and still have an amazing time.

After all the music and “dancing” (I don’t really dance it’s more rhythmic knee bending) we followed the night procession to the fire pits created by Walk the Plank and the garden by the Kazimier. Such a great space. This is why we stayed over. The night stuff.

It was such a joy to sit by the fire pits with a pint of Blue Moon (new fave beer) looking up at the sky (clouds as its the UK) and wondering how different The Next Gen would have been if Wesley was a selfie snapping millennial.

The highlight of the weekend was DJ Yoda’s ‘History of Video Gaming’. He’s a VJ and mixes video game music together to tell the history of gaming. It does actually start at the beginning and goes up to about PS1/PS2 times. It was incredible. People were dancing to the Pokemon theme tune. Actually dancing to it. I’ve been a gamer for 33 years and it was incredible to see so many people enjoying what I love and have often felt embarrassed to admit to being into.

It wasn’t just good music to end a great weekend on it was a celebration of everything I’ve loved and the room was packed with people wanting to celebrate that. It was an amazing weekend filled with so many things I love and it was great to see others enjoying those things. 2018 was booked immediately.