5 Bloodstock 2019 Don’ts
By Stewart Lucas
I want to wake up in the festival that never sleeps, Bloodstock. The main stage headliner maybe done and dusted pretty darn early (10.30pm curfew no excuses) but that is just the beginning. First off, you have your Sophie headliner kicking off as soon as the sound fades from the main stage and this year it's a heavy weight trio of Grand Magus, Taake and Eluveitie (not mentioning Rotting fucking Christ on Thursday). Then the Sophie tent becomes a metal disco until 3pm. For many years, it was hosted by the four DJs of the apocalypse and their vast collection of five records (three of which were “Warriors of the World” by Manowar). However last year, they went all ambitious with big names DJs and Andrew O'Neil comparing. Well, if truth be told, it all fell a bit flat (and Andrew inadvertently ended up braining someone with a very trendy can of lager). We await this year's plans with interest.
Meanwhile back at the campsite, the drinking continues (there is a bar in the campsite, I haven't made me mind up yet whether this is genius or a recipe for disaster or both). If you do want an early night, the quiet campsite is highly recommended as the main campsites are noisy. However, if you are in quiet mode and are woken by a dickhead screaming Imhotep at 4.00 in the morning, I do apologise on behalf of Chris. Audience participation is the name of the game for Bloodstock early hours, whether it will be bin jousting or the associated game of ensuring security do not confiscate all the bins (NB ROCKFLESH does not condone either of these activities). If bin based versions of medieval pursuits are not to your taste then there is always the age of bloodstock tradition of wandering around in packs chanting 'Push wash showers', 'Imhotep' or 'Free Rolf Harris'. As bizarre and plainly anti social this all sounds, it is all done in the non threatening and good natured spirit that prevails through the whole of the festival. Just don't expect to get much sleep.
For a genre that prides itself on diversity and tolerance, Metal fans can be a rather conservative lot. Bloodstock is therefore a perfect opportunity to try things you would usually not touch. If you are sure that Black Metal is not for you go see Dimmu Borgir. Their symphonic arena sized take on the style may well change your mind. Similarly, if you are dead set against Metalcore I would still urge you to watch Parkway Drive Saturday night headline show. It will be incendiary (literally), making Rammstein looking like a half arsed geezer with a sparkler. Basically check your preconceived ideas at the door and enjoy the crack.
It's the Scorpions, the Scorpions!!! They have been on the Bloodstock wishlist for years and after last year's Judas priest coup, they have again pulled the motherfucking rabbit out of the hat. If all you know about the mighty Scorps is the God darn awful ‘Wind Of Change’ then you are in for a treat as they are one of the greatest Heavy Rock bands of all time. They have been doing this for over fifty years and they will produce one of the finest classic rock sets Bloodstock have ever seen. Don't you dare even contemplate doing anything else Sunday night.
I did and it wasn't pretty! In fact, I have no memory whatsoever of the Saturday afternoon of 2016. Apparently, I attempted to pick fights with half the audience before I was rescued by my mate Ali. I sobered up by the time Mastodon came on but the moral of the story is don't mess with the hard stuff kids.
Bloodstock is officially the friendliest festival there is. You aren't on your own, you are surrounded by fifteen thousands others. All of whom will gladly have a beer with you (as long as you are buying). But if you don't want to share your woes with a slightly tiddly gentleman in a faded queensryche t-shirt then the Samaritans have been an integral part of the Bloodstock fabric since the beginning. They have a tent back smack in the middle of Midgard and they are there to listen. The Samaritans aren't just there for crisis, they are there to offer a ear to bend whatever it is you want to talk about. If something is eating at you, don't let it ruin your weekend, they are there to listen and to help you share. They also make a nice cuppa.
Photo 1,2,4,5 : Credit unknown
Photo 3 : Moritz Kuenster