10 Reasons Why Bloodstock Is The Best Metal Festival In The World!
By Stewart Lucas
In this case small is very much beautiful. The whole of Bloodstock is pretty much squeezed into a couple of fields. What this means is that you can pop between stages with ease and more importantly, you can go back to your tent without it taking half a day. In fact, the beauty of Bloodstock is you can watch a band on the main stage, then pop back to your tent, have a can and be back in your spot before the next band starts.
Bloodstock knows its market and knows what we like. It prides itself in booking bands that we don’t usually see, to prove the point, the only two sightings in the last twenty years on UK soil of the mighty Emperor has been at Bloodstock. In 2011, they got Immortal, there are probably only ten thousand Immortal fans in the UK and they were all in that field.
Metal is a varied genre and Bloodstock provides for all tastes. This year’s bill is a whirlwind trip around about dozen genres. There is Black Metal (Dimmu Bogir), Melodeath (Children of Bodom), Classic Rock (The Scorpions), Post Hardcore (Code Orange), Deathcore (Thy Art Is Murder) Thrash (Xentrix) and Power Metal (Powerwolf and Sabaton) to name just a few and this is just the mainstage. The truth is if you like metal, you will find something at Bloodstock to tickle your fancy.
You will never find such a concentration of under 10 in Death t-shirts clutching inflatable guitars than you will find at Bloodstock. It’s very much a family festival even if that family are an alternative tattooed mum and dad who met many years ago on the dance floor at Jilly’s Rockworld. Remember the family that moshes together stays together. By the way, the girl in the photo, that’s my daughter. She was four and she’s eating garlic bread while watching Cannibal Corpse. As you do!
Bloodstock is officially the friendliest festival about. You don’t come here if you are planning on getting drunk and being an idiot, you come here because you love the music. This isn’t a “Oh I heard a song by that band once I might check them out!” festival. This is a “I know every word to every track that death angel will play coz I’ve loved them since ‘Frolic through the Park’” festival. By Sunday, you know everyone on site and are saying hello as you walk past each other.
Bloodstock tends to not recycle its headliners and it likes to offer slots to bands that it feels are ready to take that step. See Ghost in 2017, Gojria last year and Parkway Drive this year. All of them are not established headliners, but the former two both were utterly magnificent and Parkway, well Parkway will be immense.
Last year’s Saturday headliner Gojira and this year’s Friday night bill topper Sabaton have both risen up the ranks over ten years. With both bands, it has been incredible to see their slow but steady rise up the bill and shows the commitment that the organisers have to letting bands develop as is.
Bloodstock’s piece of utter genius, a UK (and now Europe) wide competition to expose new talent to win places on the Hobgoblin “New Blood” tent. Other festivals will sometimes offer an opening slot, Bloodstock gives a whole frickin tent to new acts. It is one of the things that keeps the UK Metal scene going and it is solely the invention of Bloodstock.
Where else at a festival, can you stand at the bar in a real (well tented) pub and watch the action on the main stage? Bloodstock, that is where.
No watery lager here. Bloodstock has its own ale, its 6.66% and it is feckin lethal. Session beer, it isn’t, but it is one of the things that makes Bloodstock so special.