Dotting the i in indie: Dot To Dot Preview

Hurts by Virtual Festivals
Hurts by Virtual Festivals

Guide to the tri-city festival.

Am I not a bit too old for Dot-To-Dot?

Never, you don’t need to join the dots between the three cities (Bristol, Manchester and Nottingham) just chose the one to discover everything fresh and right about alternative music right now. No camping necessary.

Which city is the best?

I’ve visited all three and can say with a headful of bias Bristol is the best. But I’m reminded constantly 10% of Manchester is now officially owned by the Arab Emirates (see Manchester City) but remains home of Corrie, Gary Barlow and the nineties music scene. Nottingham on the other hand is the birthplace of Robin Hood, gun crime and the largest goose fair in the UK, the ‘Nottingham Goose Fair’.

Do I miss anything in any of the cities?

You’ll miss a tenner in Bristol, and a fiver in Nottingham, at least compared to the entry price for Manchester’s Dot To Dot, which has the cheapest ticket at £25 general entry.

Yet inexplicably Darwin Deez ONLY plays Manchester. You should have to pay extra for his pop pleasures.

In exchange for the Double D, Nottingham and Bristol will entertain cult rock veterans …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead.. fair compromise we think.

Any tips?

Multi-venue festivals can be confusing and overwhelming events tinged with disappointment at every street corner. Make sure you take a map and schedule, aiming to see at least three favorites throughout the day means you can generally arrive early to avoid fustrating queues and missing acts.

And the venues I need to visit are?

The Deaf Institute in Manchester is a refuge for the city folk not filled with a depressing impulse to drag themselves back through the eighties by giving credence to the recently replicated haçienda. In Brizzle city the Thekla is the floating gig house with balconies, bars and lifebouys – definitely a good place to end the night. Finally Nottingham, which wouldn’t be the music scene centrality that it is without the Rock City, one of the best independent venues in the UK.

So what do I need to see?


Slick and laid back, and that’s just the hair. Ok, serious now. The NME loves them, most every other critic does too, even our own editor Dan Fahey was blown away by their dress sense (and he’s quite the fashionista). Check out their latest threads and tunes while they’re still doing these small venues.

Wolf Gang

The solo hand of Max McElligott has produced a warm, textural soundscape of alternative rock vibes in the vein of Miike Snow. Since signing to Atlantic everyone has been talking about Wolf Gang, maybe you should go and find out why.

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable have gone from strength to all out dominance with their latest record ‘The Big Roar’. Even Dave Grohl revealed at the Radio 1’s Big Weekend how much he fell in love with the band on first hearing them. They have darkness and delicacy in such finely tuned measures that only the live setting does any of it justice.


Various Cruelties

They say a week is a long time in politics, well try a week in music. Various Cruelties formed last year and within weeks were gigging with The Vaccines and recording material. Between Isle of Wight Festival 2011 and Standon Calling 2011 they’ll be every and anywhere this summer, see them early!


The Naked And Famous

New Zealand isn’t just about Russell Crowe, orks and Zane Lowe. The island can produce genuine talent and that they have with rockers The Naked And Famous. ‘Young Blood’ has all the makings of the summer anthem with influence from Passion Pit and M83 running through it. Find out if their other ditties stand up to much, but get there early – they’ll be queues!

So how do I get these tickets?

Dot to Dot Festival tickets vary from £25-£35 dependent on the city.

Click to buy Dot To Dot Festival (Bristol) tickets.
Click to buy Dot To Dot Festival (Nottingham) tickets.
Click to buy Dot To Dot Festival (Manchester) tickets.

So I’ve got my tickets and packed my packed-lunch, but I still feel like something’s missing..

Not to worry – try out our Dot To Dot Festival Spotify Playlist by clicking here.