As Spring settles in, BLOODSTOCK HQ is a hive of activity.  This week’s announcement sees the first bands announced for the New Blood stage, and the dates are set for the Finals of 2023’s METAL 2 THE MASSES programme, BLOODSTOCK’s celebrated initiative to help developing bands score a landmark opportunity, playing a slot on the New Blood stage at the festival in August.  Some winners are chosen from online submissions, whereas others battle it out among their peers at local events across the country. This year, 29 different regions have stepped up and we also welcome initiatives from Croatia and Poland to the programme. 

The finals kick off this Saturday 29th April at Leicester’s O2 Academy and roll through to Saturday 8th July at Oxford’s Jericho Tavern.  Full dates are detailed below, so be sure to get out and support both bands and venues near you. 

Sat 29th Apr – LEICESTER O2 Academy
Sat 6th May – EDINBURGH La Belle Angele
Fri 12th May – BELFAST Voodoo 
Sat 13th May – DUBLIN Fibber Magees
Sat 20th May – SHEFFIELD Corporation
Sat 20th May – MANCHESTER Rebellion
Thu 25th May – NORWICH Brickmakers
Sat 27th May – MILTON KEYNES Craufurd Arms
Sat 27th May – LEEDS The Library
Sat 3rd Jun – LONDON The Dome
Sat 3rd Jun – NEWCASTLE Trillians
Sat 3rd Jun – OSIJEK (Croatia) Ex-Epic
Sat 10th Jun – CHORZOW (Poland) Lesniczowka Rock n’ Roll Cafe
Fri 16th Jun – COLCHESTER Coda
Sat 17th Jun – GRAVESEND Leo’s, Red Lion
Fri 23rd Jun – BIRMINGHAM Devils Dog
Sat 24th Jun – HITCHIN Club 85
Sat 24th Jun – WREXHAM XS @ The Penny Black
Sat 24th Jun – BRISTOL The ExchangeFri 30th Jun – BOURNEMOUTH Bear Cave
Fri 30th Jun – CHELTENHAM Frog & Fiddle
Sat 1st Jul – BURNLEY Sanctuary
Sat 1st Jul – STOKE The Underground
Sat 1st Jul – NORTHAMPTON The Black Prince
Sat 1st Jul – LIVERPOOL Zanzibar
Sat 1st Jul – CARDIFF Fuel
Sat 8th Jul – NOTTINGHAM The Old Cold Store
Sat 8th Jul – SALTASH Livewire
Sat 8th Jul – OXFORD Jericho Tavern
Meanwhile, grabbing New Blood slots via the online submission process are these lucky acts.
Joining Friday’s New Blood stage are London’s LOKUST.  Their ferocious, instrumental demo single, ‘Guiltless’ (featuring Krimh – Septicflesh/ex-Decapitated) only hints at what’s to come when they release their debut album this year.  Also appearing Friday will be Stoke On Trent’s self-described “heavy as fuck” trio, HEADPRESS. Get a taster of their brutal triple attack via the video for ‘Outlines’. And joining Friday’s fray are Yorkshire UKHC squad, STREET SOLDIER. Check out the crunchy uncompromising title track from their debut ‘One Man Gang’ EP.

For Saturday’s New Blood stage, we welcome South Wales black metal collective OFNUS. Watch out for the band’s debut full length coming this Summer and meanwhile get a taster of their bleak, brutal sound.  Also featured on Saturday will be riff-laden Manchester metal trio, VICE. Their second album, ‘For The Fallen’ was released last summer – watch their video for ‘Vultures’ here

Irish doomsters SOOTHSAYER also land themselves a Saturday slot. Get familiar with their glorious, atmospheric noise via the video for ‘Cities Of Smoke’, taken from their album ‘Echoes Of The Earth’. Last, but certainly not least, Danish modern death metal squad NAKKEKNAEKKER join Saturday’s line up. For a five piece with the average age of 18, these boys have skills beyond their years. Check out this clip of their live show.

Over on Sunday’s New Blood stage, you’ll be seeing East Anglian thrashers ELIMINATION. The band’s 2021 debut, ‘Echoes of the Abyss’ turned many heads and the band are at work on its successor, due out this year.  In the interim, watch their video for ‘Icon of Despair’

Also grabbing a slot are Northern Ireland rock trio, SKYPILOT. The band’s latest album, ‘Simple Beasts’, laden with fat riffs, landed last Summer, featuring the track, ‘Octofuzz’. And Nottingham extreme noise terrorists OUTERGODS grab a Sunday spot. Featuring members of Evil Scarecrow and Raised By Owls, the band are working on a new album that’ll land this Summer.  In the meantime investigate their ungodly ‘Catacombs of Madness’.  
BLOODSTOCK’s very popular club nights are also underway! Grab your mates, hit the dance floor, and perhaps you’ll be a lucky winner coming home with a free pair of weekend tickets – every club night will be running a competition! If none of these are near you, fret not, there will be more party nights at other locations through June and July revealed soon.
APRILFri 28th April – Warrington, FC2Fri 28th April – Cardiff, Metro’sSat 29th April – Camberley, AgincourtSat 29th April – Stoke-on-Trent, The Sugarmill
MAYSat 6th May – Brighton, AboveFri 12th May – Bristol, The LanesSat 20th May – Newcastle, Reds Bar @ Northumbria Uni Students UnionFri 27th May – London, ElektrowerkzSat 27th May – Southampton, SuburbiaSat 27th May – Stoke-on-Trent, The SugarmillSun 28th May – Exeter, The Cavern

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