Bloodstock Open Air 2016 – Full Review

It’s that special last month before Autumn sets in, the high summer sun shines down on the most inappropriately weather-attired crowd of the entire year, yes, It’s Bloodstock Open Air. I will never stop being equally amused and proud that the metal community rocks black tshirts, heavy denim, sticky leather and a mass of metalware regardless of temperature, or indeed comfort.

Though this year’s Bloodstock line-up has been the topic of much forum debate and there are some rather under-represented groups (female musicians on the main stage anyone?) this year, you can’t deny there is first-class metal on offer this weekend. Friday sees a beautiful site-wide crab-athon (Crabulon) with Evil Scarecrow, and Corrosion of Conformity tear up the Ronnie James Dio stage with their gritty bluesy metal, to a decent crowd having overcome some mishaps on the route here. “In case you guys don’t know, we lost our guitars in fucking Paris… we’re kind of winging it” the guys let us know, before a calling Donald Trump a dickhead and dedicating the beautifully relevant ‘Vote With A Bullet’ to him.

Over on the Sophie Lancaster stage, the comedically named Foetal Juice hailing from Manchester, sound pretty much exactly as you’d expect – extreme but a little bit silly. Everyone in the tent seems to love them though, which is pretty good going for group of mates who started this for fun.

Heading over to the Kraken Rum garden for a spot of black ice-cream (good work guys, you know this is exactly the crowd to appreciate a gothic dessert) we take the opportunity to check out the merch stall and pop into Lemmy’s Bar to raise a glass (well, plastic cup) to the man, the legend. Back on the Sophie stage XII Boar are absolutely killing it, yelling out “You’re here! You’ve made it to the party” to us latecomers joining them mid-set. It’s a bit of a shame about the noise-pollution next door, the music on the fairground rides is offensively loud and unnecessary. No-one needs to hear Sweet Child O’Mine more than once in half an hour.

Home grown heroes Venom are a massive Friday highlight with their thrashy, wild child behaviour and obvious love of what they do. Calling out “It’s great to see the fucking UK legions” to a roaring crowd, it’s nice to see a proper homecoming. Demon-faced Behemoth are kind of a BOA staple now right? The band are over from Poland, presumably to promote Satanism and murder… *snigger* and for a band who’ve done every trick in the goth manual to seem dark and gloomy, they look like they’re having a pretty amazing time.

Last up is the final ever (yes really, EVER) UK Twisted Sister show on their ‘Forty & Fuck It’ tour, and it’s an absolute blinder. Playing 15 minutes over the curfew, with every single hit you wanted to hear, and a gigantic crowd singing alongside them – Twisted Sister go out with a bang. Like the music or not, you can’t deny they’ve got amazing showmanship and the ability to engage with a crowd on a funny and personal level. They will be hugely missed.

Read our full Twisted Sister review HERE

 

Saturday sees the likes of The Raven Age, off the back of their supporting role in Iron Maiden’s Book of Souls world tour, carving out a name for themselves on the Sophie stage, and Rotting Christ have the main stage under a veil of darkness with their unique melodic metal and some synchronized headbanging. Fear Factory pull in a huge crowd and those 90’s sounds are just so nostalgic it makes us want to buy some of those huge jeans again, you know the kind with safety pins all up the seam and one of those giant ball-chains attached to your wallet.

Grabbing some grub is much more difficult than we had anticipated, this festival has come a long way on the food front since it’s early days of scary burger vs. scary hotdog options. We opt for a Bi-ella (It’s not sexual, it’s just both kinds of paella – meat and veggie. Actually I take it back, that is pretty sexual.) and chilli-inna-bun, which is much less Dibbler than it sounds. Both were awesome and actually worthy of high price tag we’ve come to expect from UK festivals.

Paradise Lost playing in the late evening sun is an absolute treat, but the stunningly beautiful guitars ring out across a sleepy crowd, there are a lot more people sitting down in a post-dinner sun-drenched haze. Only the astoundingly tall Kraken diver is dancing around like a lunatic, presumably taking an in-suit bath in his own sweat.

Over on the Sophie stage One Machine are throwing down hard, their sound is interesting and fresh and there’s a pretty decent crowd in there enjoying it. In the Hobgoblin New Blood tent, Warwickshire band The Face of Ruin have In Flames vibes and we are loving their rowdy set. Let’s hope they return to BOA soon… next year even… on a bigger stage…

On the main stage it’s time for the truly incredible Gojira, and judging by the sheer size of the crowd that has turned out to see them, they could just have well bumped Mastodon from tonight’s top spot. There’s something so strangely hypnotic about Gojira, it’s hard to put your finger on it, but as the sun sets on day two of BOA it’s clear they’re one of the true highlights of the festival already, and ‘L’Enfant Sauvage’ is the anthem. Shouting out “Are you having a great day at the festival? Are you drinking enough beer? Are you happy?” It’s kind of adorable that they care about our festival welfare, and everyone is more than appreciative of the brand new tracks from Magma.

In comparison it’s hard to watch Mastodon’s entrance onto the main stage, with dodgy sound and a do-the-job attitude, the magic dwindles a little. Sure, they’re musically strong but there’s less of the awe and more of the ought about them. However, as the night pulls on Mastodon appear to get comfortable and the last half an hour is considerably, thankfully better.

Read our full Mastodon review HERE

 

As the hungover masses drag their butts outta bed (well, sleeping bag) for one last day of metal mayhem, the Sunday lineup sees the likes of Satyricon, complete with forked mic stand and altogether too much white face powder – makeover the main stage with their black metal in the rather overcast afternoon. It’s sort of appropriate. On the Sophie stage, Derange deserve a bigger crowd than they’ve got – I mean, no their sound is nothing exactly new, but they execute well and vocalist Cat Pereira is commanding centre stage.

Outside after a bloody (literally, one guy had his head cut open) battle reenactment, it’s time for the final challenges of the Bloodstock’s Strongest Man competition, and get this… the trophy is Thor’s Hammer! Amazing. After a lot of grunting, sweating and swearing, a little crowd participation and some free tshirts being thrown about, a champion is crowned. It’s been a brilliant little event, hope to see it back bigger for next year.

On the main stage there’s a kicking of heels as we wait patiently for Dragonforce to appear. Technical difficulties are blamed and it’s a blistering, albeit short show from the power-metal heroes. Despite the crowd chanting ‘Herman Lee’ rather than Dragonforce before they came on, it really doesn’t seem to have phased the rest of the band, and frontman Marc Hudson yells “We are Dragonforce from London England, and it’s nice to fucking play at home for once”. ‘Cry Thunder’ and ‘Through The Fire And  Flames’ have the entire crowd wailing along as crowd surfers flail overhead, which is pretty great considering that’s all we got. Five songs seems hardly enough.

Symphony X are somewhat underwhelming but New Blood’s Valous, immediately followed by amusingly named Footprints in the Custard – are anything but. Both bands are energetic and enthusiastic, an atmosphere that spills over into their rowdy crowds who are loving it.

As the many… many Judges circle the site telling you not to take photos of them, or pretending to terminate delinquents, they can only herald one band. Anthrax hit the stage with all the raw power you’d expect from a band twenty years their junior, they just make it look easy. ‘Antisocial‘ has the entire arena thrashing, and as they close out with ‘Indians’ shouting “This is the war dance, bang your fucking heads! Everyone move ok?” it’s unsurprising to see the BOA crowd comply, hard.

Following up with another of the ‘Big Four’ thrash metal bands, Slayer are here to re-conquer Bloodstock and with a stage top to bottom bathed in real actual fire (how they sustained playing in that direct heat, I have no idea) it’s almost as if they’ve come out to prove they’re children of the underworld. Last time Slayer topped the BOA bill was just after the death of Jeff Hanneman, three years later we see a fresher, stronger Slayer with a giant Hanneman tribute flag, and something to prove. With the massive and iconic riffs of ‘South of Heaven’ and ‘Raining Blood’ reverberating around Catton Park, it’s hard to imagine a better way to close Bloodstock 2016. Here’s to 2016, and wondering what the next lineup will bring…

Read our full Slayer review HERE

Check out our full photo gallery HERE

All photos © A. Hyams 2016. Do not use without permission.

BLOODSTOCK reveal comedy bill and RAM Gallery plans

BLOODSTOCK HQ is at fever pitch with just 10 days to go ‘til the gates swing open at Catton Park!  There are a last few things to announce before everyone packs their bags and heads to the UK’s biggest and best heavy metal party!

One of the things that sets BLOODSTOCK apart from other events is festival founder, Paul Raymond Gregory’s on-site RAM Gallery.   This year, Paul has paid tribute to MOTORHEAD’s Lemmy Kilmister with a stunning new portrait exhibited in a custom, hand-carved frame, as well as other choice installations from his world-renowned portfolio of work.  Regular RAM Gallery contributor and luthier Cynosure, creator of hand-made guitars as art, will be exhibiting two new instruments also inspired by Lemmy.  Other artists also exhibiting work are Orange County artist, Christian Sloan Hall, who has created work for the likes of AMON AMARTH and TESTAMENT, plus abstract artist and GOJIRA drummer, Mario Duplantier, who has contributed two original paintings.  Also expect to view featured art-focussed books from Lariyah Hayes (Darkadya: The Book of Art From Below) and Ramon Martos (And Justice For Art, revised edition), plus rock-themed photography from Peter Nahum and Alison Richards.

When the metal finishes in the Hobgoblin New Blood tent each evening, a different set of howls take centre stage with BLOODSTOCK’s comedy bill.  Friday’s gag-filled line up includes David Jordan’s edgy songs and stand-up, Chris Brooker’s hilarious improvisation, the award-winning newcomer Ingrid Dahle, all compere’d by everyone’s favourite heavy metal comedian, Andrew O’Neill.   Saturday evening’s bill features compere and all-round funny man, Jim Smallman, plus laffs-a-plenty from Jonathan Mayor and Perrier comedy Award-winner Wil Hodgson.  Sunday ushers in a full ‘History of Heavy Metal’ set from Andrew O’Neill, combining stand-up comedy with live music played on his customised Flying V guitar.  Andrew will be supported by thrash metal beasts, REPRISAL.

Over on the Sophie Lancaster stage, once the bands have finished for the night, the DJ squad steps in to take you through ‘til 2am.  Expect a guest slot on the decks from EVIL SCARECROW’s ringmaster Monty Blitzfist and Kraven Morrdeth on Friday, the DJs from London’s VooDoo Rocks on Saturday and Total Rock’s Anna Dumpe on Sunday, plus BOA’s resident 4 DJ’s Of The Apocalypse doing their regular 12 Midnight-2am slot.  

The always popular Friday fancy dress competition is returning!  This year the theme is ‘Twisted’, so dress up in whatever you fancy, the more extreme and creative, the better!  To enter the competition, just find BOA’s official photographer (between the Serpents Lair VIP area and the EMP Tent entrance) between 12pm and 6pm on the Friday to have your photo taken (the photographer will wear a Fancy Dress Photographer t-shirt).  Then check BLOODSTOCK’s Facebook page for the photo gallery the week after the festival and tag the fancy dress photo of yourself for the chance to win a pair of tickets to BLOODSTOCK 2017!

Got your tent ready?!  This year, our campsite partner is Miss Daisy’s Camping Store.  If you don’t want to tow a ton of camping gear to site, order online and collect your stuff from the Miss Daisy tent in the main Midgard campsite at Catton Park.  Saves a lot of hassle and achy shoulders!  Place your order or just see what’s available via their ‘click & collect’ service here – http://www.missdaisyscampingstore.co.uk/.

Want to check out the 2016 merch range?  BLOODSTOCK's online 'click & collect' service allows you to pre-order your favourites for on site collection.  Festival attendees can snap up their choice of t-shirt or grab the 2016 beer mug or hip flask without fear of their size or design being already sold out on site.  Simply pre-order at https://bmerch.com/store/bloodstock/collect-on-site and collect at the merch stall in the arena at any point over the weekend, knowing your item is guaranteed and paid for.  Maybe you want that BOA hoodie for when the sun goes down, so just collect it from the merch stall then to save a trip back to your tent!

How to get to BLOODSTOCK?  Ditch the hassle of parking, trains & transfers and let our official coach partner, Big Green Coach take you and your camping gear straight to the festival from 21 UK cities.  To book your return seat and see where to catch the coach, check: http://www.biggreencoach.co.uk/events/bloodstock-festival-tickets-coach-travel.  If you’re coming by train to Catton Park, don’t forget to pre-book Big Green Coach’s shuttle bus from Lichfield City rail station to save yourself a wad of cash.  Return tickets are priced at £10, one way at £8 (it costs more to pay on the day, so pre-booking wins)!  Book tickets at the link.  Car-sharing with GoCarShare is another option (and participating could even win you a pair of tickets for 2017)!  Full details and to post up a car space/look for a car ride from your town, visit: http://gocarshare.com/festival/bloodstock.   

Our three headliners for 2016 are TWISTED SISTER (in their last ever UK show), MASTODON and SLAYER, plus special guests BEHEMOTH, GOJIRA and ANTHRAX.  Also on the bill are FEAR FACTORY, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, SYMPHONY X, SATYRICON, PARADISE LOST, DRAGONFORCE, METAL ALLEGIANCE, STUCK MOJO, ROTTING CHRIST, MISERY LOVES CO, GHOST BATH, VENOM, UNEARTH, DIAMOND HEAD, GOATWHORE, ACID REIGN and many more.  

Three weeks ’til Bloodstock!

The BLOODSTOCK festival faithful are on countdown as it’s just three weeks to 2016’s best heavy metal weekender!  The bill for the Jagermeister stage is together and BLOODSTOCK is excited to welcome all these bands to the bill…

Friday’s line-up includes Leeds hard rockers CHASING DRAGONS (www.facebook.com/chasingdragonsuk) Corby metal outfit FUELED HATE (www.facebook.com/fueledhateuk), Brighton prog-rockers VRONA (www.facebook.com/VronaOfficial), Irish sludgemonsters TWO TALES OF WOE (www.facebook.com/TwoTalesofWoe), Manchester’s hard rock duo THE HYENA KILL (www.facebook.com/thehyenakill) and London folk metallers ISARNOS (www.facebook.com/Isarnos). Saturday’s bands include Wakefield metal band BROKEN, Belfast stoner rockers ZLATANERA (www.facebook.com/zlataneraband), Midlands metallers VICIOUS NATURE (www.facebook.com/ViciousNature), Leeds’ female-fronted rapcore band PULVERISE (www.facebook.com/Pulverise), Bury metal 4-piece VICE (www.facebook.com/Vicemetaluk) and Cornwall’s psych/spacerock animals, CYBERNETIC WITCHCULT.  Sunday’s bill will include Stevenage metal 5-piece OUTRIGHT RESISTANCE (ww.facebook.com/OutrightResistanceBand), Gravesend stoner rockers JUKEBOX MONKEY (www.facebook.com/jukeboxmonkey), Welsh old school death metallers SODOMIZED CADAVER (www.facebook.com/SodomizedCadaver), Tyneside doomsters DIRTY KING (www.facebook.com/dirtykingmusic), Glasgow heavy rockers ATTICA RAGE and black metallers AKLASH.

The last of the Hobgoblin New Blood stage slots have been snapped up via the ‘Metal 2 The Masses’ finals.  Joining the chaos are death metallers END OF SALVATION (www.facebook.com/endofsalvationUK) and thrash beasts REDEYE REVIVAL (www.facebook.com/redeyerevival) on Friday,  stoner/heavy psych animals REGULUS (www.facebook.com/regulus.band) and melodic death metal mob THE FACE OF RUIN (www.facebook.com/thefaceofruin) on Saturday and metal four piece GUTLOCKER (www.facebook.com/GutlockerUK), prog/tech outfit KAHTET (www.facebook.com/kahtetband), Polish deathcore mob THE JOHN DOE’S BURIAL (www.facebook.com/tjdburial), Nottingham rockers FIREBOMB (www.facebook.com/firebomb.uk), self-proclaimed ‘street mafia geek metal’ outfit CHRONICLES (www.facebook.com/chroniclesmetal) and heavy rockers VALOUS (www.facebook.com/valous.birmingham) on Sunday.  The final act added to the New Blood stage is the winner of Hobgoblin’s video upload competition, who also go into a Sunday slot.  That lucky band is Manchester punk metal outfit, FOOTPRINTS IN THE CUSTARD (www.facebook.com/Footprintsinthecustardband).  You can watch their ‘age-restricted’ winning video for ‘The Descent of Decency’ here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8u-YfsMWiHU.

Got all your camping gear ready?  This year, our campsite partner is Miss Daisy’s Camping Store.  If you can’t be bothered to tow a ton of camping gear to site, order online and collect your stuff from the Miss Daisy tent in the main Midgard campsite at Catton Park.  Saves a lot of hassle and achy shoulders!  Place your order or just see what’s available via their ‘click & collect’ service here – http://www.missdaisyscampingstore.co.uk/.

Want to check out the 2016 merch range?  BLOODSTOCK's online 'click & collect' service allows you to pre-order your favourites for on site collection.  Festival attendees can snap up their choice of t-shirt or grab the 2016 beer mug or hip flask without fear of their size or design being already sold out on site.  Simply pre-order at https://bmerch.com/store/bloodstock/collect-on-site and collect at the merch stall in the arena at any point over the weekend, knowing your item is guaranteed and paid for.  Maybe you want that BOA hoodie for when the sun goes down, so just collect it from the merch stall then to save a trip back to your tent!

How to get to BLOODSTOCK?  Ditch the hassle of car parking, trains, & transfers and let our official coach travel partner Big Green Coach take you and your camping gear straight to the festival from 21 UK cities. Various packages are on sale now; secure your coach trip straight to the festival site with only a £10 deposit.   To book your return seat and see where to catch the coach, check: http://www.biggreencoach.co.uk/events/bloodstock-festival-tickets-coach-travel.  If you’re coming by train to Catton Park, don’t forget to pre-book Big Green Coach’s shuttle bus from the station to save yourself a wad of cash.  Return tickets are priced at £10, one way at £8 (it costs more to pay on the day, so pre-booking wins)!  Book tickets at the link.  Car-sharing with GoCarShare is also available (and participating could even win you a pair of tickets for 2017)!  Full details and to post up a car space/look for a car ride from your town, visit: http://gocarshare.com/festival/bloodstock.   

Our three headliners for 2016 are TWISTED SISTER (in their last ever UK show), MASTODON and SLAYER, plus special guests BEHEMOTH, GOJIRA and ANTHRAX.  Also on the bill are FEAR FACTORY, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, SYMPHONY X, SATYRICON, PARADISE LOST, DRAGONFORCE, METAL ALLEGIANCE, STUCK MOJO, ROTTING CHRIST, MISERY LOVES CO, GHOST BATH, VENOM, UNEARTH, DIAMOND HEAD, GOATWHORE, ACID REIGN and many more.  

Bloodstock’s first M2TM Finals winners announced

There’s a wealth of exciting news from BLOODSTOCK HQ in regard to their grass-roots-metal-supporting ‘Metal 2 The Masses’ scheme!  Coming on board as a premier sponsor is the newly resurrected, iconic metal label, MUSIC FOR NATIONS!  Also two more exciting prizes have been thrown into the hat for one of the lucky bands on the Hobgoblin New Blood bill.  

All those winning a slot on the Hobgoblin New Blood stage via the ‘Metal 2 The Masses’ initiative will already be in the running for the chance to receive endorsement deals from gear manufacturers and professional PR advice, but are also now eligible for these additional prizes.  One winner will get recording time with renowned producer, Jaime Gomez Arellano (Ghost, Angel Witch, Cathedral & many more) at his residential Orgone Studios in Woburn, Beds.  Metal Hammer have also pledged to support one winning band with exposure on Metal Hammer’s website and invite them to the magazine offices for a feature photoshoot and interview, plus a radio interview for Team Rock Radio.

Meantime, the ‘M2TM’ finals are already under way and continue through to 10th July (remaining dates below).  BLOODSTOCK’s ‘Metal 2 The Masses’ judging squad have been clocking up the miles (1800 to date!) and many lucky bands have won slots on the Hobgoblin New Blood stage!  Check out this lot for starters.  

 

Joining Friday’s bill are;

SEED OF SORROW (www.facebook.com/seedofsorrow), melodic death metallers from the Inverness final.  Five piece from the Scottish highlands, dedicated to producing the angriest metal possible!  

HUSK (www.facebook.com/HUSKUKMETAL), death metal from the Wolverhampton final.  With many of their dark, groove based tracks being built around bass player/vocalist Bob Taylor’s infectious bass playing, introducing elements of slap bass in death metal shouldn’t even be a thing …. But it really is.

BURNING THE DREAM (www.facebook.com/burningthedream), progressive death metal from Glasgow’s final.  Venomous groove-laden death with hooks galore!  

VEHEMENT (www.facebook.com/officialvehement), extreme/black metal from Brighton’s final.  Black clothes?  Black face masks?!  Check!  An unrelenting smoke machine and a bone fide MMA fighter on drums?!  Check, check!!  Extreme metal with real strength!  

TRIVERSE MASSACRE (www.facebook.com/triversemassacre), groove/thrash metal from Carlisle’s final.  “…like standing naked in a hurricane, or diving head-first into a nest of pissed-off hornets!”  Heavy as fuck!!

THE CRAWLING (https://www.facebook.com/thecrawlingband), down-tempo death from Belfast’s final.  When a band has the ability to set a scene in a mere 30mins, you’re on to a winner.  The Crawling say little between tracks allowing the sample of flies to draw the audience into an uneasy feeling of melancholy.  A grim blend of doom and death that’ll hve you scratching and questioning your own mortality.

TEN TON SLUG (www.facebook.com/tentonslug), stoner sludge doom from Dublin’s final.  Like being reverse kicked in the knackers by a disgruntled rhino!  These lads are not for those of a weak disposition.

 

Winning a Saturday slot:

BEARFIST (www.facebook.com/bearfistuk), metal from London!  It’s all about the riffs and these guys have ‘em in spades.  So much so, the guitarist won the handmade custom guitar from local sponsors, Empire Guitars!  Congrats lads!

RAMAGE INC (www.facebook.com/ramageinc), ambient prog metal from Glasgow’s final.  Already well established with prog/tech metal fans, these guys deliver with comparisons to the Devin Townsend writing style but with the Ramage stamp.  Tech bliss.

FAMYNE (www.facebook.com/famyneuk), doom from Kent’s final.  A young band with an old school sound, remiscent of Chronicles’-era Hawkwind mixed up with the epic sound of Candlemass.  An obligatory oversized gong and a rolling smoke machine were in full effect!

 

And the first one for Sunday:

ART OF DECEPTION (www.facebook.com/ArtofDeceptionofficial), melodic death from Norway’s final.  With frontman Sindre Johnsen having direct family ties to Kvelertak, his pedigree points to his ferocious vocal delivery and no shortage of notable twin lead skills.  These guys were a stand out choice.

As well as the fresh blood, sliding in to a Sophie stage slot are BEHOLDER (www.facebook.com/beholderuk)!  Fronted by M2TM Head Honcho, Simon Hall, he’ll be leading the way where many of his charges will hope to follow.  With a recently lauded new album…

There’s also a chance for punters at each event to win weekend tickets to BLOODSTOCK, a case of Hobgoblin Ale to take home, or various other BLOODSTOCK related prizes.  You can even shake hands with BLOODSTOCK’s ‘M2TM’ mainman, Simon Hall.  Remaining finals run as follows so get out, support and win those festival tickets for yourself!

 

17th Jun – NEWCASTLE – The Cluny

18th Jun – SOUTH WALES / CARDIFF – Fuel Club

19th Jun – MANCHESTER – Grand Central

24th Jun – SWINDON – The Victoria

24th Jun – DEWSBURY – The Old Turk

25th Jun – MERSEYSIDE / LIVERPOOL – Bumper

1st Jul – LINCOLNSHIRE / LINCOLN – The Lincoln Imp

2nd Jul – READING – Facebar

9th Jul – BURNLEY – Sanctuary

9th Jul – BOURNEMOUTH – The Anvil

9th Jul – POLAND / BIELSKO-BIALA – The Rude Boy Club

10th Jul – BIRMINGHAM – The Roadhouse

 

Already announced for 2016 are our three headliners, TWISTED SISTER (in their last ever UK show), MASTODON and SLAYER, plus special guests BEHEMOTH, GOJIRA and ANTHRAX.  Also on the bill are FEAR FACTORY, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, SYMPHONY X, SATYRICON, PARADISE LOST, DRAGONFORCE, METAL ALLEGIANCE, STUCK MOJO, ROTTING CHRIST, MISERY LOVES CO, GHOST BATH, VENOM, UNEARTH, DIAMOND HEAD, GOATWHORE, ACID REIGN and many more.  Additional bands are still to be announced.

Bloodstock announces more bands

BLOODSTOCK festival is excited to announce another batch of bands for August’s event at Catton Park!

Regrouped Brit industrio-metallers, KILL II THIS join the main stage for a Saturday slot.  Frontman, Mark Mynett says “BLOODSTOCK is one of the finest metal festivals there is; this year’s stunning line up says it all!  So we are both delighted and honoured to be playing the Ronnie James Dio stage.”  Check out their video for ‘The Universe In A Nutshell’ here;  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myNgEf8I7jU.

Stepping into Friday’s special guest slot on the Sophie Lancaster Stage are Norway’s black jazzsters, SHINING.  Singer Jørgen Munkeby comments, “Last time we played at BLOODSTOCK was one of the best and most exciting shows we’ve ever done. We’re so much looking forward to be back at the UK’s best metal festival again!”  Remind yourself of their sound with the video for ‘The Last Stand’; https://youtu.be/7tNODbdyJaw

Also landing Friday slots on the Sophie stage are Brit crust/grindcore monsters, FOETAL JUICE and British apocalyptic metal crew, ANTI CLONE. Tunisian symphonic prog metallers, MYRATH play the Sophie stage on Saturday, as do French avant-garde extremists, MISANTHROPE.  Lastly, stepping into a Sunday Sophie slot are US progressive thrash beasts, VEKTOR.

The second wave of BLOODSTOCK club nights kicks off in June.  Get along to one of the following local events for a chance to win BLOODSTOCK weekend tickets and BLOODSTOCK-related giveaways.  Check with your local club for further details in case of changes and expect the unexpected!  Events for June and July stack up as follows:

Wed 1st June – Nottingham – Bodega

Thu 2nd June – Bury – Blind Tiger

Sat 4th June – Stoke-on-Trent – Bunker 13

Thu 9th June – Manchester Rebellion Bar

Sat 18th June – Stoke-on-Trent – Bunker 13 (Rawkus)

Fri 24th June – Middlesbrough – SUMO

Fri 24th June – Reading – Face Bar

Fri 24th June – London Elektrowerkz

Fri 24th June – Glasgow – Cathouse

Fri 24th June – Ipswich – The Cock and Pye

Sat 25th June – Birmingham – Eddie’s Rock Club
Sat 25th June – Sheffield – Corporation

Thu 30th June – Exeter – Timepiece

 

Fri 1st July – Leicester – Firebug

Sat 2nd July – Doncaster – The Vintage Rock Bar

Sat 2nd July – Brighton – Envy

Sat 2nd July – Coventry – The Phoenix

Sat 2nd July – Stoke-on-Trent – Bunker 13

Fri 8th July – London – Electric Ballroom

Thu 14th July – Winsford – De Bees

Sat 16th July – Birmingham – The Asylum

Sat 23rd July – Burnley – Sanctuary Rock Bar

Thu 28th July – Sheffield Leadmill

Sat 30th July – Birmingham – Eddie’s Rock Club

Sat 30th July – Sheffield – Corporation

Already announced for 2016 are the three headliners, TWISTED SISTER (in their last ever UK show), MASTODON and SLAYER, plus special guests BEHEMOTH, GOJIRA and ANTHRAX.  Also on the bill are FEAR FACTORY, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, SYMPHONY X, SATYRICON, PARADISE LOST, DRAGONFORCE, METAL ALLEGIANCE, STUCK MOJO, ROTTING CHRIST, MISERY LOVES CO, GHOST BATH, VENOM, UNEARTH, DIAMOND HEAD, GOATWHORE, ACID REIGN and many more.  Additional bands are still to be announced.

Bloodstock beef up and prepare for battle!

There’s less than 100 days until BLOODSTOCK 2016!!  While we’ve been revealing many killer bands for you to mosh to all festival, there’s plenty more on-site to see and do besides watch the awesome bill (and for regulars, we don’t mean bin-jousting or Deli Kate)!  BLOODSTOCK knows the meaning of both heavy and metal…!

While you might be feeling a little weakened at times over the weekend (especially if you’ve been taking advantage of the real ales on site), BLOODSTOCK are delighted to welcome some of the strongest people in the world to the festival!  For the first time, BLOODSTOCK and the 100% CA team will host 2 special strongmen events. On Saturday, 20 top athletes from across Europe will compete for the title of ‘Europe’s Strongest Man Under 90kgs’. Then on Sunday, see what pure strength is all about, in the ‘BLOODSTOCK’s Strongest Man’ challenge, showcasing some of the biggest and strongest competitors handpicked from around the world.  Don’t worry, they’re not planning a face-off with festival attendees, but we wouldn’t recommend spilling their pint.

Over the 2 days, the athletes will complete 2 events in each title, including a max deadlift event, and we hope to see 400kgs pulled on Sunday!  Plus, an overhead log-press for reps, a loading medley consisting of 5 objects, 2 which weigh 19 stone!  Not to mention, a gruelling back-to-back tug of war. Joining us, will be World’s Strongest Man and Arnold’s competitor, the South of England’s Strongest Man Rob Frampton, and Dave Meer, the local Tamworth multi-record-breaking strongman who has competed in the UK’s Strongest Man numerous times.  With the support of XplosiveApe, USN, and Rebel Strength, we will be bringing you the best in the country!

If swords and armour are more your thing, don’t miss the ferocious BATTLE OF THE NATIONS UK historical fighting team, on site from Friday-Sunday!  BLOODSTOCK is thrilled – if slightly trepadacious – that they can lay waste to Catton Park again this August. The UK Federation regularly compete around the world, and are ranked among the very best.  Look out for their regular “demonstrations” (by which we mean, a no-holds-barred full-contact scrap with broad swords, maces, and an array of other brutal Medieval weaponry) in the main arena.  We wouldn’t recommend spilling their mead either.

Field Captain Rob ‘Moose’ Morris comments, “BLOODSTOCK is always the most popular event we host in the tournament calendar.  The unique atmosphere and amazing music always combine to a complete unreal experience.  Showing the music fans what being a real metal-head involves; wearing 16kg of armour and caning the hell out of your opponent in August!”  Wish them luck with their BLOODSTOCK warm up this month, taking on the Battle Of The Nations World Championships in both the classic 5v5 Bohurt and female fighter categories.

On the musical side, already announced for 2016 are our three headliners, TWISTED SISTER (in their last ever UK show), MASTODON and SLAYER, plus special guests BEHEMOTH, GOJIRA and ANTHRAX.  Also on the bill are FEAR FACTORY, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, SYMPHONY X, SATYRICON, PARADISE LOST, DRAGONFORCE, METAL ALLEGIANCE, STUCK MOJO, ROTTING CHRIST, MISERY LOVES CO, GHOST BATH, VENOM, UNEARTH, DIAMOND HEAD, GOATWHORE, ACID REIGN and many, many more.  Additional bands are being announced regularly so keep up to date via BLOODSTOCK’s official sites at www.facebook.com/bloodstock and www.bloodstock.uk.com, or via Twitter on @BLOODSTOCKFEST.

Bloodstock adds Vallenfyre and more…

Less than four months to go and BLOODSTOCK HQ is a hive of activity!  With the ‘Metal 2 The Masses’ heats well under way and finals scheduled to kick off in May, the booking team are racking up more and more bands for the UK’s best metal weekender this August!

Brit death metallers, VALLENFYRE step into a main stage slot on Saturday.  The band recently tore up the stage on the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise in Florida, so check out what’s in store via this fan-filmed footage of the band steaming through ‘Savages Arise’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9Z0Mb7FxqE.  Warm up your necks for August!

Progressive tech metal group, BRUTAI are set for a Sophie Lancaster stage slot on Friday.  The hotly tipped band are set to release their debut album this summer, so be sure to catch ‘em on the Sophie stage to hear the new material.  Get the gist on their sound via the video for ‘Deep’ here – https://youtu.be/zrYnWehkSCQ.

Also joining Friday’s Sophie bill are female-fronted Dutch metallers THE CHARM THE FURY. The band’s new album, due Autumn 2016, is said to be influenced by Pantera and Slipknot.  No strangers to the Euro festival circuit, here’s hoping for a taste of the new tunes at BLOODSTOCK!  Meanwhile, watch the video for ‘Colorblind’ from their last album at: https://youtu.be/Ri5qMMonxrE.

Extreme tech beasts, META-STASIS also join Friday’s Sophie ranks.  Following the band’s recent tour of India that saw them play to festival crowds of 25,000, META-STASIS are back in the studio working on their third album.  The masked Anon describes it as "throwing out the rule book, cutting edge, boundary redefining electronic death metal".  Check out their video for ‘Disintegrate’ taken from the 2015 album, ‘The Paradox of Metanoia‘ here – https://youtu.be/6GyxpOxtYGQ.

Already announced for 2016 are our three headliners, TWISTED SISTER (in their last ever UK show), MASTODON and SLAYER, plus special guests BEHEMOTH, GOJIRA and ANTHRAX.  Also on the bill are FEAR FACTORY, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, SYMPHONY X, SATYRICON, PARADISE LOST, DRAGONFORCE, METAL ALLEGIANCE, STUCK MOJO, ROTTING CHRIST, MISERY LOVES CO, GHOST BATH, VENOM, UNEARTH, DIAMOND HEAD, GOATWHORE, ACID REIGN and many more.  Additional bands are still to be announced.

More bands announced for Bloodstock 2016

BLOODSTOCK HQ is currently a hive of activity, with even more bands being confirmed for this August’s best heavy metal weekender.

Joining the Ronnie James Dio stage are the recently reformed industrial outfit, MISERY LOVES COMPANY.  The band inform us, “The UK was always special to MISERY LOVES CO, our very first show outside of Scandinavia was in London and without the support of the British people we probably would have stayed in Scandinavia for ever, listening to ABBA, eating herring and dreaming of the outside world…  MISERY LOVES CO + Britain = a true love story.  Now, when we return to the stage, we’re extremely happy to showcase our industrial demons in front of the British crowd once more.  Doing a summer of festivals without coming to the UK would have been a failure, so, we can’t wait to come to BLOODSTOCK!”  Check out a clip of ‘My Mind Still Speaks’ – https://youtu.be/ZiPENHSeFYM.  

Opening the RJD stage on Saturday are Brit tech metallers, CAMBION.  As proud BLOODSTOCK alumni (2012/2014), the band are currently at work on their debut album, having released the Virus Extended Edition EP in 2014.  Check out the video for ‘Heterodox’ here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpeerilbWqU, and keep up with plans for the album street date over at http://www.cambionofficial.co.uk/.

Stepping into the Friday night headline slot on the Sophie Lancaster stage are NWOBHM icons, DIAMOND HEAD.  The likes of Metallica have often stated that without DIAMOND HEAD, they’d probably not exist, such is the Stourbridge band’s influence.  Check out this fan-filmed clip of the ‘Big 4’ (Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax & Megadeth) covering DIAMOND HEAD’s classic ‘Am I Evil’, joined by the band’s very own Brian Tatler – https://youtu.be/K9P-H_Qd908.  Brian and his cohorts are set to release their first album of new material in over 8 years on 22nd April, simply titled ‘Diamond Head’.  Don’t miss ‘em at BLOODSTOCK!

Also joining Saturday night’s Sophie stage shenanigans are Brit metallers, KRYSTHLA.  The band’s debut album, ‘A War Of Souls And Desires’, can be snapped up at their Bandcamp – http://www.krysthla.bigcartel.com/.  Also check out the video for lead track ‘Luminosity’ here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjJwiBVlcFc.

With Easter weekend also looming, BLOODSTOCK are once again gearing up the website’s very popular Easter Egg hunt, as they’ve done in years past.  Will you be one of the lucky winners of a pair of weekend tix with camping?!  Click over to the BLOODSTOCK website at www.bloodstock.uk.com on Good Friday 25th March to take part.

Already announced for 2016 are our three headliners, TWISTED SISTER (in their last ever UK show), MASTODON and SLAYER, plus special guests BEHEMOTH, GOJIRA and ANTHRAX.  Also on the bill are FEAR FACTORY, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, SYMPHONY X, SATYRICON, PARADISE LOST, DRAGONFORCE, METAL ALLEGIANCE, STUCK MOJO, ROTTING CHRIST, GHOST BATH, VENOM, UNEARTH, GOATWHORE, ACID REIGN and many more.  Additional bands are still to be announced.

Bloodstock clock up more bands for 2016

Headbangers….ready!?!  The BLOODSTOCK gladiators have been out marauding and have rounded up five more metal beasts for your entertainment this August.  First up, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY join the Ronnie James Dio main stage bill.  Now reunited with Pepper Keenan up front, BLOODSTOCK’s faithful can look forward to a slew of classics from their three-decade-plus career.

Pepper tells us,
"It’s been a real pleasure after all this time to get back with the COC lads and start jamming again and creating music.  We are having a blast!  We've have had so much support from all over the globe and landing on a fest like BLOODSTOCK really sums it up.  We’re honoured and cannot wait to up the fuckin' hammers in the middle of nowhere in merry ol' England!  Thank you!  Ohh yeah, don't forget me cider ….!”

CoC kicked off 2016 by launching their own ‘Wiseblood’ beer with the Three Floyd’s Brewing Co, announced a US run with Lamb of God & Clutch, and are also hard at work on a brand new album.  Get the latest news at www.coc.com UNEARTH also join the BLOODSTOCK bill for the first time.

If you’re fast, you can get clued up on their new material in time for August by picking up current album, ‘Watchers of Rule’ at a discounted price of around a fiver over at their merch store – http://unearth.merchnow.com/products/185256/watchers-of-rule-cd Wherever they can, BLOODSTOCK is proud to bring you bands who don’t often grace UK shores, so joining the main stage bill to play their first ever UK show are atmospheric US black metal outfit, GHOST BATH.

Local heroes, EVIL SCARECROW also make a triumphant return!

As serious contenders for the ‘most fun had on stage’ prize, what do they make of their return? “We’re back!  Again!  We’re like the BLOODSTOCK house band or maybe a bad STD that you can’t get rid of. Either way, we’re hoping to bring our biggest ever show and even some new material.  After the historic, record breaking crowd of 2014, we’re looking forward to being back on that stage, although a custom-built, floating glass pyramid ‘Scarecrow Stage’ would have been nice.  We’re genuinely overwhelmed and beyond excited to be back partying with our BLOODSTOCK brothers and sisters.”  Keep up with Scarecrow’s shenanigans via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Evil.Scarecrow

Also, joining the Sophie stage bill are XII BOAR.  A big slab of rock n' roll-infused, southern-fried metal, this power trio are determined to make sure everyone has a good time. Ric Flair raves, "We are absolutely thrilled to be bringing our trademarked XII BOAR grooves to BLOODSTOCK.  This year's line-up is already beyond words and we're so stoked to be a part of it. Get your dancing shoes on and get down to the super massive XII BOAR sound as we're assembling the biggest party BLOODSTOCK has ever seen!  See you there!” 
 

Bloodstock add more bands for 2016

BLOODSTOCK is breezing through February with another clutch of confirmations for 2016’s best heavy metal weekender.

Headlining the Sophie Lancaster stage on Thursday night, our welcome party night, will be PHIL CAMPBELL’S ALL STARR BAND.  The Motorhead axeman will also officially open the newly christened ‘Lemmy’s Bar’ with the first drink at 5pm!!  Were you there in 2013 when Phil and his band played ‘Killed By Death’ on the Jagermeister Stage?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGe85gq2ZU4.  Come along to Catton Park early, pitch your tent and kick off the weekend’s festivities with Phil at Lemmy’s Bar!!  You know Lem would approve!!   If you’re on Instagram, go follow Phil’s brand new page (@phil_campbells_all_starr_band).

In addition to Phil and friends, two more bands get added to the Sophie Lancaster Stage.  Brit extreme metallers THE KING IS BLIND are delighted to return to Catton Park, following their crushing BLOODSTOCK debut in 2014 and release of their debut album, ‘Our Father’ (Cacophonous Records) last month.  Frontman Stephen Tovey tells us "The BLOODSTOCK crowd welcomed us with open arms and raised fists on our last visit, so on the back of ‘Our Father’, we’re primed and chomping at the bit to bring a savage and energetic set of the heaviest metal to Catton Hall this August.  You bring the beers, the horns and the headbanging, we’ll bring the riffs and the truly crushing metal.”  Watch the first video from their ‘Our Father’ album at https://youtu.be/Ua-4Q5-R7Ks then pay homage via http://www.facebook.com/TheKingIsBlind.  We’re sure the Lannisters send their regards.

Homegrown doomsters, WITCHSORROW also join the bill.  Says frontman Necroskull;  “It gives us no small amount of pleasure to once again rain doom down upon BLOODSTOCK.  It is an incredibly special place for us, and we are incredibly proud to stand alongside Twisted Sister, Venom, Slayer, and Paradise Lost in bringing heavy metal madness to Catton Park.  Doom forever. Forever doomed.”   Check out their track ‘Made Of The Void’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwmrlMcqF08, taken from their ‘No Light, Only Fire’ album. Grab it for just £7 over at their Bandcamp page – https://candlelightrecordsuk.bandcamp.com/album/no-light-only-fire.

LAST CALL for the Deposit Scheme!!!  There’s also just a couple of weeks left to sign up for BLOODSTOCK’s very popular payment plan.  This year it’s even more manageable to pay for your ticket in stages, with the scheme expanding the number of payments from 3 months to 5 months.  To pay this way, just sign-up before 29th February.  The 1st payment of £34.80 is payable immediately, then 4 additional payments of around £30 will debit your account on 28th of March, April, May and June.  (Exact amounts; £27.80 for Mar/Apr/May, £31.30 in June to include postage).  Sign up over at http://bloodstock.seetickets.com/event/bloodstock-2016/catton-park/902838.  We regret that VIP tickets are NOT available via the payment plan, although pending VIP availability, you could purchase a VIP upgrade in July or August and still be in time for the festival!

Already announced for 2016 are our three headliners, TWISTED SISTER (in their last ever UK show), MASTODON and SLAYER, plus special guests BEHEMOTH, GOJIRA and ANTHRAX.  Also on the bill are FEAR FACTORY, SYMPHONY X, SATYRICON, PARADISE LOST, DRAGONFORCE, METAL ALLEGIANCE, STUCK MOJO, ROTTING CHRIST, VENOM, GOATWHORE and ACID REIGN.  Many more are still to be announced.