One Month To Go: Download Festival Unleashes Its ‘Beyond The Bands’ Offerings

#DLXXI
12-16 JUNE 2024

With only one month to go until the mighty return of Liquid Death presents Download Festival, DLXXI has unleashed its ‘Beyond The Bands’ offerings, giving Download-goers an even more exciting experience onsite with brand new food, drink, gaming and sport options. Taking place on 12-16 June 2024 at the hallowed grounds of Donington Park, Download will be headlined by Queens Of The Stone Age, Fall Out Boy and Avenged Sevenfold. You can buy the last remaining tickets here: www.downloadfestival.co.uk.
 
Bigger, better and bursting with exclusive goodies, the Download Megastore is set to impress with new product lines, limited editions and exclusive collaborations with the likes of P&Co, Mary Wyatt and more. From Lou’s Hot Sauce to patch and pin badges and exclusive plush toys, there’s something for everyone. Plus, fuel up with an exclusive 200 Degrees Coffee x Download Festival blend, complimentary with every reusable cup purchase.
 
For those looking to murder their thirsts, Liquid Death hydration stations will be dotted around for festival-goers to grab a cold can of Liquid Death. And if you’re super lucky, you might just catch a glimpse of their iconic branded Liquid Death Hearse somewhere too. Will their beloved mascot Murder Man make an appearance and get up to his usual antics?
 
Step into a realm of audio wonder with the Eulogy immersive experience housed in an intriguing shipping container. Created by Darkfield, and free for fans, this is a 30-minute journey of complete darkness, using binaural sound and sensory effects to situate each participant in the centre of intense evolving narratives.
 
The Outpost is set to host live fire cooking demos with Shropshire Lad & Boca Loco, fire lighting and primitive skills showcases from Axe & Paddle, chilli eating contests from League of Fire, hot dog eating contests, wellness mornings, and classic Hammer Films screenings for the ultimate fright night experience. Footy fans will also be able to watch the key opening games in EURO 24, as The Outpost will screen the Scotland (Friday) and England (Sunday) games live.
 
Elsewhere, the food and beverage offerings onsite promise to be better than ever, with dozens of vendors catering for all dietary requirements, including the likes of In For A Penne, Bunnyman’s Chow, Happy Maki, King of the Yorkie, The Rock and Roll Toastie Company, Spud Gun Loaded Fries, Señor Churro, Crooked K’s Macaroni, No Frickin’ Chicken and many more.
 
Back by popular demand is the LoNo bar, serving up a choice of non-alcoholic beers and cocktails, proving that you don’t need alcohol to have a good time. But for those who fancy an ice cold beer, The Tap House and Beer Hall are also returning for this year, as well as Rocktail Cocktail, who will be serving up tasty cocktails alongside a host of DJs playing epic tunes.
 
New for this year are The Gooseneck Inn, a biker bar with premium spirits, and the Ace Of Spades Tavern, which will host food and entertainment in District X. The Welders Yard, by the arena entrance, will host some fantastic food stands and specialist bars, and Nohrlund will be holding cocktail making classes and demonstrations and serving their organic cocktails across the festival.
 
Inside the arena, festival-goers will find a Liquid Death Skate Ramp where they can catch pro skateboard and BMX riders in action. Tattoo booths from Liquid Death Tattoo and Old Sarum will be ready to make this year’s Download a memorable one, Mantorship will be running an open circle for men to discuss their mental health, plus iconic fairground rides and more than 80 independent market traders offering everything from jewellery, camping goods to body art.
 
Sega and Atlus Games will be bringing a gaming experience like never before to Download, with festival-goers among the first to play Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance at the immersive gaming experience. In honour of this, Friday night’s hugely popular fancy dress theme will be based on Video Game Icons, with people invited to dress for the anime / manga / cosplay theme.
 
BBC Radio 1 will once more broadcast live from the festival and give fans the opportunity to enjoy their photobooth activation with some very special surprise guests!
 
Following on from the recent District X announcement featuring Silent Disco, Comedy and Podcasts, the DLXXI’s Beyond The Bands offerings prove that Download is much more than just its stellar band line-up, with truly something for everyone to enjoy across the 5 days. More information and tickets at www.downloadfestival.co.uk.

Tenacious D – REVIEWED!

2024 seems be the year of the giant arena tours, with the likes of Foo Fighters, Bring Me The Horizon and Taylor Swift busting out the big guns all around the UK, you’d be forgiven for thinking a mock-rock band of humble origins wouldn’t be a huge scene this year. JB would tell us to never underestimate the power of rock, and with over fifteen thousand piling into the Birmingham Resorts World Arena tonight – a completely sellout show – it’s clearly going to be a wild one.

We take a quick gander at the merchandise offerings, but are unsettled to find t-shirts peaking at £50 (ouch) and the cheapest being £35 – half of what a standing ticket cost tonight, which is diabolically expensive when you consider two non-purchases of a tee could get you another ticket to a huge tour show. I do rate their alternative merch choices like tabi/sandal socks, bags of branded plectrums, and crocs charms – they’re much more in the realm of affordability and are something different than yet another black band tee. Here’s my heartfelt plea to bands to push smaller merch offerings that are at the £5-£20 mark, we all wanna participate but… cozzie livs innit.

VIP Nation patrons however, were also able to pick up a Jack Black curated fan gift with their priority seating tickets, comprising of a very fun Tenacious D pizza box, red apron, tea-towel and lanyard – all branded with the Spicy Meatball artwork.

Dave Hill

As the arena begins to fill, we are treated to the very weird but funny musical/comedy stylings of support act Dave Hill. Dressed in a Slipknot-esque boilersuit which is covered in whimsical floral and animal patches, he races onto the stage pretending to… well, fuck shit up, I suppose. He proceeds to play three or four chords on his axe between mumbling, kicking and moshing. I am bemused, but also amused. At one point he even grabs a pair of nunchucks and cavorts wildly about the stage.

© Anna Hyams for SFG. Do not use without permission.

Finally he settles down slightly, and jokes “Great to be back here in Birmingham… The Paris of the Midlands. I’ve not been back here in ten years! For legal reasons…” before taking requests, for what turns out to be the first 5 seconds of any song yelled out. Yes, it was Freebird.

What follows is a very strange rant about Poundland – “Poundland, we sell everything but dignity” and then some pick-up lines that “will only work in Birmingham”. Dave smiles slightly, betraying his persona “Are you the west midland metro making stops between Birmingham and Wolverhampton? If you are I’d like to ride you all the way free of charge”. I don’t really know what I make of it all to be honest, he’s definitely not a traditional opener, but he gets the laughs and is actually a more than decent guitartist. Oh and I will always appreciate someone who exits the stage on a BMX for no discernable reason whatsoever.

© Anna Hyams for SFG. Do not use without permission.

Tenacious D

The stage lights dim to the mightiest roar from the packed arena, as the choral opening music from Tenacious D’s ‘The Pick of Destiny’ movie, sets the scene.

Strutting calmly on stage the duo, Kyle Gass and Jack Black revel in the full force thunder of the crowd. Taking their places in front of two red devil-hand mic stands they steal a quick nod to each other before launching into story-setting memoir song Kickapoo. Despite knowing the words myself, I don’t think I was really prepared for how much of tonight would feel like a Rocky Horror singalong – EVERYONE and their rockin’ mother was giving it a ruddy good go.

© Anna Hyams for SFG. Do not use without permission.

With his signature wry smile, Jack laughs “So Birmingham… Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin. There must be something in the water here, Rock. Rock is in the water. This might be the rock capital of the world” before sweeping his sweaty hair out of his face and catching a helpful fan’s scrunchie from the crowd, to tie it up.

Low Hangin’ Fruit and Rize of the Fenix come with a side of “Any of you seen our film ‘Pick of Destiny’? NOT AT THE CINEMA YOU DIDN’T” referencing the flop that almost scuppered the band, and requesting pyrotechnics which never materialised. “When we planned this tour, we had to rock a bit harder, be a bit spicier, we had to have pyro!” they yell as a very underwhelming single flame spurts from the stage.

Wonderboy rolls on to arguably the most anticipated song of the night, whose opening chords draw a huge cheer from the fans. A huge inflatable Satan at the back of the stage heralds the iconic

Tribute, and at one point the band are almost drowned out by everyone singing. Coming up from their bows, both adopt a slight stagger, joking “We’re getting too old for this shit.” before Jack snaps a quick high kick and a toe touch jump and shouts “Nope, still got it” to tremendous applause.

© Anna Hyams for SFG. Do not use without permission.

Next up is Video Games, followed by The Metal – in which a very Iron-Maiden-esque stage walker robot (that looks a bit like one of the goblin suits from Labyrinth with David Bowie) stomps his way across the stage to dance, rock, and at one point pretend to slam Jack doggy style. Then, as a treat “I need a palette cleanser… Sax-a-Boom please!” Jack shouts, and the now infamous children’s toy is ferried to the stage.

The Sax-a-Boom solo is summarily upstaged when KG brings out a ‘Max-a-Boom’, a giant version which plays funnily enough like a real sax, and the iconic Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty solo. Miffed, Jack calls for a Max-a-Boom removal, “Oh my fucking god, that’s Dana! She’s best roadie in the business right there” and a nice segue into Roadie, with the pronouns thoughtfully changed to ‘she’ throughout the song.

There’s a fun little skit of a silent argument “Hey Kyle can we talk by the drums, no mics please?” and KG pretending to quit, which lines up the lament Dude (I Totally Miss You) and the whole arena using their phone torch lights to join in. Kyle returns, there’s a joyful screened video of the pair leaping through the waves on a beach, and we get a rendition of Chris Issak’s Wicked Game before we come to another iconic D song. “KG… I think there’s something wrong with our electric guitar player… I think he’s possessed… BY SATAN”. Beelzeboss (The Final Showdown) is everything you want from Tenacious D, kinda camp, slightly ridiculous, and heaps of fun. We even get a double recorder solo from KG – which in the UK is everyone’s starter instrument at school, and every parent’s worst nightmare.

© Anna Hyams for SFG. Do not use without permission.

A traditional band intro/solo section is absolutely gratuitous but in keeping with their classic metal pastiche, they thank the sound crew and the lighting crew (who also get to do a lighting solo, love that) before Jack Black takes his own solo starting with the opening of Black Sabbath’s War Pigs. 10/10 very topical and locational, absolutely every voice in this place is joining in.

After a brief encore, Good Times Bad Times (a Led Zeppelin cover) is chased up by the excellent Master Exploder. “We don’t often perform this one because it’s too hard to perform live. This is The Spicy Meatball Tour though… are you ready KG?”“Hahahaha I’m not ready, it’s too hard!” they joke. There’s a moment where Jack finally produces the Pick of Destiny and holds it aloft “God that would have been a good time for pyro. I even cued it up! BIFFY PYRO TO THE STAGE NOW”. It is a very kitschy skit with a bumbling pyro guy and a big red button, but it’s part of the charm and comedy. The Spicy Meatball Song (to the tune of Indiana Jones) is very funny, but we close with Fuck Her Gently and the entire crowd singing along again. Finally, we get the big stage fireworks and flame cannons, and the band triumphantly leave the stage with their arms in the air. Biffy Pyro is left alone, grinning smugly.

It’s hard to categorise Tenacious D, because ultimately they are a comedy show – and all the skits drive the narrative of the night, but I think it’s really important to note that underneath all of that, they’re just damn good songwriters and musicians. Tonight was a blast, a well deserved sell-out tour.

© Anna Hyams for SFG. Do not use without permission.

BLOODSTOCK announces EMP Stage Lineup

In a new partnership, BLOODSTOCK is excited to announce the line-up for its 2024 EMP Stage (formerly the Jagermeister Stage)!  

Friday’s bill will include tech/death squad LOST BRETHREN, thrash/death trio LETHAL EVIL, occult rockers CROWLEY, heavy blues rockers KING KRAKEN, and goth metal outfit MAB

Saturday’s line up features grindcore/hardcore outfit PUBLIC EXECUTION, metalcore beasts PARTING WITH ORIGIN, doom-fused heavyists FLAMEBEARER, high octane fusionists RUPCHA FARMS and alt metal band LURCHER.

Coming up on Sunday will be ‘fantasy space metal riff machine’ WARPSTORMER, celtic punk troupe THE CALLOWGATE MURDERS, fuzz-soaked riffmeisters of the Toad King GOBLIN SMOKER, the 3-man noise machine YERSIN and heavy blues rockers LOYDS TRIP.

Regarding the new collaboration, EMP tell us, “We are absolutely thrilled to announce our partnership with BLOODSTOCK 2024! As proud sponsors of the 4th stage, EMP is ready to rock alongside the best in metal. Stay tuned for exciting giveaways and exclusive content in the lead-up to the festival. As Europe’s #1 for music, films & TV, gaming merchandise & alt fashion, EMP is honoured to be part of the UK’s biggest independent Metal Festival and can’t wait to join forces with BLOODSTOCK to make history on the EMP STAGE!”

To celebrate, our friends at EMP want you to get BLOODSTOCK ready with a special discount at their online store. Grab your festival attire and any festival essentials you need at EMP here and get 20% off (minimum order £30)! Just use the code BOA20 at checkout.  

[T&Cs: MOV £30 . Valid until 07.06.2024. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotional codes. Only redeemable once per customer on emp.co.uk. After entering the code, the discount will be automatically deducted from your shopping basket. Books, media, tickets, Rammstein, Die Ärzte, Die Toten Hosen, Feine Sahne Fischfilet, Broilers, New Balance, Böhse Onkelz, Funko Pop!, vouchers & items that include a donation in the price are excluded from the promotion.



If you’re looking for sold out tickets like VIP or campervan passes, BLOODSTOCK has a new exclusive secondary ticketing partner, Tixel, where you can maybe still find what you’re looking for. Simply set an alert for notification if your tickets of choice become available, or pre-authorise your card in advance, so no need for constant checking back. Tixel also allows you to safely re-sell tickets to a new home if plans have changed. 

You can sell ALL ticket types, including instalment plan purchases, plus any tickets sold via Ticketmaster or other third party ticket outlets. The new deal helps BLOODSTOCK streamline all resale tickets into one place to guarantee the safety of the sale, avoiding social media scam bots and rip-off pricing. It’s a very simple process for the customer and most importantly, it’s a trusted platform. Click through to https://tixel.com/uk/bloodstock-tickets for more information on how it works.  

Also, if you’ve not yet checked out BLOODSTOCK’s new podcast, hosted by the inimitable Beez, head over to Spotify or Apple Podcasts and check out the episodes so far, including guests such as ClutchSylosisGreen Lung and more! You can also now find some of these episodes on the official BLOODSTOCK YouTube channel.
Standard weekend tickets for BLOODSTOCK, priced at £185 (+ booking fee) are available now in the 2024 ticket store.  You can also snap up limited day tickets, child tickets (mini moshers under 4 yrs can come for free!), and if you want all the BLOODSTOCK you can get, add-on early arrival for an extra day of camping on Wednesday too. Early Bird, VIP, and campervan tickets are sold out.   

BLOODSTOCK’s 2024 Ronnie James Dio main stage headliners are AMON AMARTH, OPETH, and ARCHITECTS. Across the weekend you can also expect to see CLUTCH, HATEBREED, CARCASS, ENSLAVED, MALEVOLENCE, SATYRICON, ROTTING CHRIST, SYLOSIS, WHITECHAPEL, DEICIDE, GRAND MAGUS, DESERT STORM, THE VINTAGE CARAVAN, SOEN, GREEN LUNG, COMBICHRIST, XENTRIX, EXIST IMMORTAL, ETERNAL CHAMPION, GROVE STREET, MIMI BARKS, CRYPTA, FORBIDDEN, NERVOSA, BEAST IN BLACK, KORPIKLAANI, UNLEASH THE ARCHERS, FLOGGING MOLLY, SEPTIC FLESH, IGORRR, RUIJIN, GROVE STREET, UNPEOPLE, NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA, HELLRIPPER, INFECTED RAIN, CULTURA TRES, SADUS, LUDOVICO TECHNIQUE, BURNER, RED RUM, EVERGREY, RAISED BY OWLS, TAILGUNNER, SOUTH OF SALEM, and ANKOR amongst others with even more still 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.

BLOODSTOCK announce New Blood bands & M2TM finals kick off

The Metal 2 The Masses tour returns in 2024! BLOODSTOCK’s initiative to give emerging bands a step up and also support grassroots venues, kicks off on 10th May, with 30 regions and 6 countries participating. The fun begins in Belfast and rolls down through Dublin and back to England, Scotland, and Wales, taking in Norway and Poland along the way. The tour wraps up in Coventry on 15th July, with all the regional winners from the finals being revealed in due course. Check out the local events below and get along to your nearest event to support the headliners of tomorrow!

BLOODSTOCK is also thrilled to announce a collaboration with Timothy Taylor’s Hopical Storm as the official Metal 2 The Masses sponsor for 2024. Expect to see them on site and lend their name to the Hopical Storm New Blood Stage! To celebrate the new partnership, BLOODSTOCK’s very own S’tan popped by their brewery to greet the team… watch here.

Today also marks the first batch of bands selected to showcase their talent at 2024’s event, outside of the M2TM tour initiative. 

2023’s Northern Ireland victors and ‘war-jazz’ thrashers, ACID AGE will open Thursday’s Sophie Lancaster stage. They tell us “We love everything about M2TM. The exposure, photography, stage, lights and friends we made was more than satisfactory, but then we won and got to both attend and play BLOODSTOCK 2023! We couldn’t believe it, BLOODSTOCK is heavy metal Mecca. It’s where everyone comes together with a common goal, HEAVY FUCKING METAL! The sense of community at the festival is undeniable. Now that we have a chance to return and play the Sophie stage, we aim to show everyone why we are the best War-Jazz band in the world and we will do it for Sophie. See you in August.”  Check out their video for ‘Slave Girl’ and get up to speed.

Selected from 600 email submissions, on Friday’s Hopical Storm New Blood stage expect to see Scottish thrash squad DISPOSABLE, Leicester’s prog metal outfit FINAL COIL and Scottish rockers SHE BURNS RED
Saturday’s bill will feature London industrial noiseniks BIOMECHANIMAL, Herts heavyists PRAETORIAN and metalcore squad, LOST TO LIGHT

Sunday’s line up includes Brummie rockers STRAIGHT FOR THE SUN, Cambridge metallers AKKADIAN and Yorkshire blackened death outfit, SATHAMEL



In other 2024 BLOODSTOCK news, OPETH‘s headline set on Friday night will be a fan-voted set!  OPETH mainman, Mikael Akerfeldt explains in his inimitable dry humoured way: “This boils down to YOU voting for your favourite OPETH songs, culled from a list that we’ve put together (ie: songs that we know/believe/hope we can play fairly well). There are a few rarities in there, a few ”hits” and a few ”whatever” songs to choose from. Depending on our set length, we’ll put together a nice list of the top-voted songs that adds up to match the stage-time in question. Have fun! Be gentle! Thanks for participating!” 

 Check out OPETH‘s Spotify Playlist to remind yourself of the choices and vote for your Top 10 picks here. Voting ends 17th May. 



From 1st May, you can also utilise BLOODSTOCK‘s ‘click & collect’ service to pre-order your favourites online from the 2024 merchandise range! Pre-purchase your favourite t-shirt or grab the 2024 beer mug without fear of your size or design being already sold out on site. Pre-order here and simply collect at the arena merch stall on the weekend, knowing your item is guaranteed. All ‘click and collect’ items in the store will be clearly marked with a yellow C&C badge. Maybe you want that BOA hoodie for when the sun goes down, so order, then collect from the merch stall to save a trip back to your tent. In a ‘click & collect’ exclusive, if you order over £100 of items via this method, you get 10% off, and over £200 gets 15% off. Mark your calendar and head over on 1st May to grab your swag. 

Also, if you’ve not yet checked out BLOODSTOCK’s new podcast, hosted by the inimitable Beez, head over to Spotify or Apple Podcasts and check out the episodes so far, including guests such as Clutch, Sylosis, Green Lung and more! You can also now find some of these episodes on the official BLOODSTOCK YouTube channel.

BLOODSTOCK to open standard campsites 1 day early & announce club nights

ARRIVE ONE DAY EARLY FOR JUST £20 (+ booking fee).

BLOODSTOCK knows possible congestion and intended roadworks on the routes around Catton Park could cause delays sitting in traffic which no one likes. Plus, who doesn’t want a little more BLOODSTOCK?! So, after extensive review with the licensing council, to make your festival experience even better this year, all standard campsites will open one day earlier at midday on Wednesday 7th August for a limited number of spots, to help spread arrivals over two days. Of course, coming early also means more time to get settled & hang out with your mates for more fun too! 

To aid in that, there will be a cinema set up on the Midgard village green showing movies on Wednesday evening, a bar, food stalls, premium hand-crafted coffee (in the Ironwood campsite), plus some light evening entertainment via inflatables and DJ’s. The supermarket and Fat Frank’s camping shop will also be open in Midgard for anything you’ve forgotten and to blow up your airbed. 

You should only consider buying a Early Arrival add-on ticket if: You have or will be getting a standard weekend ticket (this includes those with a campervan ticket)You are NOT travelling via a Big Green Coach packageYou are NOT camping in the Serpents Lair VIP or Accessible campsites

Headbangers who have booked a Tangerine Fields pre-erected tent package (located in the Asgard campsite) can also arrive early on Wednesday from midday by purchasing the Early Arrival add-on ticket. 
Standard campsites include Asgard, Valhalla, Midgard, Ironwood, Jotunheim, and Hel, plus for families and those wanting a quieter camping experience, Ragnarok. Vanaheim will also be open for those with campervan tickets.

Please note, if you are arriving by train, the arrivals shuttle from Tamworth train station does not run on Wednesday. If you’ve already purchased your standard weekend ticket then you can purchase an Early Arrival add-on ticket for £20 + booking fee. If you haven’t yet purchased your standard weekend ticket then you can get both together priced at £205 + booking fee.

The limited Early Arrival add-on tickets will go on sale – on a first come first served basis – from the 2024 ticket store at 9am BST tomorrow, Friday 5th April. 

Accessible campsite patrons and Serpents Lair VIP patrons with VIP parking will still need to arrive from Thursday midday as normal. This is because BLOODSTOCK needs to contain the movement of traffic and patrons to one side of the festival whilst crew are busily completing the rest of the site, so these campsites cannot be open until then.

BLOODSTOCK is working closely with the licensing council and appreciates your understanding to help get everyone on site safely and efficiently.
CLUB NIGHTS!

Want to get the party started this month and meet some other BLOODSTOCKers? The first batch of this year’s riotously fun club nights are revealed! Kicking off as soon as this Friday, there are 24 opportunities for merriment all over the country, with Manchester’s event even boasting a guest DJ set from BURY TOMORROW. There will also be a competition at every club night to win a pair of standard weekend festival tickets! If none of these nights are near you, more events will be announced for June & July in due course. 

Fri 5th April – Reading – Face Bar, Schism
Sat 6th April – Torquay – The Attic, Party Hard!
Sat 6th April – Nottingham – Rock City, Alpha/Omega
Fri 12th April – Bristol – The Lanes, PHUCT
Sat 13th April – Manchester – The Bread Shed, Deadbolt (inc. Bury Tomorrow guest DJ set)
Fri 19th April – Exeter – The Cavern, Altern8
Fri 19th April – Guildford – The Star, Schism
Fri 19th April – Plymouth – The Junction, Pretty Fly
Sat 20th April – Liverpool – The Shipping Forecast, Boneyard
Fri 26th April – London – Electrowerkz, Voodoo
Sat 27th April – Stoke-on-Trent – The Sugarmill, Devil’s Night
Sat 27th April – York – Bluebox, Deadbolt

Fri 3rd May – Cardiff – Metros, Doomsday
Sat 4th May – Brighton – Above, Apocalypse
Sat 4th May – Torquay – The Attic, Party Hard!
Fri 10th May – Bristol – The Lanes, PHUCT
Sat 11th May – Isle of Wight – Strings, Apocalypse
Sat 18th May – Nottingham – The Sal, Hexx
Sat 18th May – Newcastle – Think Tank, Grindhouse
Sat 25th May – Southampton – Sobar, Apocalypse
Sat 25th May – Camberley – Agincourt
Sat 25th May – Stoke-on-Trent – The Sugarmill, Devil’s Night
Sat 25th May – Norwich – The Waterfront, MeltdownFri 31st May – Warrington – Eden, Asylum

All club nights are subject to change. Please check specific details with venues.

LEMMY’s ashes to live at BLOODSTOCK in 2024

BLOODSTOCK, by arrangement with Motörhead management, have announced that the legendary, late, great Lemmy Kilmister will be permanently memorialised at the heavy metal festival.  Some of Lemmy’s ashes will be housed at BLOODSTOCK – one of only a few places globally – in a unique urn, with the festival commissioning a Bust of Lemmy to incorporate the ashes.  Fans will be able to view the installation and pay tribute to Lemmy and his legacy in the RAM Gallery on site.  Once the festival is over, the Bust of Lemmy will move to Nottingham’s Rock City venue, where fans will have access to the ashes; they will return each and every year to their primary home on the hallowed turf of BLOODSTOCK at Catton Park. 

Motörhead’s manager, Todd Singerman comments: “BLOODSTOCK has always been a special place for Motörhead and for Lemmy. The people and the energy matched Lemmy’s values perfectly. Alan and Vicky were also great friends, and basically family of Lemmy, as he was the reason that they originally got together. This is definitely a fitting honor in the continuing series of enshrinements of Lemmy’s ashes in his most loved places.”

BLOODSTOCK’s Vicky Hungerford adds “We were humbled and honoured to be approached by Motörhead management to have Lemmy’s ashes at BLOODSTOCK. Lemmy holds a very special place in everybody’s heart, but to myself and my husband he was the reason we met and fell in love. Nothing will mean more to us and the BLOODSTOCK family than to honour his legacy  and have Lemmy forever at BLOODSTOCK “
The memorial will be part of a bigger picture theme for the festival this year to commemorate this special news and celebrate the remarkable legacy of Lemmy and Motörhead. 

The RAM Gallery on site will be extended this year to accommodate an expanded Motörhead theme, including a full wall of Motörhead artwork, as well as archive memorabilia, plus you can relive a moment in time by visiting a recreation of Lemmy’s touring dressing room (attached on to the gallery, accessible from within the gallery marquee).  On site this year,  BLOODSTOCKers will see the Motörhead Bomber in the arena, witness various bands paying tribute to Motörhead in their live sets, and the opening and closing of the festival will be marked with a sounding of the famous Motörhead air raid siren.  

BLOODSTOCK will also welcome Motörhead’s Phil Campbell to the festival this year and are thrilled to have his participation in these special celebrations. Even more Motörhead themed activations are still in the works, so stay tuned as this exciting development continues coming together. 

Standard weekend tickets to BLOODSTOCK, priced at £185 (+ bkg fee) are available now in the 2024 ticket store. Early Bird, VIP and campervan tickets are already sold out.   BLOODSTOCK’s 2024 Ronnie James Dio main stage headliners are AMON AMARTH, OPETH, and ARCHITECTS. Across the weekend you can also expect to see CLUTCH, HATEBREED, CARCASS, ENSLAVED, MALEVOLENCE, SATYRICON, ROTTING CHRIST, SYLOSIS, WHITECHAPEL, DEICIDE, GRAND MAGUS, DESERT STORM, THE VINTAGE CARAVAN, SOEN, GREEN LUNG, COMBICHRIST, XENTRIX, EXIST IMMORTAL, ETERNAL CHAMPION, GROVE STREET, MIMI BARKS, CRYPTA, FORBIDDEN, NERVOSA, BEAST IN BLACK, KORPIKLAANI, UNLEASH THE ARCHERS, FLOGGING MOLLY, SEPTIC FLESH, IGORRR, RUIJIN, GROVE STREET, UNPEOPLE, NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA, HELLRIPPER, INFECTED RAIN, CULTURA TRES, SADUS, LUDOVICO TECHNIQUE, BURNER, RED RUM, EVERGREY, RAISED BY OWLS, TAILGUNNER, SOUTH OF SALEM, and ANKOR with more still 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.

Alice Cooper – announces UK, Too Close For Comfort Tour

Icon, pioneer, and Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee – Alice Cooper has achieved so much in his lengthy career.  But most importantly, Alice Cooper remains one the greatest rock shows on the planet.

Returning to the UK for the first time since 2022, in October, Alice and his award-winning band are heading to arenas in Glasgow (14th), Birmingham (16th), Manchester (17th), Leeds (18th) and, for the first time in many years, more up close and in your face shows at London’s Eventim Apollo (20th + 21st).

The Too Close For Comfort tour brings fans closer than ever to Alice with giant video screens blending the live action with pre-recorded scenes to delve deeper into Alice’s world.

Expect spectacle – snakes, guillotines, monsters and more – wreaking havoc on stage nightly. Classics like “Under My Wheels,” “I’m Eighteen,” “Schools Out,” “Poison,” “Billion Dollar Babies,” and “No More Mr Nice Guy” are staples and there are surprises every night, effortlessly drawn from one the greatest catalogues in rock and roll.

Fresh from the success of his latest album ‘Road,’ a concept album about the thrills and spills of touring, Alice is back, accompanied as always by his long-running live band of Ryan Roxie (guitar), Chuck Garric (bass), Tommy Henrikson (guitar), Glen Sobel (drums), and Nita Strauss (guitar).

For ‘Road’, I wanted the band to be involved in the foundation of all the songs,” says Alice. “I only see these guys when we’re on the road. So, I wanted them to be as tight as they are for the show but on all new material. When you have a band this good, I believe in showing it off, and this is my way of doing so.”

Primal Scream, one of Britain’s best-loved rock bands, will join Alice for the tour, in all cities except London.  The Glasgow band have been on an odyssey, making jangly guitar pop to brash rock n roll, incorporating acid house and psychedelia into unique records and live experiences.  Frontman Bobby Gillespie cites Alice’s shocking appearances on 1970s Top of the Pops as a formative influence.

In London, legendary Sex Pistols guitarist and songwriter Glen Matlock will be Alice’s special guest. And on all dates, up and coming acclaimed punks The Meffs will support.

Too Close For Comfort Tour, UK Dates

October 2024

Monday 14 – Glasgow Ovo Arena

Wednesday 16 – Birmingham Utilita Arena

Thursday 17 – Manchester AO Arena

Friday 18 – Leeds First Direct Arena

Sunday 20 – London Eventim Apollo

Monday 21 – London Eventim Apollo

Tickets on Sale:

Three presale: Wednesday 21st February 10am

AEG Presents, AXS, Ticketmaster and venue presales: Thursday 22nd February 10am

General on sale: Friday 23rd February 10am

Highfield 2023!

With Highfield’s 2024 Line up announcement complete, let’s take a look at how 2023 went, and what might be on the cards for this years summer festival

Friday

It was gonna be a stupidly hot weekend, and I will be complaining about that throughout this review. Better stupidly hot than torrential rain though, so no hard feelings. We managed to find a small corner to pitch our tent, a sweat inducing activity. Neighbourly introductions were made followed by a quick trip to the merch stall because the best stuff always sells out quickly. There was a really good selection of designs this year, including tank tops, which were obviously going to be needed in good supply this weekend. To recover from all that very arduous work, we went to cool down in the lake, which was covered in weird grass balls this year for some reason. Luckily those balls made good throwing entertainment for the many many people also looking to cool down.

We caught Stand by Me from California punk band Pennywise on the way into the arena and made it to the stage just in time for Bro Hymn. Admittedly the only one of their songs I know, but I’m glad I made the effort. The energy from the crowd made it a great start to the weekend of live music, with the song’s chant lasting well past the finish of the set. The arena has isolated puddles in places and a brewing swamp on the way out of the front of stage area of the Green stage. Apparently, a heavy thunderstorm had passed over the area just before the festival, pretty fortunate timing.

We hoped to see Yaenniver on the Blue stage after, but there seemed to be some technical issues. About 20 minutes late, someone came to address the modest crowd, letting them know they’re still trying to figure things out. I got my Duolingo done for the day. At 25 minutes, there was a birthday celebration near the front of the crowd, with bubbles and every birthday song they could think of (two). This devolved into drinking songs and then a woman took charge from the shoulders of a friend, directing the chants and keeping us entertained. The act started just as Roy Bianco & Die Abbrunzati Boys started on the Green Stage, which sounded like a silly fun time, so I headed over there. It was a shame about Yaenniver, I was looking forward to seeing her solo stuff.

Von Wegen Lisbeth were going for a “padded cell but make it zesty” look this year, an inflatable orange cushion making up the majority of the backdrop. All instruments were in matching orange, it looked great once the sun set. They played Wenn du tanzt, one of their most famous ones, as second song in the set, mentioning that they might regret it. The crowd was clearly up for it, and after a hell of a lot of dancing and singing, still stuck around for the rest of the set. So, the bands worries were unfounded. I think more bands should play their big stuff sooner, it definitely gets the crowd going. For their song Bitch, the band declared they would no longer be singing that word as part of the chorus and invited the crowd to fill in their own single syllable word, preferable a non-discriminatory one. It’s a nice way of continuing to play older (I mean, is 2016 older now??) songs that you’ve grown past in one way or another, while avoiding the aspects that aren’t up to your standards anymore. The stage was bathed in a rainbow of lights for Meine Kneipe, which was followed by Elon at the end of the set. I don’t know if the latter was put in at short notice because there was time, it felt a little anti-climactic after the fun of the former. But the crowd seemed to disagree with me, so what do I know *shrug emoji*. Either way, great show, these guys have been steadily climbing the line-ups over the years, so we’re sure to see them again in future years.

On a personal note/complaint, there was a pair making their way through the crowd, giving people branded red baseball caps and then taking fake candid shots. Would have been fine, you know, live and let live. HOWEVER, they had a super bright light with them to illuminate the groups definitely candidly wearing their merch. Unnecessary and annoying. And the volunteers/victims didn’t even get to keep the hats.

The Dropkick Murphys set was a hearty combo of foot stomping, pyro and mosh pits. A four-man crab mosh pit had formed around one of the primordial soups that had become part of the arena as the day went on. I managed to dodge the mud puddles to get close enough to feel the extensive fire emanating from the stage. The stage set-up was fairly straightforward otherwise, no fancy screens, only a black backdrop with the and name on it, making it feel more intimate, like a pub with 35,000 patrons, and also fire. Lead singer, Ken Casey, came down into the crowd for Rose Tattoo while the crowd chanted along. The final part of the song was accompanied by a waterfall of sparks cascading down from the top of the stage, meeting the flames shooting from the bottom. It was beautiful and impressive to look at. I wanted to look up some of the song names and found that setlist.fm was being updated in real time, clearly some very dedicated fans in the crowd. The show finished with Shipping out to Boston with all the rambunctious moshing you would expect followed by the more emotional We’ll Meet Again which had people swaying arm in arm.

After grabbing dinner, it was back to the Green stage for tonight’s headliner K.I.Z. The hip hop trio came out all in white with the logo of a fictional psychiatric hospital in green on the back. The matching building on the stage was complete with ambulance. The sign and inside of the building changed throughout the set: from hospital to night club to liquor store to gun shop. Definitely more of a guilty pleasure band, the content is far from politically correct. But if you squint with a healthy dose of irony it’s really good fun. The show was high energy from start to finish, an insane amount of moshing and probably the most consistent crowd participation. It’s cathartic to sing inappropriate stuff sometimes. A superb start to the weekend.

Our tent was pretty much exactly between two late night DJ stages which made for an interesting lullaby by the time we finally got back, but to be fair, we were so spent that it didn’t matter.

Saturday

To no one’s surprise the tent was stupid hot in the morning. Held together by spunk, moxie and ibuprofen I managed to get the desired liquids (coffee) in and the undesired liquid (pee) out of my body, ready for the day. First order of business as always: lake time. The shallows were mad busy so we swam out to the buoys and hung out for a bit. Kind Kaputt were playing on the Beach Stage so we lingered for a while because it was immediately too hot out of the water. Once we braved the sun, got back to the tent and showered the sand and lake gunck off we were ready for day two.

Querbeat were up first on the blue stage. The brass-pop band consists of 13 members, basically a marching band but with more pizzazz. It was so hot I was actually dripping with sweat from very mild swaying. The band had immaculate summer vibes, with giant inflatable flamingo races across the loose but committed crowd. The band wandered into the crowd for a great brass medley including Industry Baby, Hips Don’t Lie and Crazy in Love. Pride and Climate action flags dotted the crowd and the loose mosh pits were more akin to dance floors.

You Me At Six played on the Green stage to a modest crowd. Lead singer, Josh Franceschi, came on in a suit jacket over a white t-shirt. He was excellent at animating mosh pits. Last night’s swamps had been filled in with woodchips giving it a weird doughy texture, but that was better than the dry dust over at the blue stage. It was a good show, but the weather was clearly taking its toll, a lot of patrons stayed in the few remaining shade rather than braving the arena.

Sondaschule are a staple of German festivals and never disappoint. High energy ska-punk from the first note celebrating life and comradery. I managed to keep up for the first few songs, but the heat got to me, and I had to have a little sit down. The lady near me had no such qualms, dancing with gay abandon, not noticing or caring about her beer’s successful escape attempts. The circle pits had several wheelchair users joining in with the festivities. Endless crowd surfers were welcomed with open arms by the securities at the front. For the last song, Bist du Gluecklich?, the band asked everyone to wave their hats. The number that went up made me feel double stupid for forgetting mine at home.

Enter Shikari have steadily grown on me across several festivals. Starting off with a firelarm ringing into Set me on Fire. Juggernauts was accompanied with a slow count up of the years since the late 1800s to now, each year’s average temperature being represented by a colour from blue to dark red. I know it’s not a new image, but there’s something more threatening about seeing it slowly build up and get so red, so quickly. I’ve written myself into a bit of a downer here with no obvious way back, so denial it is: the lead singer had an ungodly amount of energy given he was wearing a leather jacket in this heat. He did some magic show shenanigans, taking his top off and pretending to jump into a cube of screens that made it look like he jumped into water, only for him to appear at the centre barrier with leather jacket and starting into Bloodshot. He stuck around for a while, walking around the crowd and climbing the media tower. His microphone cut out a couple of times but generally it was a really good show and I look forward to their inevitable return.

Tokio Hotel are the epitome of mid 2000s emo in Germany. I didn’t realise they still existed until I saw them on the line-up. They’ve actually kept releasing music semi-regularly since their debut in 2005 but this was their festival debut. Their hit from way back when, Durch den Monsoon, is a cornerstone of any German emo kid so clearly that one had to wait until later in the set. The stage was draped in gold, matching the high school prom vibe of what I was expecting. But instead of an emo band, I was greeted by Bill Kaulitz, the lead singer, in a purple and blue be-sequenced cowboy get up, complete with fringey tassels, hat and assless chaps. Consider me surprised but not disappointed. Bill had a platform filled with fans so that he could a) keep cool and b) give his blond curls the blowing in the wind aesthetic that frankly, we all need in our lives. The set included several outfit changes, all sparkly, all wonderful. The rest of the band stayed in their clothes and looked like a standard rock band. You know, like that Elton John carpool meme. You get it. The show was pretty good, but the new stuff didn’t really grab me which was a shame. The crowd seemed pretty lukewarm as well, also a shame. The actual show was good though, so maybe the music will grow on me.

I arrived over at Giant Rooks in time for Tom’s Diner. Everything was bathed in warm light and the stage felt so warm and inviting. The instruments and amps were all white against a black curtain backdrop. The band cancelled last year due to mental health struggles, so it was wonderful to see them back again. It looked like they were having a great time, smiling and dancing across the stage. The set included the new song Somebody Like You and was generally just a really nice indie show. The crowd sang along so so loud and cheered even louder. The lead singer came down into the crowd for Wild Stare and the set finished on Watershed with a beautiful crowd chorus.

The front of stage area was packed solid for SDP, even the photographers had to wrangle their way through security. The anticipation was building when the curtain finally dropped, revealing the number one party boys of the German festival circuit’s return to Highfield with all the expected energy and flare for hosting an ecstatic night of dancing, singing and jumping. The giant beach balls quickly came out, and by giant I mean giant. The accompanying inflatable ducks were quickly boarded and surfed across the jubilant crowd. Bela B of Die Ärzte (set to play an hour later on the green stage) came on for his feature on Das Lied. Really cool considering SDP grew up with Die Ärzte’s music, must have meant a lot to them. For some reason, as the set went on Vincent and Dag thought the crowd looked like an inviting place to be, not the hot sweaty mess we were. As they made their way through, they quickly realised. Luckily, they made it to the middle barrier unscathed and continued to play several songs from the middle to “the new front row”. A short break after returning to the stage, they ran back on to another set opening song (from previous tours) with all the same energy they had 45 minutes earlier when they first started. And they went on and on until the fireworks finale. Even if you don’t understand every word, or even any, I’d highly recommend these guys, always a highlight.

Die Ärzte are one of Germanys oldest punk rock bands, originating in 1982, they’ve thankfully been more active in recent years, with tours and festival sets. Definitely a more unique set up, the three band members were on equal ground at the front of the stage, Farin on guitar, Bela B on drums and Rod on bass. The stage backdrop was made up of deep red curtains with a giant A made of hexagonal lights. No strangers to self-deprecating humour the opening statement asked if we were ready for two hours of cringe. What followed was two hours of shit talking, missed drum intros and general tomfoolery. The trick to punk is not taking yourself too seriously and it’s clear these guys have decades of experience in that. I think it tried to rain at one point, but it felt like most drops evaporated before they hit the packed crowd. There was a little switch around for Rod to play guitar and sing while Farin took over bass and later in the set Bela B played a solo song. One song was stopped because something had happened in the crowd and the band saw people waving for attention, so they waited until things were sorted out. I didn’t see what was going on, but apparently one guy took a photo of the incidence, which was called out by Bela B and booed by the crowd, rightly so. With things sorted out, the barrage of silly punk continued. It was a long gig, two and a quarter hours, which was hard work for the end of a long, hot Saturday, but worth every second. If you want to put your German to the test, or just enjoy some catchy riffs and great energy, this is definitely the band for you.

Sunday

Sunday morning was a little overcast hinting at a cooler day, but no such luck, the clouds cleared pretty quickly, and the relentless sunshine continued.

The sun was still low enough for the Blue Stage to cast a shadow as we arrived for Lostboi Lino. Festival goers perfectly filled every last remaining bit of shade as if the light was deadly (to be fair, it felt like it by Sunday). Lino came on stage, pink hair, pink puffer jacket, pink trainers, jean shorts. His voice was distorted as he launched into the opening of his 30 minute set. The coat quickly went, revealing a hand drawn white tank top with “Highfield Lino 2023” written on in in fluorescent pink. He was accompanied by a drummer and guitarist, both looking like they were having a great time. There were some technical problems with the microphone in the middle of the set, which Lino used to check we were all drinking enough water. His “lets hear it from the ladies, lets hear it from the gentlemen” calls went on to include those between and outside (the aforementioned categories) before launching into Maenner about defying gender stereotypes, while wearing a dress himself. The microphone issues came back so the set finished with him in a circle pit while the crowd sang the last choruses. It was a lot of jumping and moving for an opening act, really good fun.

Kaffkiez jumped onto the line-up last year after Giant Rooks no longer being able to make it led to some timetable re-arrangements that left a gap. Going from a last-minute opener to 1630 on a Sunday is a pretty good trajectory. The stage was set up like a rural bus stop, complete with bench, postbox and cigarette dispenser. During the indie set, the lead singer asked for whom this was their first festival. After a few people raised their hands, he explained the rules for the biggest declaration of love a group can make, the mosh pit. Hands to yourself, help each other up when someone falls. A little pit opened in front of me and in jumped a group of people who looked like they were still at school or just left. They were mainly women, and it was the softest, friendliest mosh pit I’d ever seen (affectionate).  They were having such a good time and it was heart-warming to see this rite of passage for festival goers. Time to accept that I’m one generation in now, the youth are coming up and it’s wonderful to see.

While the overlap between Kaffkiez and Nothing But Thieves was a shame, there was a sweet spot between the two stage that meant I could catch the end of Nie Allein while waiting for Nothing But Thieves and could head straight down as Welcome to the DCC started playing. These guys have been growing on me the more I see them at festivals and I’m glad I made the time for a whole set this year. The lead singer, Conor Mason, was saying they had played some gigs in the area and had some more dates coming up, declaring his intention to win over anyone who wasn’t going yet. Going back to east Germany might be a bit of a trek, but I’ll definitely keep an eye out for UK dates in future, so his mission had a minimum success of one. It was a good pallet cleanser to have something more rock after a fairly relaxed start. There were some great mosh pits going on much to the Mr Mason’s delight. They finished on Amsterdam and it was great. Also, there was now a bit of wind, also nice.

I went to get a little sweat treat during Nina Chuba, my sugar levels were dipping, and we still had some high energy acts to go (gotta fuel correctly). Nina Chuba’s set had a wonderful tropical vibe to it in the light of the evening sun, the crowd was huge and really enjoying themselves. Light on her feet as she danced across the stage, she was chatting with the crowd, inviting them to sing along and generally having a fun time.

Swiss of Swiss und die Anderen expressed confusion as to why people were with them instead than over at Nina’s show. That felt like a sign of unironic, deep admiration coming from a rowdy, far left punk like Swiss. Their show started with a dramatic build up, but suddenly fell silent, prompting some roadies to come rushing on to stage and start pressing buttons. The band came on to unclimactic silence, acknowledged that their intro was epic and got straight to work. The line-up was generally less political this year compared to previous years, which was bought into sharp focus just by virtue of Swiss und die Anderen standing out through their political statements this year. Same with flags and flares in the crowd, looking back, those were more common in the past. Maybe security is tighter, maybe there’s still a post pandemic sleepiness to more dramatic behaviour. I think a good smoke flare is never out of place at a punk gig (as long as it’s outside and safe etc etc blah blah caveat caveat). I digress. The show was a raucous good time, with mosh pits and clear stances against the far right and pro refugee rescue. It included a cover of the anti-nazi song Schrei Nach Liebe by Die Aerzte and a dingy race between two women from the crowd (because guys always break the boats according to Swiss) across the crowd and then generally round in circles. Apparently, Bloodhound Gang had sued the band for copyright because they ripped off one of their songs (Swiss’s words) but luckily, committing crimes is more fun together and there will be a collection going round for the infringement fine later, so they played Vermisse dich anyway. Which, now they mentioned it, is very similar to Bloodhound Gang’s Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo.

Heaven Shall Burn was the heaviest band on the line up. Complete with long haired headbanging, fire and death growls. Clearly it was time for the pros because this crowd had the fastest circle pit I’ve seen, complete with someone holding a roundabout road sign. Very German, all labelled correctly and probably (German) OSHA compliant. The securities were super into it too, jumping along as they were waiting to pull the crowd surfers across the bar. Having avoided a dust bath up until now, this crowd loosened up the ground to no end, partly obscuring themselves in the process.

Blue stage headliners Beatsteaks started strong, with lead singer coming down to the crowd after just one song. They asked phones to be put away so they could play a gig like the good old days. Surprisingly, people complied, to the point I felt bad for wanting to take a quick video of the ecstatic crowd and their dancing and singing. Maybe it was because the average age of the crowd seemed a little older. The set contained both English and German songs, both of which the crowd was singing along loudly. I could never get into the band when listening to studio recordings, so I was definitely enjoying them vicariously through the people around me. Maybe they’ll click more with me in the future, the live show was definitely great for fans.

Green stage headliner Marteria was definitely one of my highlights. Starting off with the trance-y Paradise Delay through the smoke and flares of Bengalische Tiger and the mesmerising Verstrahlt. As we were on the final straight of the festival I indulged in a little wall of death (as a treat) for Adrenalin. We were all equal parts sweaty and ecstatic from the weekend, a perfect chance to burn every last bit of energy. After having seen him at Southside earlier this year, it’s clear that he belongs in a headliner slot. Not sure if the crowd was watered down with people waiting for the subsequent headliner at Southside Festival, but there was definitely more energy here at Highfield. Marteria’s alter ego Marsimoto made a brief appearance on the screen, announcing his last album for the next year. The show (and thereby the whole festival) finished 10 minutes early, bit disappointing as the vibes were immaculate and the party could have gone on for a few more hours, no question. A fan in a Rostock football shirt (Marteria’s team) was invited to join on stage for the final celebration which was very sweet. For the crowning finish, Marteria dropped the mic aftergingerly asking if he was allowed given it was the end of the festival.

It feels like there’s more international bands returning the Highfield after the pandemic break and they’re all happy to be here. I get the impression that those bands have a dedicated followers in Germany, as well as having fans who will follow them anywhere. As always, it’s been a great festival, the swimming lake was up there as MVP of the weekend. A great line up with plenty to see and relatively light on having to compromise between acts. See you next year Highfield (Tickets went on sale the Monday after).

BLOODSTOCK’S 11 BANDS OF CHRISTMAS



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.  

BLOODSTOCK’S HALLOWEEN TREATS

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!”