As December extends its frosty fingers, BLOODSTOCK is getting in the festive spirit with some early Xmas gifts by way of another chunky 2024 announcement.  If you’re hoping for some heavy metal next summer, BLOODSTOCK’s got your presents wrapped up with a bow on top!  And if you want to give the gift of heavy metal (yes, we mean a ticket for BLOODSTOCK 2024), you can now download a special festive card when you order at the ticket store to help present it to the lucky recipient! 

Don’t miss BLOODSTOCK’s Festive Facebook Live at 7pm on Dec 7th  for some seasonal fun & oh maybe some prizes… and we suggest you keep your eyes (and your sprouts) peeled for who knows what other treats might be in store across the festival’s socials later this month… 

On the Ronnie James Dio main stage, grindcore & melodic death metal pioneers CARCASS land Sunday’s special guest slot.  The “most influential band out of Merseyside since The Beatles” released their current studio album, ‘Torn Arteries’ in 2021 via Nuclear Blast to colossal acclaim. 

Also appearing Sunday on the RJD main stage are South American progressive sludge metal project, CULTURA TRES.  Last year, the 4-piece, featuring Sepultura’s Paolo Pinto Jr on bass, released their 5th studio album, ‘Camino De Brujos’. 

Black metal icons, SATYRICON will return to the stage for the first time in 5 years to headline Sunday’s Sophie Lancaster stage.  In what are becoming increasingly rare appearances, frontman Satyr informs us: “The way SATYRICON’s attitude has resonated with English fans throughout our journey as a band, has made us feel that playing there isn’t so much a visit, but rather a homecoming. Having decided to do only a few select shows, we can’t go everywhere, but fortunately there are a few places our hearts seem to take us, one way or the other. Like England.”  

The mighty SYLOSIS steam into a Saturday slot on the Sophie stage.  Their latest album, ‘A Sign Of Things To Come’ landed in September and the Brit metal heavyweights told us, “We can’t wait to be back at BLOODSTOCK!  We’ve had some amazing shows over the years, but it feels like next year is going to be really special!”  We can’t wait either!  In the meantime, get a load of new song ‘Descent’ taken from that brand new release. 

Also appearing on Saturday’s Sophie stage are American goth metal project, LUDOVICO TECHNIQUE.  Fronted by enigmatic songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ben V, they released their most recent album ‘Haunted People’ in 2022.  Check out their epic video for ‘Live As Myself’, taken from that album, here
Ahoy!  Metal pirates RED RUM also grab a Saturday Sophie slot.  If you like your pirate tunes laden with riffs and melodies, RED RUM aren’t to be missed.  Sing along with ‘We Pirates’ taken from their current album, ‘Book of Legends’ out now on Trollzorn Records.  

SADUS bring their death/thrash sounds to BLOODSTOCK’s Sophie stage for the first time ever on Sunday.  The band came off an extended hiatus in 2017 and signed to Nuclear Blast for the recent release of new studio album, ‘The Shadow Inside’.  Check out the lyric video for album track, ‘Ride The Knife’
On Sunday’s Sophie stage bill, expect to see Spanish alt metal collective, ANKOR.  Fronted by Jessie Williams (who hails from Bristol, UK), the band blend metalcore with progressive and electro elements, creating a sound of their very own. 

If you’re a weekend ticket holder, the party starts early for you on Thursday.  Once you’ve set up camp and had your first cold one, prog metal Swedes EVERGREY are set to headline Thursday’s Sophie stage, with earlier evening sets from classic heavy metallers TAILGUNNER and Bournemouth rock n’ roll squad, SOUTH OF SALEM.  


Happy Halloween! Trick or treat?! BLOODSTOCK loves the spooky season and has only fiendishly good news to share! Are you ready? Get set to howl the house down when you see which nine bands are being announced today! There’s also news of everyone’s brilliant fund-raising efforts with details of just how much was raised for two worthy charities from BLOODSTOCK 2023, the ticket deposit scheme launch date, & more. Without further ado… 

Swedish metal legends GRAND MAGUS land a Friday slot on the Ronnie James Dio main stage. It’s already been 4 long years since the doom-infused three-piece dropped album ‘Wolf God’ with Nuclear Blast, but the band themselves have already made mention of their tenth album coming in 2024! Get excited! Last seen at BLOODSTOCK in 2019, refresh your memory of that epic set here

Metal Blade mob WHITECHAPEL serve up a hefty slab of deathcore on Saturday’s main stage. After regretfully pulling out of 2023’s event, you’ve had an extra year to anticipate just how ferocious that pit is gonna be. Watch the video for latest single ‘Without You/Without Us’ or deep dive into the entirety of current album ‘Kin’ here

Florida death metal icons DEICIDE also jet in for a main stage Saturday spot in a UK festival exclusive. It’s all go in the Deicide camp of late, signing a new record deal with Reigning Phoenix Music and putting the finishing touches on their upcoming, 13th full-length album, ‘Banished By Sin’, featuring new guitarist Taylor Nordberg. The first new album since 2018, just give us the release date already! While you’re waiting patiently, check out some classic Deicide via the video for ‘Scars Of The Crucifix.’ 

Oxford-based riff beasts DESERT STORM roll in to wake you up on Friday morning, opening the main stage. Their latest masterpiece ‘Death Battle’ dropped via APF this March, an intoxicating mix of stoner doom and prog metal. If you’re a fan of Clutch and Orange Goblin, you won’t want to miss them. Wrap your ears round their latest track ‘Salt Of The Earth’ here.

Over on the Sophie Lancaster stage, five more treats have been locked in. 
Icelandic psych rock squad THE VINTAGE CARAVAN secure a position on Friday’s bill. The Led Zep fans are currently cranking out their classic rock/prog-infused sounds across mainland Europe, promoting latest release ‘The Monuments Tour (Live)’, unveiled 2 weeks ago via Napalm Records. Watch the live video for ‘Can’t Get You Off My Mind’ here

Londoners EXIST IMMORTAL also bring their metal maelstrom to the Friday line-up. Their self-titled current album, released by Seek & Strike, is available now. Appraise yourself of their sound via their latest single, ‘Emerge’.

Joining them on Friday, are the epic metal ETERNAL CHAMPION from Texas, who marked their tenth anniversary this year. Released by No Remorse Records in 2020, you can listen to their latest LP ‘Ravening Iron’ in full here.

One of’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: and
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:

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!”

BLOODSTOCK OPEN AIR 2022 – Reviewed!


It’s August. It’s hot. It’s so hot you guys. It’s too hot. It’s uncomfortably hot. I don’t know how we’re supposed to Goth in this weather. Yeah ok, in all other dimensions I’d be complaining about the drizzle putting a dampener on things – but I’m not convinced UK festivals are cut out for this Satan’s armpit version of events.

This weekend, SFG are at Bloodstock Open Air – the UK’s premier heavy metal fest, in the hallowed grounds of Catton Park in Derbyshire. Thousands of sweaty freaks in a field (thanks, that’s my band name now) getting raucous to some of the best bands on the scene, it’s like coming home.

As we head into the arena it’s pretty clear the sun has done a number on the usually green Catton Park. It looks like the scrub of the wild west, and there isn’t much in the way of shade anywhere to be seen. The site looks like it’s old sturdy self though, heaps of shops for whatever takes your fancy – Viking drinking horns? Got you covered. Body cages and chains that would make even Melanie Rose blush? Yeah how tied up d’ya wanna be? There’s a plethora of rare band tees, records and chunky jewellery to choose from alongside all the usual festival tat, and I am likely to part with a large portion of my savings if I hang around too long.

On the main stage, New Delhi metal is blasting our eardrums courtesy of Bloodywood. A heady mix of tech/nu metal and background bhangra drums, they’ve come a long way from the original YouTube parodies, this is just damn good fun. Hopefully we see them on more line-ups in the future, it’s about time we had some new life injected into the genre.

Doyle’s crowd levels on the main stage suffer from being on at the same time as the secret (read: not remotely secret) Sophie Stage act – Machine Head. Now, them being the secret act is awesome. That is undeniable. What isn’t awesome is the fact that absolutely everyone knew in advance, (which may have had something to do with the merch stalls selling the tshirts at 10am this morning) and they’re all crammed buttcheek to buttcheek into the sweatlodge that is the big tent. The band are incredible and the atmosphere is electric, buuuut… on a weekend like this, it’s inviting heatstroke to the party in a big way. I wish it had been a main stage secret slot instead, but I guess there were reasons.

In other news, slushie sales are high and even the smallest patches of shade have become precious territory for people to escape the burning sun. They’re few and far between – just the spaces around the Red Bull bars, or little corners between food vendors. The best efforts of the festival seem to be some camouflage netting draped over some flagpoles to create a dappled shade area, but it really isn’t much for how many people are here.

GWAR Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

On the main stage our friends/overlords from outer space GWAR are ripping into American culture like there’s no tomorrow – something we Brits, just unashamedly enjoy. ‘Joe Biden’ gets his head taken off with a giant foam machete and sprays blood into the whooping crowd, then a Trump supporting redneck gets his guts unceremoniously gouged from his body while the band rock on. “This is the most bloodthirsty country of conquerors in the world, and I bet even they think this is racist” frontman Blothar the Beserker remarks about an awful Chinese stereotype accent in a joke, before the Imperial March plays while they cut the tits off the Queen. You heard me. If you haven’t seen Gwar before, you’d be forgiven for thinking this was all just theatre and silliness, but they are actually just a solidly good metal band outside of all the masks, horns and penises. Anyway, I love them, so there.

GWAR Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

Gothenburg’s own freak-show-circus-cabaret Avatar have come to town, wearing leather daddy Lederhosen and giving us perfectly choreographed hair windmilling. “We’re gonna sing, we’re gonna dance, and we’re going to have a jolly good time” shouts mime-faced frontman Johannes Eckerström and that is exactly what they give us. It’s hot and it’s humid inside the tent but we can’t help but join in – Avatar should have been on the main stage though, they’re certainly well known enough.

Avatar Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

Exodus return to BOA in full force, “Keep that pit violent but look after each other” calls frontman Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza, but pleas for more crowd surfers seem to fall on deaf ears. “We’re getting bored up here so you’d better start sending people over…” It’s absolutely scorching and the people are weary. Plus who wants to pass someone elses’ sweaty arsecrack above their heads? Nevertheless, it’s a great set as expected from the band. Next up Testament battle with the direct sunlight bleaching the stage white, it’s a hot one for bands who favour denim and leather but they’re giving it everything. Visibly pouring with sweat is the code of heavy metal bands in general, but you can see everyone struggling today.

Testament Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

Luckily the sun starts its descent and we manage to grab ourselves some dinner before the headline act. Having been a Bloodstock/festival goer for decade now, I am extremely thankful for how far festival food has come. We opt for Salt and Chilli chicken, and a Bunnychow – both of which I would happily devour in any other setting. Long gone are the rat-burgers and suspect ‘meat & noodles’ offerings of yesteryear, bless everyone involved in this process.

Bringing Friday night to a close are Polish extreme metal connoisseurs Behemoth who appear behind their signature serpentine mic stands in ghoulish corpse paint, before enormous flame cannons at the front of the stage erupt to burn every side of us the sun didn’t achieve earlier. With an uncompromisingly brutal tour of tracks like ‘Off to War!’ and ‘Conquer All’ it’s clear they have come to BOA with a purpose. ‘Slaves Shall Serve’ draws us in, and encore closer ‘O Father O Satan O Sun!’ seems a very fitting herald after the day we’ve had. Though I can’t pretend they’re my favourite closing act I’ve seen at Bloodstock, I can honestly say they deserved that spot through and through – there is nothing short of mastery in their sound, and the crowd was in the palm of their vampiric hands all night.

Behemoth Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.


Saturday if you can believe it is even hotter, even stickier, even worse to venture outside in. We go anyway, because there’s no missing Bloodstock, no matter the stakes. Heavy but melodic Lorna Shore are an absolute highlight, and have gathered a massive crowd in the inferno that is the main stage area.

Sylosis are heavy and fast, despite looking extremely unassuming until, “How are you doing, are you guys hydrating? We know it’s fucking hot but this next one is a fast one, we’d love to see a circle pit” they say, which is all jolly well and good when you’re heading straight back to your fancy air conditioned tour bus but… oh fuck it, here we go, yolo. “Thanks for sticking with us in this horrible weather” they acknowledge, as the security hand out cups of water from ever refilled bins along the stage. The people on the front row look positively raisin-shriveled and like they would enjoy being put to bed by their mothers. Never mind all that though, because now Sylosis want to see a circle pit around the sound tent too. Um, hard pass, I’m out, I need to sit down now thank you.

Jinjer Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

After a break we’re ready to go again with Ukrainian metal band Jinjer who are welcomed onto the stage to a sea of their blue and yellow flags in the crowd. Vocalist Tatiana Shmailyuk is visibly touched by the gesture and takes time to thank the UK for our frankly minimal governmental efforts in helping their country. Regardless the “Fuck Putin” chant is very enjoyable and the sold out Jinjer merchandise on display, tells you that the people at least, do care. Jinjer also end up being one of my absolute highlights of the weekend, brutal but melodic and unswervingly metal to the core.

Southampton lads Bury Tomorrow bring a different vibe to the lineup today, lots of jumping around and being generally rowdy. “I don’t care if you know us, I don’t care if you like us, I’m just glad you’re here and showing respect for live music after 2 years away” laments frontman Dan Winter-Bates. I’m into the excessive energy, but when he suggests that they want to ‘break records’ with 1000 crowd-surfers on this scorched-earth godforsaken day… I can but laugh. Not a hecking chance son, but love your optimism. In the end there were probably about 30 brave souls.

Bury Tomorrow Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

On the tiny Jägermeister stage, Solar Sons are giving classic metal meets #tinyhouselife – jamming their equipment onto the polly pocket step, but it is good and they’ve got a decent circle of people around them.

After a quick perusal of the merchandise offerings, and a jealous side-eye to the Bloodstock Rock Society tent which looks shady and comfortable, it’s on to Norwegian black metal titans Dimmu Borgir. Firm favourites of the festival, another corpse paint posse, all I can think is they must be effing boiling like microwave dinners in all their layers of clothing this evening. Despite some technical difficulties and a bit of a late start, they come good and it’s an overall excellent show.

Dimmu Borgir Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

As day two comes to a close, we are greeted by a giant sheet covering the main stage. The arena is decently filled, and the sun has finally left the damn building. Tonight we see the return of King Diamond fronting Mercyful Fate, after the band had to pull out of last year’s Bloodstock. The Danish doom-peddlers of the black metal hall of fame throw down the gauntlet for exciting stage sets, as the curtains drop to reveal a massive tiered alter and staircases for King to run around on. There are inverted neon crosses, pentagrams and props everywhere, and King is dressed in a giant red cloak and demonic ram mask. It’s all very theatrical – something I really enjoy in a headline act, frankly.

As the band fire up with ‘The Oath’ it’s clear they mean business, though I must admit that King’s seagull squawking isn’t for everyone and it’s certainly true that it isn’t the busiest main stage crowd we’ve ever seen. Soon King pops into his little stage-top changing room and swaps out of the ram mask (it must have been bloody hot to be fair) into a giant black crown. Now that we can see  his face, and those signature panda-eyes, the whole look gives big Moira Rose energy – I wonder if she was inspired by Mercyful Fate?

Addressing the crowd, King tells us “We’re going to play a new one. It’s not finished yet, but I think you deserve to hear it. It’s about nine minutes long…” before launching into ‘The Jackal of Salzburg’ which is quite honestly already a saga, even if it is unfinished. The band weave their way through early tracks like ‘Curse of the Pharaohs’ and ‘Melissa’ as the appreciative fans headbang along, and there’s an air of genuine appreciation from the fringe who wouldn’t consider themselves part of the coven.

Encore song ‘Satan’s Fall’ rings the arena in the glow of satisfaction, love them or loathe them – it’s pretty clear they’re a great BOA headliner.

Mercyful Fate Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.


Ok, so it’s still hot. I feel like we’re being trolled at this point, but it’s really not stopping the very fashionable day three attire of Pink outfits in memory of Sylvia Lancaster, of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. It’s a lovely tribute, and a cause that is held dear by so many in the Bloodstock family.

On the main stage classic thrash legends Vio-lence are up. Credited with influencing a plethora of metal bands, they’re no strangers to a crowd of eager-to-rage pit goers, but it’s clear the situation stands that a lot of people seem to still be back at the campsites avoiding this infernal heat. It’s a great set regardless, but a bit of a shame more people weren’t out for them.

Vio-lence Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

Over on the Jägermeister truck stage, Lore of The Woodman (instrumental math rock, apparently?) are a beautiful interlude in all the shouty loudness of the weekend. Clever and melodic, it’s absolutely no wonder the tiny tent was bulging with people enjoying their unique sound.

Back to the eardrum smashing with Venom Inc. and some good solid metal riffs on the main stage, and it’s a fun and a bit silly show. There’s a small interlude due to an equipment malfunction “It’s so hot I broke a string”… “It was his G-string” (pause for laughs) and they hit the feel of the festival spot on, joking “It’s hot but it’s Bloodstock, you could stay here forever if only they’d let you, right?” to a roar from the crowd.

Venom Inc. Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

Elsewhere over on the Sophie stage, Orbit Culture ooze melody into our souls while we snatch some much needed shade. Not to say that they aren’t heavy – ‘Strangler’ is an absolute war-call and the crowd in there are eating it up.

Another foray into corpse-paint and uncomfortable looking leathers for this heat, is Dark Funeral, making the understatement of the year “We heard you’ve had a couple of warm days”. New album song ‘Leviathan’ is a banger, and it’s a good set in general, but we are tired and sweaty and end up sitting down at the back for a break. Can’t help but wonder if they have to have a team of helpers to peel them out of their outfits after they get off the stage…

Dark Funeral Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

Acid Throne are up next on Jägermeister, interesting melodic stoner metal – which brings me to realise that there’s been a bit of a diversity split between the stages this year, with lots of thrash and black metal making it’s way to the top of the main stage bill, but little of other styles. I would like to hereby request the return of Viking, Folk, Power and Hair – all the silly ones please.

Okay okay, so post-punk/industrial kings Killing Joke are next on the main stage with frontman Jaz Coleman clawing about in a black boilersuit and red face paint reminiscent of crap 80’s Halloween costume efforts. Yes I know they’re hugely influential, and they are entertaining don’t get me wrong, it’s just… not my jam. In fairness, neither are Belphegor (Austrian blackened death metal) but I do just really appreciate the balls of a band who decide they want that much pyro on a tiny stage in a tent. Zero fucks given about personal safety but it makes for a very fun show let me tell you.

Killing Joke Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

So we arrive at the final main stage headliner of BOA 2022, and thankfully the temperature has actually dropped significantly tonight – still don’t need a jumper though. Wild times for a UK festival I know.

Lamb of God, returning after many years to the BOA stage are immediately, unabashedly going for it with the full force of a band confident in their stature. I am so drawn in, taken by surprise at how much I’m enjoying myself. There’s pyro, Randy Blythe is a swirling nebula headbanging with his long dreads, and the entire band is driving the sound out hard and fast. This I feel, is the energy I’ve been missing – something encapsulating that I can’t separate myself from to think about, the thing that makes music punch you right in the gut. ‘Walk With Me In Hell’ is truly epic, and ‘Omerta’ is devastatingly heavy and perfectly executed.

I’m even gonna let the guitar widdling and unnecessary solos slide because I’m enjoying myself, but they could sincerely have left the “…this heat is nothing compared to where we’re from” mockery at home… OK RANDY WE DON’T HAVE AIRCON IN OUR TENTS YOU KNOW (eyerolls dramatically). It’s fine, they do make amends “Thank you so much for being here, I know we’re the last band and you’re sweating your English asses off…” before shouting out some of the other bands over the weekend such as Gwar, and Killing Joke whom they have previously credited as an influence of theirs.

Calling for the crowd to “…destroy this fucking place” they incite an absolute hoard of crowdsurfers – all  those people who were too tired and hot to go for it the rest of the weekend. If your eyes haven’t witnessed crowd surfers at a metal gig, you’re honestly missing out on a key life moment. Better yet if you’re brave enough to go over yourself, just hold onto your pants.

Another heartfelt shout out, this time for Sophie and Sylvia Lancaster, alongside a request that we – the metal community – look out for each other and have each others’ backs. It resonates with so many of us here, there is a stuck moment of introspection, before reality snaps back and it’s time for Lamb of God’s finale and an absolutely ragingly huge circle pit. Seriously go look at a YouTube video, it’s nuts. They go out on ‘Redneck’ with a bang, no winding down here – I can safely say that’s the best I’ve ever seen them.

Randy Blythe – Lamb of God Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

Well Bloodstock… apart from an accidental pit stop into some very suspect Britney karaoke in the Serpent’s Lair, here we are again at the end. It’s been real, it’s been fun, it’s been real fun. I don’t know how else to characterize this festival if you’ve never been here before – except that, you should come.

Despite this year’s line-up not being my general taste in metal overall, I had a fucking great time, as I always do. I saw some new things, I saw some things that surprised me, I saw old friends, I made new friends, I talked to total strangers like they were my best friends. Bloodstock is family. Come and join us.

BLOODSTOCK goes pink; reveals more bands

Some of BLOODSTOCK HQ’s favourite festival moments are wandering amongst their metal brethren at Catton Park and seeing someone become a fan of a new band. Elevating the best upcoming heavy metal talent is one of the chief aims of Metal 2 The Masses, and as finals continue, we’ve details of a few more winners you’ll be able to see at BLOODSTOCK this August, alongside the first of the Jagermeister stage bands to be announced! 

First though, BLOODSTOCK also wants to take a moment to celebrate and elevate the work of an amazing woman. 2022 saw the very tragic loss of Sylvia Lancaster OBE, the pioneering fundraiser & educator who established The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, as well as of course being Sophie’s mum and a dear friend of everyone at BLOODSTOCK HQ. 

At Sylvia’s funeral earlier this year, she had requested that everyone attending wear something pink, as this was her favourite colour.  So in honour of Sylvia, at this year’s festival on the Sunday, we’re mirroring the sentiment and asking BLOODSTOCKers to please wear an item of pink in acknowledgement of her truly phenomenal work, which has been life changing for many in alternative subcultures.  Perhaps you’d like to don a pink shirt or hat, or maybe plump for a full pink outfit!  Let’s see a sea of pink for Sylvia on Sunday, and don’t forget to drop by The Sophie Lancaster Foundation stand in the arena and make a donation if you can. 

With Metal 2 The Masses finals well underway across the country, BLOODSTOCK is excited to share a few more of the winning bands, who’ll be performing on the New Blood stage. Essex champions EXISTENTIALIST are set to impress with their blackened death metal on Friday, alongside immersive goth rockers FYRESKY, who won the Kent heat. Milton Keynes victors VERMINTHRONE add some sludgecore flavour (imagine if EyeHateGod, Lamb of God, and Mastodon had a child) to Saturday’s bill, ably assisted by alt metal crew NOVACROW, who took first place for Merseyside.

Joining them on Saturday are Stoke’s brutal metal vanquishers HEADPRESS, Norwich heavyweights COLLAPSE THE SKY who crushed the competition in East Anglia, plus the kings of the London final, blistering thrashers IMPERIUM, who were so stoked to win, they also sent this message: “It goes without saying… the highlight of our music career so far. Winning has blown us away and we can’t wait to walk on that New Blood stage and do our thing! Getting to this point has been a winding road, but M2TM has humbled us, improved us and now given us this incredible opportunity to play Bloodstock Open Air. We can’t thank our fans enough for the support over the last year pushing us on and making our shows what they are. Thank you so much to everyone out there, you are a huge part of Imperium.” 

Sunday welcomes Leicester’s conquerors SULVAIN, four devotees of NOLA grunge from Northampton, with more bands yet to be revealed as the MT2M finals continue! BLOODSTOCK can also reveal some of the hotly tipped talent who’ll be ripping up the Jagermeister stage this year, so why not grab a cold one and go check out what could become your new favourite band.

Friday brings Rotherham’s SWAMP COFFIN, offering up a slab of nihilistic, metallic sludge for your eyes and ears, and good-humoured, Scottish rap/thrash n rollers, CERTAIN DEATH, whose music you may recognise from numerous extreme sports videos including the ‘Thrasher’ skateboarding series (or even just their ‘Jailbait’ single from colossal video game Grand Theft Auto VI).

Saturday now includes doom/thrash/groove fans BOZ, riff-worshipping Dundee trio SOLAR SONS, and rock doomsters MASTER CHARGER, hailing from the blackest heart of the Midlands. If you’re still head-bangin’ by Sunday, head over to catch balls to the wall, ground-shakers DEADLOCK SAINTS (think Motorhead meets Led Zeppelin) as well as some filthy sludge – by way of some grindcore, prog, psychedelia, and stoner doom too – from Limerick City’s TOOMS.  

Don’t miss BLOODSTOCK’s latest Facebook Live (and also on Instagram) TONIGHT at 7pm for the latest news, gossip, giveaways, and more. Get excited with your fellow BLOODSTOCKers and ask any burning questions direct to festival management.