It’s Friday night at Bloodstock and we’re gearing up for the mighty Judas Priest, the stage is set with giant ‘Devils tuning fork’ backdrops and standing props and smoke is billowing in from the sides. Entering to Sabbath’s ‘War Pigs’ and a barrage of stage lights, Rob Halford is still rocking the signature fringed leather and sunglasses look, despite the now dark skies. Kicking off with brand spanking new track ‘Firepower’ – a polished but ultimately traditional Priest sound, it’s clear we’re in for a treat.
Halford shouts out “C’mon Bloodstock the priest is back! Are you ready for some heavy metal?” to a roar of approval in reply and a sea of horns are raised across the arena. Busting through hits like ‘The Ripper’ and ‘Turbo Lover’, we’re getting nothing but pure old-school heavy metal – which is especially poignant since Halford is almost dressed in heavy metal himself, sporting what look to be silver chaps, a la Tinman from Oz.
A pride flag waves in the middle of the crowd, presumably as a tribute to Halford himself who publicly revealed his homosexuality during an MTV interview, and became an early advocate for LGBT presence in the metal community. Indeed, metal for everyone; inclusion and diversity, is always a line that Bloodstock has kept at the forefront of their festival ethos.
The stage screen backdrops change to scrolling newspapers and an image of Big Ben for ‘The Ripper’ and there’s a distinct possibility of permanent retinal damage with the insane amount of strobe light use during ‘Saints In Hell’. Yelling “Thank you so much! Heavy metal is forever right?” the metal certainly does just keep on coming. Now dressed in an extraordinarily sparkly trench coat reminiscent of a giant disco ball, and wielding a blue lightsabre for no clear reason at all, we get right into the good stuff. ‘You’ve got another thing coming’ has everyone headbanging along with the band as a Black Country flag flutters on the screens – particularly relevant here in the Midlands. As is traditional, Halford rides his motorcycle on stage wearing yet another fringed jacket and leather baker-boy cap for ‘Hellbent for Leather’, which frankly is something to aspire to. If you ever get the chance to include a motorcycle as part of your essential stage kit – well you’ve definitely made it.
The encore sees guitarist Glenn Tipton join the band on stage, who has recently revealed that Parkinson’s disease would require him to step down from performing. Despite this, Tipton absolutely smashes Priest super-hit ‘Breaking The Law’ to crowd-wide chants for him, it’s a really powerful moment. Halford calls out “Thank you so much. Thank you for having us back home, this is where we’re from, the home of metal” and indeed this sort of homecoming for the band, with almost 50 years under their belts, must feel all the more special. Closing out with new record ‘No Surrender’ and finally ‘Living After Midnight’, this really has been one of the best Judas Priest gigs we’ve had the pleasure of attending, and we’re sincerely hoping it’s not the last. As Halford crows; “We'll be back, we are Judas fucking Priest!”.
© Photograph courtesy of Bloodstock Festival
BLOODSTOCK are excited to make their first band announcement of 2018!
Tickets for 2018 are flying out the door, with less than 50 VIP tickets remaining. Do not delay if you’re planning on joining us in the Serpent’s Lair! Standard tickets, as well as the very popular Deposit Scheme and the last few camper van pitches are all currently available in the ticket store. So, about those band announcements…
JASTA & FRIENDS are set for a Ronnie James Dio main stage slot on Sunday! As a great friend of BLOODSTOCK, we’re thrilled to welcome Jamey Jasta, frontman of Hatebreed, Kingdom of Sorrow and Icepick, back to the festival with his solo band, JASTA. However, this is not just JASTA, this is JASTA & FRIENDS, so expect some special guests to jump on stage for various songs, just for the BOA faithful at BLOODSTOCK 2018! Guests will be revealed in due course, but we can tell you that the mighty Kirk Windstein (Crowbar, Down, Kingdom of Sorrow) will be one of them! Jamey says, “I’m beyond excited and honoured to have my first UK show with JASTA be at the mighty Bloodstock Festival! So many legends have graced the Bloodstock stages, we will channel their energy and give the fans a killer set with some special surprise guests!” Check out JASTA’s recent video for ‘The Same Flame’ here – https://youtu.be/P7PnbooaTOE.
VENOM INC also join Saturday’s main stage bill! With new album, ‘Avé’ released via Nuclear Blast last year, the seminal British metal icons will be bringing both classic tracks and new to BLOODSTOCK next August. Check out the lyric video for ‘Avé Satanas’, taken from that album here – https://youtu.be/Xt_yGt0ET0U and get ready to welcome The Demolition Man, Mantas and Abaddon to Catton Park!
Our Saturday night Sophie Lancaster stage headliner will be ORPHANED LAND! The ground-breaking band’s new album, ‘Unsung Prophets And Dead Messiahs’ is set for release later this month via Century Media and features guest appearances from Blind Guardian’s Hansi Kürsch, Tomas Lindberg from At The Gates and Steve Hackett. Check out the epic album teaser here – https://youtu.be/GNm20DFCO7Y.
Also joining the bill are the hotly tipped Danish prog metal outfit VOLA, who join the Sophie stage bill on Saturday. The band are hard at work on their new studio album, set for release through Mascot Records this year. Get a taster of their sound via the video for ‘Stray The Skies’ taken from 2016’s debut album, ‘InMazes’ – https://youtu.be/EipdyUZfrG0.
If you haven’t grabbed your ticket yet and are a bit stretched post-Christmas, BLOODSTOCK’s payment plan helps ease the ‘lump sum’ shock of paying for your ticket by breaking it into five smaller, more manageable amounts. Sign up in the ticket store any time before 28th Feb for an initial deposit of £36.00. Thereafter, four additional instalments of £29.00 will debit your bank account on 3rd April, 1st May, 1st June and 2nd July respectively. Find out full details and sign up over at https://bloodstock.seetickets.com.
If you already know you can only attend for one day, sign up for a day ticket reminder email as day tickets will not go on sale until next summer. Register your day ticket interest here – https://www.seetickets.com/register/bloodstock.
With Friday night headliners, JUDAS PRIEST, Saturday headliners, GOJIRA and Sunday’s bil toppers, NIGHTWISH already announced, as well as EMPEROR, DEVILDRIVER, WATAIN, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, WEDNESDAY 13, FOZZY, COMBICHRIST, BLOODBATH, MR BIG, KAMELOT, DORO, ORDEN OGAN, SEPTICFLESH and MEMORIAM so far, 2018 is shaping up to be another stellar year for BLOODSTOCK.
BLOODSTOCK is excited to announce four more spooktacular bands and add the 2018 Rock Society tickets to the ticket store.
We’re excited to announce that WATAIN will bring their black metal ritual to headline Sunday’s Sophie Lancaster stage in a UK festival exclusive. Frontman Erik Danielsson tells us, "Our last performance at BLOODSTOCK in 2012 was also the final date on the ‘Lawless Darkness’ tour. The sun was setting while we played and the crowd was getting louder and wilder the darker it became. A very charged atmosphere. Eager now to return and see what the eventful years that have passed and the force accumulated since then has done to both us and the BLOODSTOCK crowd. Furthermore, England is of course sacred ground when it comes to Metal in general, so when performing there, the stakes are always high. May all those that doubt be impaled upon them." Look out for the band’s long awaited sixth studio album arriving on 5th January 2018!
German power metallers, ORDEN OGAN also land a Ronnie James Dio main stage slot on Saturday. The band released ‘Gunmen’, their fifth studio album, this summer via AFM Records. Check out the video for ‘Gunman’ here and get a taster of what’s in store for their set in 2018 – https://youtu.be/JPm46Qgyn24.
Atlanta aggrotech outfit, COMBICHRIST also join the main stage bill for an early slot on Friday. The band have been working on new music after the release of their eighth studio album, ‘This Is Where Death Begins’ which landed in 2016. Check out the new track, ‘Broken:United’ at the following link – https://Combichrist.lnk.to/BrokenUnited.
Also landing an early main stage slot on Friday are British death/grind four-piece, MEMORIAM. Combining ex-members of Bolt Thrower and Benediction, MEMORIAM’s pedigree is high. The band of scene veterans are hard at work on the follow up to their debut, ‘For The Fallen’ released via Nuclear Blast earlier this year. Check out ‘Reduced To Zero’ taken from that opus here – https://youtu.be/Nmucoieg2Lc.
BLOODSTOCK’s Rock Society tickets become available in the store on Halloween morning, 31st October at 9.00am! The ‘Rock Society’ is effectively the festival’s ‘Members Club’, offering not only a 10% discount on your weekend ticket (on top of the early bird discount if you purchase the Rock Society membership + ticket bundle option), but all sorts of other cool benefits like priority signing tent access, a Rock Society laminate, access to the VIP Serpents Lair bar, a tour of the backstage & production areas to see ‘behind the scenes’, the chance to meet with the festival organisers, a dedicated hangout area in the Rock Society tent on site, a Rock Society Facebook community where you can make friends and get to know your fellow RockSoc members and plenty more besides. Full details can be found at http://www.bloodstock.uk.com/pages/rock-society. Memberships are priced at £75, limited to 300 and sell out almost immediately, so don’t delay if you want to pick one up.
Also now in the store are tickets for our new VANAHEIM campervan field. Due to increasing demand each year, we've made some site adjustments to allow for more pitches. As such, the new VANAHEIM site is located across the road, directly adjacent to Serpents Lair VIP parking, allowing an increase in size to accommodate 240 campervans, as opposed to just 130. Campervan pitches always sold through very rapidly, so this allows for more of our metal brethren to join the campervan club. Tickets for campervan pitches will remain at this year's price of £60.
With Friday night headliners, JUDAS PRIEST, Saturday night headliners, GOJIRA and Sunday headliners, NIGHTWISH already announced, along with EMPEROR, DEVILDRIVER and NAILS, 2018 is shaping up to be another stellar year for BLOODSTOCK.
As we creep through October, BLOODSTOCK is very excited to announce three more bands for 2018!
Joining Friday’s bill in the Ronnie James Dio main stage special guest slot are black metal legends, EMPEROR in a UK exclusive appearance. Frontman Ihsahn tells us that they’ll be performing a special set based around one of their classic albums. “We're finally bringing the 20th Anniversary show for ‘Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk’ to the UK! We’ll be performing the album in its entirety and look forward to celebrating with everyone at BLOODSTOCK!” Check out a stream of the atmospheric opus here and get excited for next August – https://youtu.be/Jmlhq5rtFXw
Also stepping into a main stage slot on Sunday are Californian circle pit kings, DEVILDRIVER. Frontman Dez Fafara tells us “DEVILDRIVER is playing BLOODSTOCK in 2018 and we couldn’t be more fucking ready to bring the heavy and get the whole festival moving! We are thankful for the opportunity and can’t wait to see everyone there! Get ready to get the fuck in the pit!” Check out the band doing what they do best in the video for the title track of their current studio album, ‘Trust No One’ – https://youtu.be/XuVibnWHoLA
Hotly-tipped, super brutal three-piece, NAILS land a Ronnie James Dio main stage slot on Sunday in a UK exclusive show. Frontman Todd Jones informs us, “I've been following BLOODSTOCK and looking at their advertisements online for the past few years, admiring how great a job the festival does having a great mix of underground bands and some of metal's biggest and finest. We're proud to finally say we're part of what BLOODSTOCK is doing to fight the good fight! We'll see all you motherfuckers at BLOODSTOCK!!!” Not familiar with NAILS? Melt your face with 91 seconds of hardcore intensity via the video for ‘You Will Never Be One Of Us’ – https://youtu.be/hGGGh03jN4w
With Friday night headliners, JUDAS PRIEST, Saturday night headliners, GOJIRA and Sunday headliners, NIGHTWISH already announced for next year's event, 2018 is shaping up to be another stellar year for BLOODSTOCK.
BLOODSTOCK is excited to announce their third and final headliner for 2018 will be JUDAS PRIEST! The metal icons are one of the most-requested bands by the festival’s loyal fan base and finally make their BLOODSTOCK debut at Catton Park in 2018 on Friday night, 10th August.
The legendary band tell us, “JUDAS PRIEST are thrilled, honoured and primed, ready to unleash Priest-style metal fury into the headbanging heart and home of heavy metal at BLOODSTOCK 2018!”
With Saturday night headliners, GOJIRA and Sunday headliners, NIGHTWISH already announced for next year's event, 2018 is shaping up to be another stellar year for BLOODSTOCK.
Before we focus more on 2018, we’re very proud to reveal that BLOODSTOCK raised £11,686.88 in 2017 for the very worthy TEENAGE CANCER TRUST, bringing the total to over £60,000 since our partnership began. A giant thanks to everyone who has contributed over the years for their generous donations!
Get tickets now for 2018! The first wave of Serpents Lair VIP tickets (priced at £290) and Deluxe VIP packages (Luxpads, Bellepads, Podpads, etc) are available now for those who want their VIP spot guaranteed. A smaller second wave and a limited amount of VIP upgrades will then become available on 16th December at 9am. Don't delay if you want to join us in the VIP Serpents Lair, as they’re moving faster than ever before!
Standard weekend tickets are currently available at ‘early bird’ prices (just £125 for four days of metal fun) so grab yours now at the ticket store if you want to save £20! In order to keep up with inflation and extra costs in 2018, standard weekend tickets with camping will increase from last year's £139 to £145 once the ‘early bird’ allocation is gone. The limited allocation of VIP upgrades (for those who've bought early bird tickets) will cost £145.
BLOODSTOCK will take place at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 9th-12th August 2018. Get further information over at www.bloodstock.uk.com.