A History of Dot to Dot Festival

by Daniel Brashaw // Image by Lewis Evans, Mar 12, 2018

The Horrors are the headliners for this year, but where did Dot to Dot Festival all start?

Tickets for this year's Dot to Dot Festival are available here.

Since its inception, Dot to Dot has been a breeding ground for emerging musical talent. Known for unearthing future stars, the multi-venue, multi-city festival is always a fantastic weekend, and with the recent line up announcement it looks like 2018 is going to be no different. But what’s the story behind this now iconic British festival?

It all began in Nottingham on May 19 2005. The festival was spread across three venues: the Rescue Rooms, The Bodega and Stealth - and tickets were only £12 each. After an excellent first two years which included performances from indie heros Mystery Jets, electro geniuses Metronomy and 2018 Dot to Dot headliners The Horrors, the festival expanded in 2007 to take place in Bristol as well as Nottingham.

The festival had a brief stint in London in 2008 with a spin off event called Hox to Dot, which showcased more electronic acts than the other two cities. That only lasted one year before the festival took its final form in 2010, when it grew to be held in Manchester as well.


Since then, Dot to Dot has had a string of fantastic years of live music. The list of performers speaks for itself: Cage the Elephant, Ed Sheeran, SBTRKT, Lucy Rose, Pulled Apart By Horses, Swim Deep, The 1975, Wolf Alice, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Sundara Karma, The Cribs…. the list of fantastic musicians goes on almost indefinitely.

Within Bristol, Dot to Dot has been hosted by such legendary venues as Thekla, The Louisiana, Start The Bus (R.I.P), The Fleece, The Trinity Centre and many more. It’s a totally unique experience, and as The Independent so rightly put it, "Dot to Dot is proof that you don’t need to pitch a tent in a muddy field to get that festival feeling."

The festival won Best Festival For Emerging Talent and Best Multi Venue Festival in 2017, and with record breaking sales last year too, it looks like Dot to Dot is only getting better. Make sure to book your ticket and be a part of one of the most exciting festivals in the UK right now.

Tickets for this year's Dot to Dot Festival are available here.

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