|BLOODSTOCK has two true loves…heavy and metal. This Valentine’s, let BLOODSTOCK sweep you off your feet with 18 more crushing bands for August’s best metal weekender. And, with the line-up now complete for the two biggest stages, day tickets have gone on sale in the ticket store.
With SOEN, COMBICHRIST, XENTRIX, RYUJIN, IGNEA, UNPEOPLE, BURNER and many more all joining the bill, there’s something this year for everyone on Catton Park’s hallowed turf! If you’re still hungry for more, why not get involved in your local Metal 2 The Masses heats, and be part of shaping the line-up for the Hopical Storm New Blood stage, with lots of lower card bands still to be confirmed in the coming months.
Joining Sunday’s Ronnie James Dio main stage bill are Swedish progressive metallers, SOEN. The band recently released their sixth studio album, ‘Memorial’, via Spinefarm Records. Check out the lead single, ‘Unbreakable’, taken from that album here. And opening Sunday’s main stage are extreme metal comedians RAISED BY OWLS, who will be bringing their unique brand of mirth and revelry, as well as beefy riffs to kick off your Sunday morning. Watch their latest video effort here, ahead of their new album dropping in May.
Joining Saturday’s main stage bill are Ukrainian melodic metal storytellers, IGNEA, who are surely bound to play some fresh tracks off their latest record, ‘Dreams Of Lands Unseen’, released by Napalm Records last year. Perhaps including its lead single, ‘Dunes’?
Also landing a Saturday slot are British black metal outfit, DEITUS. Investigate ‘Irreversible’, the title track of their latest album released by Candlelight Records, here, if you’ve not yet discovered them.
That’s not all! Over on the Sophie Lancaster stage on Friday, expect to see atmospheric heavyists DARKEST ERA, death hardcore fusionists BURNER, symphonic black metallers HALIPHRON, Irish death squad DEATHCOLLECTOR, Swedish metal stalwarts WOLF, and opening proceedings that day will be powerhouse rock trio, HAXAN.
Saturday’s Sophie bill now features Las Vegas industrial squad COMBICHRIST, hot new alt rock collective UNPEOPLE, Brit hardcore newcomers CAULDRON, classic rock n’ rollers ASOMVEL, and Finnish deathcore outfit, ENEMIES EVERYWHERE.
And on the Sophie line-up on Sunday, BLOODSTOCK welcomes thrash icons XENTRIX, Japanese samurai metal warriors RYUJIN, Brit deathcore bruisers OSIAH, and melodic metal six-piece, AWAKE BY DESIGN.
As December extends its frosty fingers, BLOODSTOCK is getting in the festive spirit with some early Xmas gifts by way of another chunky 2024 announcement. If you’re hoping for some heavy metal next summer, BLOODSTOCK’s got your presents wrapped up with a bow on top! And if you want to give the gift of heavy metal (yes, we mean a ticket for BLOODSTOCK 2024), you can now download a special festive card when you order at the ticket store to help present it to the lucky recipient!
Don’t miss BLOODSTOCK’s Festive Facebook Live at 7pm on Dec 7th for some seasonal fun & oh maybe some prizes… and we suggest you keep your eyes (and your sprouts) peeled for who knows what other treats might be in store across the festival’s socials later this month…
On the Ronnie James Dio main stage, grindcore & melodic death metal pioneers CARCASS land Sunday’s special guest slot. The “most influential band out of Merseyside since The Beatles” released their current studio album, ‘Torn Arteries’ in 2021 via Nuclear Blast to colossal acclaim.
Also appearing Sunday on the RJD main stage are South American progressive sludge metal project, CULTURA TRES. Last year, the 4-piece, featuring Sepultura’s Paolo Pinto Jr on bass, released their 5th studio album, ‘Camino De Brujos’.
Black metal icons, SATYRICON will return to the stage for the first time in 5 years to headline Sunday’s Sophie Lancaster stage. In what are becoming increasingly rare appearances, frontman Satyr informs us: “The way SATYRICON’s attitude has resonated with English fans throughout our journey as a band, has made us feel that playing there isn’t so much a visit, but rather a homecoming. Having decided to do only a few select shows, we can’t go everywhere, but fortunately there are a few places our hearts seem to take us, one way or the other. Like England.”
The mighty SYLOSIS steam into a Saturday slot on the Sophie stage. Their latest album, ‘A Sign Of Things To Come’ landed in September and the Brit metal heavyweights told us, “We can’t wait to be back at BLOODSTOCK! We’ve had some amazing shows over the years, but it feels like next year is going to be really special!” We can’t wait either! In the meantime, get a load of new song ‘Descent’ taken from that brand new release.
Also appearing on Saturday’s Sophie stage are American goth metal project, LUDOVICO TECHNIQUE. Fronted by enigmatic songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ben V, they released their most recent album ‘Haunted People’ in 2022. Check out their epic video for ‘Live As Myself’, taken from that album, here.
Ahoy! Metal pirates RED RUM also grab a Saturday Sophie slot. If you like your pirate tunes laden with riffs and melodies, RED RUM aren’t to be missed. Sing along with ‘We Pirates’ taken from their current album, ‘Book of Legends’ out now on Trollzorn Records.
SADUS bring their death/thrash sounds to BLOODSTOCK’s Sophie stage for the first time ever on Sunday. The band came off an extended hiatus in 2017 and signed to Nuclear Blast for the recent release of new studio album, ‘The Shadow Inside’. Check out the lyric video for album track, ‘Ride The Knife’.
On Sunday’s Sophie stage bill, expect to see Spanish alt metal collective, ANKOR. Fronted by Jessie Williams (who hails from Bristol, UK), the band blend metalcore with progressive and electro elements, creating a sound of their very own.
If you’re a weekend ticket holder, the party starts early for you on Thursday. Once you’ve set up camp and had your first cold one, prog metal Swedes EVERGREY are set to headline Thursday’s Sophie stage, with earlier evening sets from classic heavy metallers TAILGUNNER and Bournemouth rock n’ roll squad, SOUTH OF SALEM.
|Happy Halloween! Trick or treat?! BLOODSTOCK loves the spooky season and has only fiendishly good news to share! Are you ready? Get set to howl the house down when you see which nine bands are being announced today! There’s also news of everyone’s brilliant fund-raising efforts with details of just how much was raised for two worthy charities from BLOODSTOCK 2023, the ticket deposit scheme launch date, & more. Without further ado…
Swedish metal legends GRAND MAGUS land a Friday slot on the Ronnie James Dio main stage. It’s already been 4 long years since the doom-infused three-piece dropped album ‘Wolf God’ with Nuclear Blast, but the band themselves have already made mention of their tenth album coming in 2024! Get excited! Last seen at BLOODSTOCK in 2019, refresh your memory of that epic set here.
Metal Blade mob WHITECHAPEL serve up a hefty slab of deathcore on Saturday’s main stage. After regretfully pulling out of 2023’s event, you’ve had an extra year to anticipate just how ferocious that pit is gonna be. Watch the video for latest single ‘Without You/Without Us’ or deep dive into the entirety of current album ‘Kin’ here.
Florida death metal icons DEICIDE also jet in for a main stage Saturday spot in a UK festival exclusive. It’s all go in the Deicide camp of late, signing a new record deal with Reigning Phoenix Music and putting the finishing touches on their upcoming, 13th full-length album, ‘Banished By Sin’, featuring new guitarist Taylor Nordberg. The first new album since 2018, just give us the release date already! While you’re waiting patiently, check out some classic Deicide via the video for ‘Scars Of The Crucifix.’
Oxford-based riff beasts DESERT STORM roll in to wake you up on Friday morning, opening the main stage. Their latest masterpiece ‘Death Battle’ dropped via APF this March, an intoxicating mix of stoner doom and prog metal. If you’re a fan of Clutch and Orange Goblin, you won’t want to miss them. Wrap your ears round their latest track ‘Salt Of The Earth’ here.
Over on the Sophie Lancaster stage, five more treats have been locked in.
Icelandic psych rock squad THE VINTAGE CARAVAN secure a position on Friday’s bill. The Led Zep fans are currently cranking out their classic rock/prog-infused sounds across mainland Europe, promoting latest release ‘The Monuments Tour (Live)’, unveiled 2 weeks ago via Napalm Records. Watch the live video for ‘Can’t Get You Off My Mind’ here.
Londoners EXIST IMMORTAL also bring their metal maelstrom to the Friday line-up. Their self-titled current album, released by Seek & Strike, is available now. Appraise yourself of their sound via their latest single, ‘Emerge’.
Joining them on Friday, are the epic metal ETERNAL CHAMPION from Texas, who marked their tenth anniversary this year. Released by No Remorse Records in 2020, you can listen to their latest LP ‘Ravening Iron’ in full here.
One of alt.music’s hottest rising stars, MIMI BARKS is added to Saturday’s Sophie bill. If you’re looking for something just a little bit different to add flavour to your BLOODSTOCK weekend, perhaps a little doom-trap will be just the ticket. Current release, ‘DEADGIRL’, claimed the full 5Ks from Kerrang. Watch ‘Saw’ from that release now.
GROVE STREET rampage onto Sunday’s roster. The band have been causing a massive stir in hardcore circles and last month released new album, ‘The Path To Righteousness’. Check out the title track here and see what all the fuss is about.
|BLOODSTOCK is also excited to announce that Timothy Taylor and their Hopical Storm ale have partnered with the 2024 METAL 2 THE MASSES programme. The 2024 M2TM season is now underway, with bands around the country competing to win a slot on the newly named Hopical Storm New Blood Stage. If you’re in an unsigned or developing band and would like to throw your hat in the ring, click over to the M2TM page on the BLOODSTOCK site to see information about participating venues/cities.
|In other festival news, BLOODSTOCK would like to thank everyone who contributed to this year’s event’s charity fundraising efforts. A grand total of £13,903 was raised in donations from BLOODSTOCKers for the festival’s two official charities for 2023: The Derbyshire, Leicestershire, and Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA) (£5492) and The Sophie Lancaster Foundation (£8411). This comprised: Guest & media donations amassing £10,984, which was split equally between The Sophie Lancaster Foundation and DRLAABar staff generously donating all tips to The Sophie Lancaster Foundation. Alan, the bar’s head honcho, also doubled this donation, making a total of £838.The Rock Society raised £200 via a raffle for The Sophie Lancaster Foundation.The T-Shirt / CD Amnesty raised £1881 for The Sophie Lancaster Foundation.
The Sophie Lancaster Foundation’s Chief Executive, Alison Vincent said: “We are so grateful to BLOODSTOCK and their amazing staff and supporters for their incredible donation of £8,411. This is a huge amount of money for us and will be used to fund more work to support the alternative community and also deliver more sessions in schools about tolerance and respect for others. Thanks to BLOODSTOCK for making us so welcome and for doing all they could to make BLOODSTOCK 2023 the best ever!”
Commenting on behalf of the Derbyshire, Leicestershire, and Rutland Air Ambulance charity, Tracey Jones, Community Fundraising Executive for Derbyshire said, “We would like to say a big thank you to everyone at BLOODSTOCK Open Air who donated funds to support our lifesaving missions. A special thank you goes to Rachael and Adam for choosing us as one of two charities to support at their festival this year. We rely on generous fundraising and funding to remain operational, and without the support of the local community just like this, the lifesaving missions in Derbyshire and further afield wouldn’t be possible.”
For more information on the important work these charities do, or to donate, please visit:https://www.sophielancasterfoundation.com/ and https://www.theairambulanceservice.org.uk.
|Want to do a bit more for The Sophie Lancaster Foundation?
Did you catch the amazing set by SKYND headlining the Sophie stage on Thursday at BLOODSTOCK this summer? Perhaps you spotted Skynd’s special pink jacket on stage during her performance or her wearing it earlier in the day?
Skynd has donated this one-off jacket and The Sophie Lancaster Foundation are auctioning it on eBay! Skynd has also signed the protective bag it will come in. The auction is already underway, so go sling in a bid and perhaps you’ll be the lucky winner. The auction ends on November 5th!
Bid here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/314914024832
Skynd says, “A foundation like the Sophie Lancaster Foundation is important today as well as tomorrow, because it does not let us forget what and especially WHY happened to Sophie, but also that prejudice and intolerance have no place. I am grateful and emotionally touched about a foundation like this, where the people involved are committed and have their hearts in it and contribute a part to the fact that prejudice, hate and intolerance have no place anywhere. To be different, to live as you want should not be a reason for hate or violence. I support this foundation and will continue to do so. Say her name: SOPHIE!”
|If you’ve been hanging on for a few more bands to be revealed for BLOODSTOCK 2024 before snapping up your early bird ticket, this is the announcement you’ve been waiting for, with seven more stellar acts joining the bill. Don’t wait much longer for an early bird, because the allocation is over 90% sold, and after that, prices will increase.
Swedish progressive legends, OPETH will headline Friday’s Ronnie James Dio main stage for a very special fan-chosen set. What’s more, the performance will be their only UK show in 2024. Frontman Mikael Akerfeldt extols, “So…back to BLOODSTOCK 2024 for us, it appears! I don’t remember how many times we’ve played the festival, but we do have fond memories from there. ”Filling in” for Heaven and Hell when RJD had passed is one. Fuck! Can’t remember a more emotional event on stage for us, to be honest. Anyhoooo, we’ll be there ‘rocking’ and ‘rolling’ in our own way, playing songs that you’ve chosen (apparently). Please be gentle. Right now I feel pretty far from being a ROCKER, as I’m writing this sat in my (favourite) greasy sweatpants, and my hair is greasier than ever. I’m working, you see. But I promise I’ll have a look in the mirror before we hit the stage. The band will be tight (that’s also a promise). I’ll sing OK (semi-promise). You’ll recognise the songs (I really have no idea, but you picked them!) and, we’ll be IN. THE. ZONE! All in all, providing the weather’s nice and the beer is cold, the possibilities for a magical night are rather decent. Wouldn’t you say? Hope to see (and hear) you there.” You’d not want to disappoint the man now, would you?
The mighty HATEBREED are bringing their 30th Anniversary set to Friday’s main stage bill. Having been forced to cancel their whole UK/European run in 2022, BLOODSTOCK is thrilled to have them return to Catton Park with a stacked set of pit-churning classics. Will they take the title for most number of crowd-surfers during their BLOODSTOCK set from current record holders Cannibal Corpse?! Killswitch Engage came close in 2023, but were about 40 short… Watch them light up Wacken back in 2018 in this footage for ‘Destroy Everything.’
Avant garde prog extremists ENSLAVED play the Ronnie James Dio main stage on Sunday. Formed back in 1991, these long-time masters of their craft have a veritable horde of tracks across 16 albums to narrow down a set list from. Certain to be a welcome return, ENSLAVED were last seen at BLOODSTOCK in 2015. Check out the epic song ‘Congelia’, taken from current album ‘Heimdal’, out now via Nuclear Blast.
Brazilian thrash outfit NERVOSA land themselves a main stage slot on Friday. The band have recently rejigged their line up, with founding guitarist Prika Amaral also stepping up to now also front the band. Witness their ferocity on recent single ‘Endless Ambition’, taken from their imminent ‘Jailbreak’ album, arriving 29th September.
There’s even more LatAm talent with Brazilian death squad CRYPTA bringing their brutal noise to the main stage on Saturday. Bassist Fernanda Lira and drummer Luana Dametto formed the band after departing Nervosa back in 2019. Watch them shred their way through ‘Trial Of Traitors,’ taken from their brand new album, ‘Shades Of Sorrow,’ which was released last month via Napalm Records.
Calling all power metal fans! BLOODSTOCK is pleased to share that Finnish PM gang, BEAST IN BLACK will be strutting their stuff on the main stage on Sunday. Currently on the road across North America, you can keep up with their tour antics on their official TikTok! Have you checked out their widely-praised third album ‘Dark Connection’ yet? Watch the video for the most recent single, ‘To The Last Drop Of Blood.’
Bay Area thrash veterans, FORBIDDEN grab a slot on Saturday’s main stage. Having recently re-booted with a brand new frontman (Norman Skinner) and drummer (Chris Kontos), the band wasted no time laying waste to Belgium’s Alcatraz festival this year. Check out ‘Twisted Into Form’ from that incendiary set, and warm up your necks in anticipation for BLOODSTOCK 2024!
In related news, BLOODSTOCK’s founder Paul Gregory has had both his career and life story told in a new documentary, ‘Heavy Metal Painter’. The movie, put together by Toronto-based film-making collective, The Art of Heavy Metal, is set to premiere on the BLOODSTOCK YouTube channel on 10th October. In the meantime, check out the trailer to whet your appetite and get some popcorn ordered in!
|There are less than 10% remaining of the standard Early Bird weekend tickets, priced at £165 (+ bkg fee). Once the discounted Early Bird allocation has gone, standard weekend tickets will increase in price to £185 (+ bkg fee), so grab yours and save yourself £20. Head over to the 2024 ticket store now!
BLOODSTOCK’s other 2023 Ronnie James Dio main stage headliners are AMON AMARTH and ARCHITECTS. Across the weekend you can also expect to see CLUTCH, MALEVOLENCE, ROTTING CHRIST, KORPIKLAANI, UNLEASH THE ARCHERS, FLOGGING MOLLY, SEPTIC FLESH, IGORRR, NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA, HELLRIPPER, GREEN LUNG and INFECTED RAIN, with many more yet to be announced. Get full festival information over at bloodstock.uk.com.
BLOODSTOCK will take place at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 8th-11th August 2024.
For those of us who can’t get the extra day off work, Festivals are still a three day affair unfortunately, so I’m starting my Bloodstock Open Air 2023 journey here on Friday morning. Surprisingly sunny and warm despite one of the worst summers on record, we are grateful on two fronts – no need for the heavy duty rain gear we would have needed two weeks ago, and that the grass is visibly still green unlike the scorched Sahara situation of last year.
It is nice to note however, that Bloodstock seem to have upped their game a little after the 2022 hellscape, and there are a few more canopy structures around site to offer sun/rain relief. New too is the very cool Jewellery collaboration between Black Feather Designs and BOA, being a stalwart OG Bloodstocker – I was tempted into getting a signet ring, and they are beautifully made. Otherwise, Bloodstock remains largely unchanged and for that I am thankful – it is one of the easiest to navigate sites of all UK festivals and means I’ve got the best chance at seeing heaps of excellent bands this weekend.
Starting up with Hate on the main stage, who are uncompromisingly heavy and daubed in corpse paint (my first bingo tick of the weekend), followed by Gatecreeper who seem to have swapped set times. Gatecreeper fulfil my hair-windmilling requirement for the festival on day one, opening with the aptly named ‘Sweltering Madness’, play some good solid heavy metal and get an extremely rowdy circle pit going.
On the Sophie stage, Zetra sound like the band from your 90’s Buffy dreams. Gloomy, emo and deliciously ethereal – if you want to write poems in a graveyard, this is your soundtrack. By your soundtrack, I mean mine. Off to buy some black lace and a scrying gemstone.
Back on the main stage Sacred Reich have worked out whatever the hitch was that meant they had to switch slots with Gatecreeper, and they joke “This sun isnt typical here… I think its cause you’ve got two Arizona bands on today, so you’re welcome” before thanking Gatecreeper for the swap. It’s a great set from them so I’m glad the powers that be managed to work it all out.
Wild Heat are rocking out in the Jägermeister tent, it sounds like the 80’s and I’m entirely here for it. Looks like everyone else is too because that tent is absolutely overflowing with people cheering them on, and I reckon they could more than handle a bigger stage next time. Fit For An Autopsy also get my stamp of approval, their sound is built from so many different sources and angles it’s a truly unique experience across their set, yes it’s heavy but the underlying melodies are the hook that reels you in. Calling “This is a bucket-list festival for us, we are so glad to be here! We need more crowd surfers, get up there!” they are visibly gaining new fans today.
Fury on the Sophie Stage are absolutely throwing down, it’s classic 80’s metal and I LOVE IT. Twin vocals from Julian Jenkins and Nyah Ifill are the soaring sound of the epic 80’s movie montage – think Karate Kid and Rocky. I know that sounds like I’m placing them in the category of cheesy, but trust me when I say I’m putting them up there with the greats. If you like hair metal, Fury are one hundred percent for you. If you don’t like hair metal, you’re wrong. ‘Hell of a Night’ has a very singable “Monster movies” refrain which has already become an earworm and is therefore entering my playlist immediately.
Over on the main stage, Heaven Shall Burn are already enjoying themselves “It’s our first time at a festival in the UK, this is pretty special for us”, their stage filled with huge lighting panels and a lot of face-melting pyro. After a two year hiatus from live music before this summer, they’ve come out swinging, heavy and fast enough to entice a whole raft of crowd surfers across the barrier – including someone in a completely pink suit and tophat, very dapper.
Less production fanfare for the iconic In Flames, but no compromise on power whatsoever. The Gothenburg heavyweights are as raw and brutal as ever, backed up by their intensely interwoven melodies that form their unique sound. I couldn’t rave enough about this band if I tried, after thirteen albums their catalogue speaks for itself, but live – they just have that certain something that draws you in. ‘Leeches’ and ‘Behind Space’ back to back show just how varied this setlist is today, we’re getting the full tour and I’m extremely appreciative.
Shouting “Do you wanna join our band? Get him up here, no wait, he’s got superhero clothes on he can fucking fly up” Anders brings a fan dressed as a pirate up to join them on stage. “Finally we got a rock star up here!” he jokes, before handing him a mic. “Open a big circle pit for this one, pirate guy, are you ready?”. We love a bit of silliness here for sure, but we love a bit of ‘Take This Life’ more, and wow what a set that was. The last time In Flames played BOA was 2007, it’s been a long fucking time coming, In Flames we trust.
We take a little time to peruse the food offerings before the headliner, and settle on some slow cooked brisket from the most magnificent BBQ van, whose siren blares when the meats are ready. I would now like to be informed of dinnertime this way every day. 10/10 deliciousness, even if the chipotle sauce is still burning.
Closing out the main stage for the night, Killswitch Engage are a strong choice for BOA headliner. It’s an absolutely massive crowd spanning the arena and they come in heavy and melodic with ‘My Curse’ and ‘Rise Inside’. Guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz is rocking cocktail print boardshorts and a cut off Hawaiian shirt whilst bouncing around the stage with utter uncontained glee, as they head into ‘The Signal Fire’ – “This song is about unity and love, and that’s everything this festival stands for”.
“I think it’s important to say this to all you people who were picked on. The freaks, the geeks, the weirdos. You are not alone, we are all here for each other” is a lovely supportive sentiment for a big ole metal band to espouse for sure, but becomes slightly ridiculous when followed up with “…what are you pussies doing there in the middle? I thought this was a metal show? Get a circle pit going!”. Nevertheless the band is rewarded with just that, if there’s one thing Bloodstock fans do brilliantly – it’s getting themselves nice and chaotic when asked. Closing with ‘My Last Seranade’ and a fitting tribute to the Ronnie James Dio stage – a cover of ‘Holy Diver’ is the perfect ending to an epic headline set.
Starting out on Saturday with doomy Urne, who have gathered a decent crowd. It’s not my jam to be honest but there are plenty of approving fans headbanging along this morning.
Up next is possibly the stand-out performance of the weekend, surprisingly… Royal Republic. A strange pick for Bloodstock, and one that I expected to annoy more true heavy metal fans. What I actually saw, was one of the biggest daytime crowds of the whole weekend, everyone dancing, everyone having a great time and everyone letting the pretence of coolness down for 40 minutes. Royal Republic are Swedish clean-cut rock and roll, dressed like T-Birds in tight denim and leather jackets, they bandy about the stage like they’re trying to embody the spirit of Elvis. There’s a keytar, a moment where drummer Per Andreasson fully stands up on top of his kit, and heaps of crowd interaction, what’s not to love?
Yelling “These are my hands, I have two… the maximum amount. They would like to meet your hands… clap!” its clear enigmatic frontman Adam Grahn is here for a fun time. “We love metal, and we could have been a metal band… but we also love money” they joke, before giving us a quick and VERY convincing rendition of Metallica’s ‘Battery’. Finishing up with ‘Baby’ which is immediately my new summer road-trip jam, they have solidified their place in BOA history as a surprise hit amongst all the doom.
Employed To Serve get the unfortunate slot of a proper downpour, but manage to throw down some brutality after it clears. Vocalist Justine Jones absolutely crushes the low death metal growls, and they’ve got a very respectable crowd in front of them. Bloodstock veterans Crowbar are back once again with their excellently heavy riffs, and a joke or two about the weather “We’ve had a lot of wind, a lot of rain… it’s fucking England” to a massive crowd of fans.
Knocked Loose promote as much chaos as their name suggests, and we see the biggest circle pit of the weekend so far, as vocalist Bryan Garris goes absolutely berserk on stage himself.
Over on the Sophie stage another new one for me is Dakesis, despite the fact that they’ve been at Bloodstock a few times before, I seem to have missed them. Frontwoman Gemma Lawler is an absolute powerhouse vocalist and the band’s prog/symphonic metal is right up my street. Their show is dynamic and exciting to watch, the melodies are on point, and I’d truly be happy to see them hit a main stage slot sometime.
On the opposite side of the style coin, Abbath (fronted by former Immortal guitarist, Abbath Doom Occulta… what a handle) are bringing us another dose of corpse-paint and creepy tongue waggling. There’s an awful lot of people in the crowd sporting corpse paint today in support, even a few of the photographers were spotted getting gloomified, and the set is worth the hype.
Walking into the Sophie tent ahead of Gutalax, with no prior knowledge of the band… is nothing short of a fever-dream. Yes yes, I should have realised with the band name, but I wasn’t prepared for what I saw at all. Fans waving toilet brushes (imagine explaining those to security on your way into the campsites) and inflatable excrement flying around the tent, whilst they sing songs about… well, shit, is actually quite fun. I too would like to make it this far in life doing something incomprehensibly weird, I think I’m doing life wrong.
Triptykon performing Celtic Frost is quite special in and of itself, so I don’t know why it isn’t hitting the button for me today. It’s technically brilliant but I guess I’m missing the little things that engage and endear me to live music, it feels a bit like they’re going through the motions I suppose.
On the other hand, the incredibly silly but rather excellent TrollfesT are bringing me all the chaotic joy I have been craving. Sorry purists, but I am going to fucking LOVE a band dressed as resplendent sparkly flamingos and I won’t be taking any questions at this time. Looks like I’m not alone in this sentiment, as there are flippin’ heaps of inflatable flamingos in the crowd, and many people sporting flamingo paraphernalia, and surfing their way to the front of a full tent. Joking about how they entered Eurovision but didn’t get through, frankly enrages me. I would absolutely have voted a million times for the band who play folk metal and dance around the stage, but even more so for the band who call themselves “agents of chaos” and cover Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’. Come on, even the most seasoned metalhead absolutely must find this sort of thing amusing.
Last up for me on Saturday are Meshuggah. I’m trying not to let my opinion be too obviously jaded by the fact that their lighting for taking photos was the absolute worst… but, after playing their first three songs almost entirely in darkness from the back of the stage, I can’t imagine it was that exciting for anyone else either. Yes it’s heavy, yes it’s gut-twistingly brutal, but they’re known for their saga-length songs that I just don’t always think translate well to headline sets, and there’s no movement or interaction. On the other hand, it’s a bloody enormous crowd and I know they’re on point musically – for the fans, this would be a great night. For everyone else, I’m not sure it hits.
Sunday has us checking out some of the other offerings around the arena, there’s always a small but great collection of shops at Bloodstock, with everything from patches for your battle vest, to frog hats and ornate drinking horns. If I am permitted one small gripe this year, it is that the queues for the merch stand on Friday were atrociously long, and it’s placement along the back of the arena meant that it made the walkway a bit difficult to pass at times to get to the New Blood stage. It would be nice to see a second merch stall over in the food court area somewhere, as I believe there had been in years past. I was also super disappointed to find that the S’Tan plushies had sold out on Thursday, so please BOA – order some more in time for Christmas ok?
Checking out All Hail The Yeti on the main stage for some good solid heavy metal, I did find myself giggling at the Stranger Things experience I was getting with the intro to ‘Highway Crosses’. Tribulation are today’s dose of corpse-paint, and in a very cute move they even have little incense sticks stuck into their PA speakers at the front, adorable. Guitarist Joseph Tholl is incredibly talented, and their soaring gothic melodies are truly delicious to the ears.
Polish death-metallers Decapitated bring the fun and heaps of crowd surfers, with vocalist Rafał Piotrowski whipping his Rapunzel-ian dreadlocks around the stage. It’s a very large and hyped up crowd despite it being Sunday, this is one of the funnest sets of the weekend by far.
Dead Air (who suffer a typo on the app and were very sweetly presented instead as Dear Air, narf) are playing their bouncy rock and roll in the Jägermeister tent, jumping around in the very limited space and giving the frankly massive crowd a fucking fantastic set. I’d like to see them back!
Ugly kid Joe are bringing the nostalgia, with their funny take on other bands’ logos (note the Motorhead style drum skins, the Britney Spears/Sabbath tshirt, Slayer backdrop etc…) and they’re just damn good fun, even their Ace of Spades cover was decent.
Over in the Sophie tent, I once again feel I’ve stepped into an alternate reality for Church of The Cosmic Skull. Opening with the truly epic ‘Mountain Heart’ I am immediately captured by their sound, 70’s organ and strings with that Pink Floyd/Animals ring to it. The band themselves are a visual force to be reckoned with as well, all dressed in bright white of varying styles, and all white instruments (apart from the rainbow axe sported by frontman and founder Bill Fisher) they look like the kind of cult I would absolutely fall for. It is prog, for sure, but not the self-serving hours of widdling-around and paying no mind to listenability kind. They have a very singable quality which had me playing their spotify channel all the way home. Call me a convert, they were truly one of the stand out bands of the weekend.
Now for maybe the most exciting set of the weekend, and who could be remotely surprised – it’s Sepultura. If you don’t get hyped up to jump around to this band, your heart might not be installed correctly, because it is impossible not to be drawn in when Derrick Green asks you to jump with him. “Bloodstock! Let’s get it GOING!” he yells, as the crowd surfers rain down on the security guards at the front. “This goes out to all the bands at the festival, and all you motherfuckers out there” is the signal call for everyone to go wild for ‘Refuse/Resist’ and closer ‘Roots Bloody Roots’ just seals their position as one of the best bands I’ve ever seen at BOA… again.
KK’s Priest stepping up in place of Helloween after their cancellation, means a crowd full of slightly disappointed people wearing their pumpkin outfits in mourning, which is a little funny. Yes, joke along that this is Judas Karaoke if you will, but honestly – it’s good. Solid heavy metal, a lot of running around and fun stuff, can’t complain for a last minute addition. I would have been one of the people who would have liked for Skindred to fill the slot on the back of their hit album, but the forums are full of people who were Skindred-ed out and I do get why.
I was however, absolutely blown-away by Zeal & Ardor and do feel they could have been an incredible pick for that main stage slot too, despite their relative new-ness. The rammed tent supports my theory, overflowing with equally awestruck people for their bluesy country flavoured metal. It’s hard to categorise them to be honest, and I think that’s some of the draw – finding a new style can be hard in a saturated market but they seem to have cracked it and created something unusual. Opener ‘Church Burns’ is very country, while ‘Götterdämmerung’ is as black as metal comes, it certainly keeps them interesting.
Megadeth are taking the final main stage tour of the weekend and the band tshirts are out in force for them, though they are no longer the true end of the festival due to the Sophie stage going one bigger each night (tonight with Biohazard) this feels like a fitting end to BOA 2023. Replete with the classic 80’s imagery, albeit delivered via screens instead of backdrops these days, Megadeth enter a dark stage and stand at the back, with drummer Dirk Verbeuren risen aloft amongst the speaker stacks. Loading up with ‘Hangar 18’, MegaDave (Mustaine) and the band give us that unmistakable ‘Big Four’ production. Yes it’s thrash, but there’s just that clean element of a band who’ve been perfecting something for this long and absolutely nailing it, and the ginormous inflatable unicorn nodding along at the front of the crowd seems to agree.
Between each song break the arena shakes with a chant of “Mega-deth” and there is no choice but to headbang along to ‘Conquer or Die!’ really is there? “Two words… lookin good! There are so many beautiful faces tonight” are the words that precede ‘Tornado of Souls’ which I personally think is quite accidentally witty. ‘Symphony of Destruction’ is of course excellent, come through my fellow Guitar Hero kids… as is ‘Peace Sells’.
After a brief break (one of the only bands to continue the pretence of going away and coming back for an encore these days) they call out “This is Bloodstock, all metal, all night!” to which the guy next to me loudly replies “PLAY SOME RIFFS OR FUCK OFF”, much to the amusement of all around us. Finishing up with ‘Mechanix’ and ‘Holy Wars… The Punishment Due’ means Megadeth go out as a solid headline choice for Bloodstock, and certainly one to remember.
Over and out Bloodstock 2023, you have been absofuckinglutely magnificent. With the line-up announcements already – I am positive it’s going to be yet another stunner next year.
Note: Following the festival, it was reported that there had been a death in the campsite on Saturday evening. This publication would like to extend their thoughts and condolences to the family and friends of this person, and to the team at BOA. Bloodstock is a close-knit family and this news is extremely sad.
|With only a couple of weeks to go, BLOODSTOCK’s here to update you on lots of non-band-related delights at this year’s event, including a diverse range of traders, food stalls, drinks, on-site entertainment, and other facilities at next month’s glorious celebration of heavy metal. Not to mention a bargain deal on this year’s festival t-shirt and info on 2023’s charity partners.
First up, BLOODSTOCK is very aware of the cost of living squeeze, so is pleased to confirm that the price of the 2023 event t-shirt has been frozen at £25. Head to the merch stand in the main arena over the festival to snap it up! You can also find a range of new merch online now here including super-soft dressing gowns, drinking horns, umbrellas, and the S’tan plush toy/bobblehead!
|Whether you’re vegan, veggie, meat-eating, or seeking something gluten-free or halal, BLOODSTOCK has a wide range of food available onsite. Here’s just a few options… burgers, pizza, tacos, burritos, gyoza, waffles, crepes, toasties, smoked meats, chicken, noodles, pies, giant Yorkshire puds, baguettes, fish & chips, fries, hotdogs, kebabs, donuts/churros, mac n’ cheese, wraps, nachos, fudge, the infamous black ice-cream, and more – and Bunnychow is back too! Check out more info here and there’s a handy graphic below to help you keep track of which food stands to head to first.
|For any essentials you’ve forgotten, there’s a supermarket in the Midgard campsite (and a small shop in the main arena) plus Fat Frank’s Camping Store, where for £2 you can even get your air bed inflated for a comfier night’s sleep.
For those looking to do a little heavy metal shopping in the arena, you’ll be able to pick up patches and badges, CDs/vinyl, or official merch and alt clothing (leggings, t-shirts, denim jackets, leather waistcoats, army surplus, hats… you name it) to rock ‘n roll home accessories, wiccan wares, all types of jewellery (visit the Guitarwrist for items benefiting charity made with used guitar strings and Black Feather Design for BLOODSTOCK’s official 925 silver jewellery range) and if you don’t have one already, surely a Viking drinking horn is an essential addition (other Viking crafts also available).
|When you’re not watching bands, how about a spot of axe-throwing with your pals or visit Firehound Forge, the local blacksmith stall, who may even forge your item while you watch? There’s also the Nordic Spirit Gaming Arena with modern and retro video games to play, the Rock And Metal Gallery (reputed to be the coolest place onsite, metaphorically and literally), the Planet Rock Signing Tent to meet your favourite bands, and fairground attractions, plus you can join a 45-min open air Rockfit class at 10:15am Fri-Sun to get your blood pumping squatting to Slayer, or why not grab a cold beverage and watch some Vikings go to battle right in front of you!
|When the bands are done, it doesn’t mean BLOODSTOCK is! Late night ents kick off with DJs on both the New Blood and Sophie stages ‘til the early hours. Over in the Sophie tent, on Thursday from 12am-2am, DJ Pressplay welcomes you with a selection of tunes from upcoming bands and other metal bangers; Friday from 12am-2am brings The Blood Rave with DJs Little M and Lloyd, marking the 25th anniversary of iconic movie, Blade! Expect EBM, industrial, techno, and heavy beats.
The Sophie tent on Saturday from 12am-2am is the Dark Night of the Scarecrow! Jakk and Jordan from EVIL SCARECROW are joined by DJ Arockalypse to offer up a slab of the best metal and rock anthems. Sunday from 12am-2am, sees DJ Rich Harris (Desertfest) closing the festival in the only way he knows how – loudly and by including guilty pleasure metal whoppers to lodge in your head until Bloodstock 2024!
The New Blood tent sees the return of the very popular silent disco on Thursday and Saturday nights from 11pm-2am – take your pick from three channels of rock & metal, pop & party cheese, or full-on dance, or why not mix it up with all three?! Just turn up and grab a headset. At the other end of the scale, New Blood’s Friday night from 11pm-1am sees DJ Darren Smith serving up a crushing selection of the blackest, darkest, and heaviest music around.
If you’d rather have your fun back in the campsites, get in on Midgard Madness between 11pm – 1am, with some brand new inflatable shenanigans this year. Fan of wrestling? Take on your pal in a sumo wrestler suit! Feeling a bit more athletic? Put your strength and stamina to the test with the Bungee Run! How far can you make it down the track before the bungee catapults you back to the start?!
For the jousters amongst you, take on the Pole Joust challenge. Who can stay on the pole the longest without being toppled to their doom?! Who will be the BLOODSTOCK Almighty Joust Champion?? Bragging rights indeed. A late night Redbull bar will be there to quench your thirst (wings not included).
|Each year BLOODSTOCK has various dress themes for those who want to participate. In 2023, we see the return of the very successful ‘Pink For Sylvia’ theme on both Thursday and Friday, in memory of Sophie Lancaster’s mother, the founder of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. Pink was Sylvia’s favourite colour. Corpsepaint Saturday does what it says on the tin! If you don’t want to do your own make-up, stop by the Sophie Lancaster charity stall in the main arena between 10am – 3pm Sat and they’ll paint your face for a small donation, with all proceeds going to the Foundation. On Sunday, it’ll be Helloween Pumpkins day, so bust out your best pumpkin-themed attire to welcome the mighty HELLOWEEN!
As part of BLOODSTOCK’s continuing sustainability/green efforts, the cup redemption scheme returns to help keep BLOODSTOCK litter-free!! Open to those 18+, you can redeem prizes for collecting cups! Hand in your stash at Lemmy’s bar to get a stamp on your collector’s card for every 50 cups returned. This year’s prizes are:
50 cups – 1 free pint / spirit worth £6
100 cups – 15% off Bloodstock merch or 1 meal voucher worth £12 (one transaction only)
250 cups – 1 Bloodstock festival shirt (size subject to availability)
600 cups – Jump the queue to the signing tent for one whole day
750 cups – Access to Serpents Lair VIP hospitality area for 2 people
1000 cups – Watch a band from side of stage or in the pit for first 3 songs (subject to no closed stage or pyro restrictions).
In addition, the tent donation point returns by Fat Franks in the Midgard campsite! When you’re going home, if you can’t be bothered to lug your tent with you, don’t abandon it to be lonely in landfill! Put it to good use by donating it for charitable benefit.
|BLOODSTOCK’s official charity partners for 2023 are The Sophie Lancaster Foundation and Derbyshire Air Ambulance. The ever important work of The Sophie Lancaster Foundation to stamp out prejudice, hatred, and intolerance everywhere is something BLOODSTOCK have been proud to support for many years.
The Derbyshire Air Ambulance Service operates 24/7, 365 days a year, providing a rapid trauma response. They receive no government funding and rely solely on the public’s generosity to keep their helicopters flying and saving lives. BLOODSTOCK is also pleased to confirm that a team from Derbyshire LGBT+ will run a stall too. They are Derbyshire’s only LGBT+ specific support service, supporting all LGBT+ people or anyone who is having issues with sexual orientation or gender identity, including family and friends. Look out for their spots in the main arena (left of the main stage as you look at it) and pop over to learn more about the awesome work these organisations do.
BLOODSTOCK would like to take a moment to celebrate the incredible efforts of Pick Collectors Against Cancer, who have now raised more than $250,000, benefiting band-nominated cancer-related charities all over the world. BLOODSTOCK is very pleased to keep supporting this worthwhile cause, and with everyone’s help, perhaps they can top $300,000 this year. Head to their socials for more info, and look out for Lee from PCAC at the fest.
If you find yourself falling ill or in need of some extra support/assistance while at BLOODSTOCK, head to the MEDICAL / WELFARE TENT in the main arena. You can also visit THE SAMARITANS marquee located in the Midgard campsite for a non-judgemental, confidential chat at any time over the festival event.
|BLOODSTOCK is also pleased to welcome 1625 OUTREACH, a local service that specialise in supporting festival goers in relation to drugs, alcohol, and personal safety. This year 1625 will be working collaboratively with Welfare on site – you can find them in the campsite hub or you can drop them a message on Instagram (@1625_Outreach). 1625 are available to provide…Free & confidential advice about drugs/alcohol.Harm reduction information & resources.Assistance in accessing additional support on site & in the community.Free safety resources (drink spiking covers, condoms, etc).A harm reduction &/or recovery centred safe space to chat.
Every campsite has its own vibe, but if you’re looking for the designated quiet campsite, make a beeline for Ragnarok. Niflheim is the accessible campsite for those who have applied successfully in advance to camp there. Coming on your own and/or a bit anxious about that? Consider joining unofficial Bloodstock group Camp Loners & Newbies, who always camp in a corner of Valhalla. With Ironwood, Midgard, Jotunheim, Asgard, and Hel to choose from too (plus Vanaheim 1 & 2 for our campervan friends & the Serpent’s Lair campsite for VIPers) you’re sure to find your home away from home! Want to chat to fellow BLOODSTOCKers before you get there? There are a number of unofficial Facebook groups, including BMF666.
|Looking for directions or travel info including coaches and the official festival shuttle, running from Tamworth train station this year (note: NOT Lichfield, as in years prior)? Click here. For all general event info & frequently asked questions, including box office, main arena, and car park opening times, accessibility, lost & found (inc. lost kids), and much more, go here. You can find this year’s site map of BLOODSTOCK here. Stay tuned to BLOODSTOCK’s official social channels over the next couple of weeks for news all about the festival’s brand new app that you’ll soon be able to download, complete with a helpful clash finder and stage times.
While you’re planning your packing, don’t forget that BLOODSTOCK has introduced a dedicated one-stop-shop featuring all those festival essentials. From the all important cold beers to BOA’s 2023 merchandise, through to camping equipment and much more, BLOODSTOCKers can secure all their must-have items in advance from one online shop, eradicating the need for last-minute scrambles, long queues or searching in multiple online stores for different items. For more info and to explore what you can get, visit the official Bloodstock Festival Preo store.
Weekend early bird tickets for BLOODSTOCK 2024 will be available to purchase at the box office on site for £165. This is the cheapest way to buy a 2024 ticket, minus any online booking or admin fees. Serpents Lair VIP tickets and campervan pitches will go on sale at 9am on Wednesday 16th August and are expected to sell out quickly, so if you want one, be ready!! Please note that there will be no VIP Upgrades in 2024. A very limited number of 100 VIP Deposit Scheme tickets will be available at 9am on 1st September. When they’re gone, they’re gone.
Still not got your ticket?! Snap up your standard weekend tickets inc. camping at the ticket store for the bargain price of just £165 (+ fees). Don’t hang about, limited numbers remain! If you want to make it a family affair, there are child tickets too, priced £45 (+fees) and mini-moshers under age 4 go free. If you can’t make the whole weekend, but don’t want to miss out, limited day tickets are available priced £75 (+fees) for adults and £25 (+fees) for kids. See all options in the ticket store and get excited watching the latest trailer here!
|BLOODSTOCK’s 2023 Ronnie James Dio main stage headliners are KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, MESHUGGAH, and MEGADETH. Also appearing are HELLOWEEN, IN FLAMES, BIOHAZARD, EMPLOYED TO SERVE, ROYAL REPUBLIC, SACRED REICH, HEAVEN SHALL BURN, SEPULTURA, FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY, CROWBAR, CANDLEMASS, TRIBULATION, SEETHING AKIRA, UGLY KID JOE, DECAPITATED, GATECREEPER, ZEAL & ARDOR, KING 810, ABBATH, URNE, ALL HAIL THE YETI, DEAD LABEL, BOSSK, CHURCH OF THE COSMIC SKULL, BROTHERS OF METAL, PEST CONTROL, GUTALAX, UUHAI, INVISIONS, COBRA THE IMPALER, TROLLFEST, SKYND, FROZEN SOUL, EMBODIMENT, THE VIOLENT INZIDENT, TRIBE OF GHOSTS, DAKESIS, THE ENIGMA DIVISION, THE GREY, AMBRIUS, TUSKAR, STENGAH, OVERTHRONE, TORTURED DEMON, CASKET FEEDER, GAEREA, BLOODYARD, WOLFBASTARD, EMBODIMENT, SKIN FAILURE, WITCHSORROW, WYTCH HAZEL, HATE, BLACK COAST, PHOENIX LAKE, ZETRA and more.
Get full festival information over at bloodstock.uk.com.
BLOODSTOCK will take place at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 10th-13th August 2023.
|As this year’s event gets ever nearer, BLOODSTOCK is thrilled to announce that Sunday day tickets for 2023 are now SOLD OUT!! Standard weekend tickets remain available but are going quickly, plus a limited day allocation for Friday and Saturday. Read on for more band news, plus all the details on the RAM Gallery exhibitors, the return of the T-Shirt/CD Amnesty and Planet Rock Signing Tent, plus how to do a one-stop-shop for all your festival essentials.
There’s just 4 weeks to go before the metal hoardes thunder their way onto Catton Park’s hallowed turf! This week the Metal 2 The Masses scheme is closing out this year’s initiative with the final batch of 10 lucky bands who won local heats to score a slot on the New Blood stage.
Friday’s New Blood line up will include the Oxford heat victors, SHOOT TO KILL, who’ll be bringing their metalcore breakdowns and 90s riffs, showcased on their recent video for ‘Crimson’. Also appearing will be modern metal squad, APATHY, whose brutal downtuned guitars and psychedelic soundscapes won out in Devon & Cornwall. Check out their official video for ‘Gravewalker’.
Bournemouth’s winners, TO OBEY A TYRANT also grab a Friday slot. Their blackened deathcore has won many admirers – appraise yourself via their video for ‘Vermillion Moon’. DEVIL’S HENCHMEN picked up the Merseyside prize – watch them bring the retro riffage in the video for ‘Built By Hate’. Grabbing the last Friday slot are South Wales outfit, TORCHBEARER. The four piece dropped their ‘Warrior’ EP just last month, featuring the blistering ‘Catharsis In Karma.’
Grabbing a Saturday New Blood slot will be Cheltenham’s SKORA. The band’s progressive hardcore sound has made them mainstays of the South West underground scene. Find out why via their video for ‘Harakiri.’ Northampton’s PICTURE THE SCENE also win their place. Having picked up Radio 1 airplay and won Arts Council England support, find out what the fuss is about via this live set from North Acre Studios. THE DEAD XIII picked up the prize in the Burnley heat. With a couple of albums and Kerrang! Radio airplay under their belts, they’re no strangers to the touring circuit – watch their video for ‘Killers’ here. Picking up Saturday’s final space are Stoke’s winners, BLOODMORES. This four piece take their influences from all corners of the metal realm, leaning heavily in a melodic death direction. Check out their video for ‘Virulence’ taken from their second album, ‘Too Close To The Sun’.
Sunday’s New Blood line up welcomes Nottingham’s winners, BEYOND YOUR DESIGN. The East Midlands four piece blend massive metalcore riffing with melodic hooks and snarling vocals. Watch them take on an assault of marauders in their official video for ‘United We Fall’.
On Sunday morning, over at the Sophie Lancaster Stage, the party also gets started by the winner of Planet Rock Radio’s band competition. Chosen from hundreds of entries, PHOENIX LAKE came out on top. With comparisons to Evanescence, Parkway Drive and Paramore, their debut EP, ‘Beyond The Flames’ has been picking up a ton of attention. Check out their single, ‘Faithless’ to see for yourself.
|Due to extenuating circumstances, a number of alterations to the bill have been necessary. Due to some unforeseen logistical issues out of ZEAL & ARDOR‘s hands, ZEAL & ARDOR are unfortunately not able to perform on Saturday at BLOODSTOCK. Rather than BLOODSTOCKers lose out entirely on what will be a spectacular set, festival management have managed to move the band to Sunday’s Sophie Lancaster stage line up. ZEAL & ARDOR will now play their full 75-minute set, with their full production, directly before headliners, BIOHAZARD. KING 810’s set will now move to Thursday and TRIBE OF GHOSTS to Saturday. In addition, EYES have had to withdraw from the festival and will be replaced by AMBRIUS in the Saturday morning opening slot on the Sophie Lancaster Stage.
BLOODSTOCK is also thrilled to announce the exhibitors in this year’s RAM GALLERY, the festival’s unique, purpose-built art space curated each year by festival founder and globally renowned fantasy artist, Paul Raymond Gregory. Showing across two whole walls of the space will be KILLSWITCH ENGAGE’s bass player & founder of Dark Icon Design, Mike D’Antonio. Mike’s work is featured on many albums from his own band, but you may not know his work litters the heavy music spectrum and also extends to merch including posters, t-shirts, skateboard decks and more, for the likes of 36 Crazyfists, Armored Saint, Crowbar, and Harley Davidson, among numerous others.
BLOODSTOCK is thrilled to be the first ever art space to showcase selects of Mike’s body of work from the ‘other side’ of his impressive career. Also exhibiting at the gallery will be a familiar face to the RAM Gallery, Oliver Andrew (who created the incredible array of handcrafted ‘guitars-as-art’ for the gallery over the years under his Cynosure Guitars moniker). Oliver will be showcasing his new project, ‘Bloodworks’, which sees him using his own blood as the medium for hyper-realistic artworks.
The RAM Gallery also welcomes Dan Seagrave, who’ll be showing 20 outstanding pieces of work, including creations for the likes of ENTOMBED, SUFFOCATION, PESTILENCE, THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA and more. Also exhibiting is sculptural artist Paul Cutting, who’ll have a winged masterpiece on show and a metal guitar themed around one of the headlining bands. Another familiar face in the gallery is Liam Brandon Murray, whose incredible, sculptural throne will once more make an appearance for all your gallery selfie needs!
BLOODSTOCK is also pleased to announce the return of the very popular T-SHIRT & CD AMNESTY this year. Dig out your unwanted shirts & discs in good, clean condition and hand ‘em over at the INFORMATION/ROCK SOCIETY tent in the main arena. Then head to the PLANET ROCK SIGNING TENT from 10am-12 Noon, Friday thru Sunday, to grab yourself a pre-loved bargain, as they’ll be selling off donated items to raise money for the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. Also, stay tuned to BLOODSTOCK’s socials for details of who you’ll be able to meet in the PLANET ROCK SIGNING TENT this year!
While you’re planning your packing, don’t forget that BLOODSTOCK has introduced a dedicated one-stop-shop featuring all those festival essentials. From the all important cold beers to BOA’s own 2023 merchandise through to camping equipment and much more, BLOODSTOCKers can secure all their must-have items in advance from one online shop, eradicating the need for last-minute scrambles, long queues or searching in multiple online stores for different items.
For more info and to explore what you can get, visit the official Bloodstock Festival Preo store.
|Ready for four days of heavy metal fun? Snap up your standard weekend tickets inc. camping at the ticket store for the bargain price of just £165 (+ fees). Don’t hang about, limited numbers remain. If you want to make it a family affair, there are child tickets too, priced £45 (+ fees) and mini-moshers below age 4 go free. If you can’t make the whole weekend, but don’t want to miss out, limited day tickets are available priced £75 (+ fees) for adults and £25 (+ fees) for kids. See all options in the ticket store and get excited watching the latest trailer here!
BLOODSTOCK’s 2023 Ronnie James Dio main stage headliners are KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, MESHUGGAH, and MEGADETH. Also appearing are HELLOWEEN, IN FLAMES, BIOHAZARD, EMPLOYED TO SERVE, ROYAL REPUBLIC, SACRED REICH, HEAVEN SHALL BURN, SEPULTURA, FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY, CROWBAR, CANDLEMASS, TRIBULATION, SEETHING AKIRA, UGLY KID JOE, DECAPITATED, GATECREEPER, ZEAL & ARDOR, KING 810, ABBATH, URNE, ALL HAIL THE YETI, DEAD LABEL, BOSSK, CHURCH OF THE COSMIC SKULL, BROTHERS OF METAL, PEST CONTROL, GUTALAX, UUHAI, INVISIONS, COBRA THE IMPALER, TROLLFEST, SKYND, FROZEN SOUL, EMBODIMENT, THE VIOLENT INZIDENT, TRIBE OF GHOSTS, DAKESIS, THE ENIGMA DIVISION, THE GREY, EYES, TUSKAR, STENGAH, OVERTHRONE, TORTURED DEMON, CASKET FEEDER, GAEREA, BLOODYARD, WOLFBASTARD, EMBODIMENT, SKIN FAILURE, WITCHSORROW, WYTCH HAZEL, HATE, BLACK COAST, ZETRA and more.
Get full festival information over at bloodstock.uk.com.
BLOODSTOCK will take place at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 10th-13th August 2023.
JUST 46 DAYS TO GO!
|With just 46 days to go to BLOODSTOCK, the countdown is ON!
Tonight, Tuesday 27th June, sees festival directors Adam Gregory and Vicky Hungerford doing a Live Q&A via the festival’s Facebook and Instagram channels, answering punters’ questions about this year’s event. Tune in at 7pm to get all the latest updates and maybe even win some prizes!
The Metal 2 The Masses finals are nearly complete and another nine bands, the cream of the crop in each region, win a slot on 2023’s New Blood stage. Grabbing a Friday slot are Essex’s winners ARMS TO OBLIVION. Check out ‘Tequila Blues’ from the Ipswich groove metallers’ latest EP, ‘Defciylion’. Also appearing Friday are Bristol’s MOON REAPER UK, whose blackened death/doom sound is showcased via ‘Overlord’, which was shot live at their M2TM semi final.
Saturday’s bill will feature County Durham’s SWARMS whose fat riffs and heavy breakdowns won over the Newcastle heat’s masses. Watch for yourself via ‘Copperhead’ shot during their Trillians set. Also winning a Saturday slot are Kent’s BROKEN CALLING, who blend hardcore, metalcore and nu metal and have picked up airplay from BBC Radio 1’s Alyx Holcombe. Check out their video for ‘S.I.C.K’ and find out why.
Five bands land themselves slots on Sunday’s New Blood stage. London’s SANGUINEM will be bringing their melodic death sounds, including ‘Hate Transfusion’, Birmingham’s NAMELESS will be showcasing their mix of nu metal and hardcore. Watch them play ‘Circus Of Freaks’ live, shot earlier this year.
Deathcore squad DYSTOPIAN SUN grab a slot too, via the North Wales final. Watch an online slaythrough of their track ‘Shadow Of Dread’ from 2021. Also joining Sunday are Hitchin’s tech metal outfit, SENTIENT. The 4-piece serve up a mix of noodly riffs and beefy breakdowns; heavy spaghetti indeed!
Check out ‘Gaslighter’ from their ‘Sentient Is Dead’ EP. On Sunday, the winners of the Poland heat of M2TM, bHP will bring their nu metal sounds to Catton Park. Watch them unleash the mayhem via their video for ‘Crownless’.
|Unfortunately, STRIKER have had to pull out of this year’s event, but Birmingham metal squad, FURY slide into a slot on the Sophie Lancaster stage instead.
BLOODSTOCK is also excited to announce a game-changing addition to this year’s event. In collaboration with event technology provider Preo, BLOODSTOCK is introducing a dedicated one-stop-shop featuring an array of festival essentials. From those all important cold beers to exclusive merchandise through to camping equipment and much more, festival go-ers can secure all their must-have items in advance from one online shop, eradicating the need for last-minute scrambles, long queues or searching in multiple online stores for different items. For more info and to explore the online shop, please visit the official Bloodstock Festival Preo store.
Each year BLOODSTOCK has various dress themes for those who want to participate. In 2023, we see the return of the very successful ‘Pink For Sylvia’ theme on both Thursday and Friday, in memory of Sophie Lancaster’s mother, the founder of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. Pink was Sylvia’s favourite colour. Corpsepaint Saturday does what it says on the tin! If you don’t want to do your own make up, stop by the Sophie Lancaster charity stall in the main arena and they’ll paint your face for a small donation, with all proceeds going to the Foundation. On Sunday, it’ll be Helloween Pumpkins day, so bust out your best pumpkin-themed attire to welcome the mighty HELLOWEEN!
|With just 8 weeks to go before the metal brethren thunder through the gates of Catton Park, BLOODSTOCK is excited to reveal some of the hotly tipped talent who’ll be ripping up the Jagermeister stage this year. So on festival weekend, why not grab a cold one and investigate some fresh talent that could become your new favourite band.
Friday brings fuzzed-up Brummie rock duo, THIS SUMMIT FEVER, whose heavy riffage is showcased on ‘Messiah’, taken from their ‘Distraction Rituals’ EP. Belfast’s high energy rock squad WILD HEAT, will also be bringing their ‘Hustle’ to Catton Park, plus expect to see Birmingham’s sludgy death metal trio, DEATHFIEND, whose brand new video for ‘Beyond Life’ is giving us life!
Also joining Friday’s line up are Newcastle trio DUNES. Check out their desert-soaked sound via the video for ‘Heart of the Sun’. Wrapping up proceedings with a headline slot on Friday’s Jager stage are Aussie thrash brutes, HIDDEN INTENT. The three-piece have established a solid following around the globe, with influences taken from the classic Bay Area and Teutonic thrash movements. Check out their riff-tastic video for ‘Breaking Point’.
Opening up the Jager Stage on Saturday are DAYBREAKER, who hail from the North West of England. Check out their chunky, driving riffage via the track, ‘M.O.A.B’. Also appearing on Saturday are Cumbrian old school death metal squad, REPULSIVE VISION. The four piece have become mainstays of the extreme metal circuit across the US and EU, so check out what the fuss is all about via the video for ‘Other Than Divine’, taken from their second album, ‘Necrovictology’.
Expect to also see Kent heavy rockers PRYMA, bring their sticky tunes like ‘Freaky Fright Night’, driven by singer Gabrielle’s powerful vocals to the Jager stage. Grunge/alt trio, MUDDIBROOKE may be a familiar name, having picked up radio airplay on Kerrang!, Planet Rock and BBC and support slots with Nick Oliveri and Reef. Check out their statement take on ‘You Don’t Own Me’. And headlining the Jager stage on Saturday evening are Yorkshire metalcore squad, WATERLINES, who’ll undoubtedly be starting a massive pit with their single, ‘KÖNIG’.
Sunday’s proceedings kick off with Nottingham’s THOSE ONCE LOYAL, who’ve been described as the bastard child of Killswitch Engage and Hatebreed! Decide for yourself by checking out their single, ‘Relentless Cycle’. South London power trio DEAD AIR also join the fray, bringing their multi-influenced sound to Catton Park. Watch their video for ‘Teeth Grinder’, a track taken from their 2022 debut EP, ‘City Sins’. BLOODSTOCK’s power metal fans will be pleased to see SKIES TURN BLACK play on Sunday, showcasing their impressive musicianship on tracks like ‘This Too Shall Pass’, taken from their ‘No Place Like Home’ debut album.
Also appearing are PAST THE FALL, whose modern metal demonstrates elements of prog flair and refined classicism. Check out their official video for ‘Beholden’. Closing out the stage on Sunday will be Scottish riff beasts, IRON ALTAR. The band have just completed work on their second album, ‘Promethean’, which is set for release soon. In the interim, get up to speed via their video for 2020’s single, ‘Cruor’.
|BLOODSTOCK is also excited to announce a very special collaboration with Black Feather Design on an exclusive capsule collection of solid 925 sterling silver jewellery. You can take your pick between both small and large statement versions of BLOODSTOCK’s iconic S’tan mascot, hewn in silver and tailored to your finger of choice, or alternatively plump for the more understated, yet equally epic, BOA shield signet design. There’s also two choices of earring; S’tan studs or S’tan Drops (11mm sleeper hoops). The three rings and two earring designs will be available to pre-order for two weeks from today (Thursday 15th June until 30th June 2023), or as soon as the 200 pieces of each design have sold out (whichever comes first). Your pre-orders will ship to you in time for this year’s festival.
For more information and to pre-order your own piece of unique heavy metal, click here.
|With just 73 days left between now and festival weekend, things are hotting up at BLOODSTOCK HQ, especially on the New Blood front! With the Metal 2 The Masses finals well underway around the country, the winning band in each region is locking in and BLOODSTOCK is excited to share nine more lucky developing bands who’ll be performing on the New Blood stage at Catton Park this August.
Winning the Leicester heat and grabbing a Friday slot are the progressive tech/death collective, VOIDWALKER. Familiarise yourself by checking out their 2022 track ‘Tar Stained Lips’ over at their Bandcamp page. The Manchester heat victors, the genre-twisting SQUARE WILD, won Prog Magazine’s ‘Best Unsigned Band’ poll last year. Watch their video for ‘Hounds’ and find out why. Also winning a Friday slot are the East Anglia final top dogs, URIDIUM. If you love your old school classic metal sound, these could be one for you. Check out ‘Fire & Lies’ taken from their debut EP, ‘In For The Kill’.
Saturday’s New Blood stage will feature Scotland’s winners, EXTORT. Check out the extreme metal squad’s live version of ‘Control Alt Deceased’ and go give their ‘Reset’ debut EP a listen. Also appearing Saturday will be Sheffield’s grunge rockers, DEAD BLONDE STARS. Get a handle on their sound via the lyric video for ‘Hernan’, taken from their 2020 debut album, ‘Metamorphosis’. And coming out on top in the Milton Keynes heat are DROWND. Get a feel for their brand of industrial rock via the video for ‘Sinner’, taken from last year’s ‘[An]Aesthetic’ album.
Landing a slot on Sunday and triumphing in Northern Ireland are power trio, ACID AGE. The band take their influences from across the board, but their thrash roots are on full display in the video for ‘Slave Girl’. Also playing Sunday will be Dublin hardcore squad, LAVEIN, who came out on top for the Republic of Ireland heat. Impressive for a band who are only a few months old! Check out their winning live set from the Fibber Magees M2TM final. Lastly, champions in the Leeds battle are local 5-piece, GODETH. Listen to their blend of groove, death and hardcore showcased on their new single, ‘Scour’.
|The M2TM finals kicked off at the end of April and the remaining heats are detailed below, so be sure to get out and support the crucially important network of small venues and developing bands in your area.
Sat 3rd Jun – LONDON The DomeSat 3rd Jun – NEWCASTLE TrilliansSat 10th Jun – CHORZOW (Poland) Lesniczowka Rock n’ Roll CafeFri 16th Jun – COLCHESTER CodaSat 17th Jun – GRAVESEND Leo’s, Red LionFri 23rd Jun – BIRMINGHAM Devils DogSat 24th Jun – HITCHIN Club 85Sat 24th Jun – WREXHAM XS @ The Penny BlackSat 24th Jun – BRISTOL The ExchangeFri 30th Jun – BOURNEMOUTH Bear CaveFri 30th Jun – CHELTENHAM Frog & FiddleSat 1st Jul – BURNLEY SanctuarySat 1st Jul – STOKE The UndergroundSat 1st Jul – NORTHAMPTON The Black PrinceSat 1st Jul – LIVERPOOL ZanzibarSat 1st Jul – CARDIFF FuelSat 8th Jul – NOTTINGHAM The Old Cold StoreSat 8th Jul – SALTASH LivewireSat 8th Jul – OXFORD Jericho Tavern