LOOMING large behind a stage named after it, the Lovell telescope is impossible to ignore.

And those there to perform down below at the weekend had their own interpretation of what that meant.

“I feel like Jodie Foster in Contact,” quipped Shura towards the end of her set at Bluedot Festival on Saturday.

The Manchester singer’s self-deprecating humour punctuated a polished performance of shimmering pop.

Alison Goldfrapp ran with the shininess theme when she emerged in a silver suit to dazzle further a crowd already draped in sunshine.

Again, the urge to look skywards proved irresistible.

“So, have you been up the…thing?” she quizzed while gesturing over her shoulder at Jodrell Banks’ star attraction.

“I am an expert, you know.”

She showcased material from ‘Silver Eye’ – a lunar reference that brings together tracks on her latest album – before romping through a hits-laden finale that closed with the timeless ‘Strict Machine’.

Above, a full moon’s arrival added to an already-stunning backdrop.

Orbital – literally, musically and metaphorically – seemed like a band born to headline a festival like this one.

Brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll certainly felt the same, admitting the lure of playing there had been a spur to end a five-year hiatus.

Their classics, including samples from Belinda Carlisle’s ‘Heaven Is A Place On Earth’ and ‘You Give Love A Bad Name’ by Bon Jovi spliced into ‘Halcyon’, are received rapturously by revellers young and old.

‘Belfast’ remains their outstanding track, but the biggest cheers are reserved for a crowd-pleasing rendition of the Doctor Who? theme – with on-stage support from the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop – and ‘Chime’.

However the true stars of the second day of a three-day spectacle that blends art, culture, science and technology with music were to be found away from the main stage.

And it is there the true charm of a festival like Bluedot can be found.

That was encapsulated beautifully on Friday when Leftfield took to the Orbit stage, greeted by a crowd consisting of equal parts ageing raver and new fans not yet born when they finished ‘Leftism’ – a seminal album released 22 years ago they perform in its entirety.

One girl, no older than five, spends the entire time arms aloft while mounted on the shoulders of a delighted dad.

On the way out, another father – still grinning – was succinct in his review.

“That’s one of the best musical experiences you’ll ever have,” he told a awestruck young son.

Those that discovered Soulwax the following night, in the same arena, could make the same claim.

The Belgian outfit was swelled by the addition of three drummers – Victoria Smith, Blake Davies and Igor Cavalera – to deliver a spell-binding display of relentless electro that never ventured very far from the sublime.

It made you wish they hadn’t waited 13 years to follow up ‘Any Minute Now’.

A curtain is brought down on the Nebula Stage by Joe Goddard who, during a pause from duties with Hot Chip, released his solo ‘Electric Lines’ LP last month.

He does not speak to the crowd at all for more than half an hour, preferring instead to let his music do the talking.

And why wouldn’t he?

The title track refers to invisible wires that run between the strands of electronic music – and there are plenty of them – on the album.

‘Home’, inspired by 70s disco, is a perfect send-off for those still standing well past 2am.

Outside, the Lovell basks in a gorgeous light show even after most punters have retreated to their tent.