At 7:45 am on May 16, 2010, rock legend Ronnie James Dio passed away. Ronnie had been diagnosed with stomach cancer in late 2009 and when he finally lost his fight for life we in turn lost a genius, a gentleman and perhaps the greatest voice the metal world has ever known.
Ronnie and his former Black Sabbath band mates – Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice – had been scheduled to round off Bloodstock 2010 in their current incarnation as Heaven And Hell. The festival organizers and the many thousands of fans bound for Bloodstock 2010 were equally ecstatic about the band’s forthcoming headline slot. Heaven And Hell had recently released the critically acclaimed album The Devil You Know and their stage shows, featuring some of metal’s truly immortal anthems, were receiving rave reviews right across the rock press. Heaven And Hell headlining Bloodstock Open Air 2010 would have made history for all sorts of reasons. Sadly, it was not to be.
Although immensely saddened by the news of Ronnie’s death, the Bloodstock team knew, as Ronnie himself knew better than anyone, that the show must go on. And so it was decided to honour his memory and a truly amazing life lived to the full by renaming Bloodstock’s main stage as the Ronnie James Dio Stage. Not for one year, not even for two, but forever. A dedication took place on the stage itself during the festival.
Nothing can ever bring Dio back from the great gig in the sky, but his towering voice, his incredible vision and his timeless music will live forever. Bloodstock is both proud and humbled to join the worldwide brotherhood of metal in remembering and celebrating Ronnie’s spectacular career. His spirit will live on even as the music he did so much to create forges ahead into the future.