The Big One: Dot To Dot Festival 2010

United Kingdom United Kingdom | by Ben Parkinson | 21 May 2010

When and where?
For the first time, Dot to Dot 2010 is heading to three cities over three days with Manchester hosting the final leg. On 29 May Dot to Dot descends on Bristol with performances at the 02 Academy, The Anson Rooms, Thekla, The Cooler, The Fleece and The Louisiana. Nottingham is set to host the second day on 30 May at Rock City, Rescue Rooms, The Bodega, Stealth and various Trent Uni locations before moving to Manchester on 31 May to occupy two stages at the Academy as well as the Deaf Institute and Fac251.

Who to watch:

Mystery Jets

This indie five-piece look to be going through somewhat of a revival in 2010. Having left their former label last year, question marks were raised about the future of the Jets, but with a new album scheduled for July it looks like Dot to Dot will be the perfect way for them to test-drive their new material before heading off to Reading/Leeds in August.

Ellie Goulding

Singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding will be enjoying a golden summer whatever the weather this year, as she sets off on an enviable festival tour including Dot to Dot, T In The Park, V Festival, Oxegen, Rock Am Ring, Beach Break Live and the iTunes Festival. Her success in winning both the BBC Sound of 2010 poll and Critics’ Choice Awards at this year’s Brit Awards recognises both her talent and meteoric rise to fame. With only debut album ‘Lights’ completed so far, if you like what you hear on the album, chances are you’ll like what you hear live.

The Eighties Matchbox B-line Disaster

These psychotic rockers have undoubtedly had their share of practice performing at festivals having appeared at numerous events, most notably Glastonbury and Leeds/Reading Festivals. With their third studio album, ‘Blood and Fire’, scheduled for release only twelve days before the beginning of Dot To Dot, this will be a prime opportunity for die-hard Eighties fans to sneak a peek at the bands’ most recent musical direction.


Infamous for their theatrical and energetic stage performances, this band of Norwegian electro-poppers have been enthralling festival audiences across Europe for the past couple of years. With an eclectic range of influences, including 80s power pop and roots reggae, Casiokids are sure to offer one of the most diverse and vigorous shows at Dot to Dot.

One to miss:

Twisted Wheel

Been there, heard it. With vocal melodies appropriately lifted straight from Oasis, the chain of musical theft continues. Their cringingly marketed rebellious spirit floats unsupported in a sea of juvenile guitar riffs and over-simplified, self-righteous lyrics.

Inside tip:

With his leaden dubstep touch given to some of this year’s biggest pop acts, Jakwob is the man to see for fresh music at Dot to Dot. If you’re a fan of electronic music or pop then take a listen to his remixes of Ellie Goulding’s tracks ‘Under the Streets’ and ‘Starry Eyed’ or his version of ‘Heads Will Wobble’ by the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s.

Be at Dot to Dot if you like...

If you want to stay mud-free in your debauchery and fancy yourself as a bit of a Hoxton Hero, Dot to Dot is the festival for you. Be ready for a good old British queuing, but once you’re in you’ll be discovering some of the best drinking holes and music venues in the cities.   

Avoid if you...

If you prefer your sounds more acoustic or need an open field to express your inner hippy, or just plain dislike the indie scene.

Festival Tactics

Each city will have something unique to offer but when it comes to tactics the premise should always be the same: if you see a queue, don’t waste valuable band watching/drinking time waiting to see what’s inside, head to another venue and try your luck. If you must must must see a band make sure you’re in there nice and early.

Fashionista or folky?

No beard stroking here, this is an urban festival for the fashionista, why else would Fred Perry be behind the main stage? This is emerging talent event for the NME crowd, but if folky does float your boat Field Music are knocking about somewhere.

Alcohol of choice

Choose either the cheapest or most native drink to each venue. So if you end up in a neon-haven, get something nasty like an alcopop, in pubs stick to larger and if you’re on the Thekla boat in Bristol make sure it’s rum all night.

Take your mum score – 2/10

The chances are that she won’t like the bips and bleeps of the electro or the sharpened-guitar indie. She may however like some of the gentler acts, so find out where they are, give her a map and see her in the morning.

Can I still get tickets?

There are still passes available for all three cities still at just £35.

Click here to buy Dot To Dot tickets.

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