Line Up: Indoor 2001
Saxon, Orange Goblin, Glenn Hughes, Return To The Sabbat, Primal Fear, Freebase, Skyclad, Consumed, Shadowkeep, Underule, Dirty Deeds, Evoke, Occupational Hazard, Area 54, Bloodstream
Born out of the desire to build a festival the like that had not been seen since the glory days of
Donnington's Monsters of Rock, two individuals from totally different backgrounds came together to bring
their fellow Metalheads the best Metal festival in the UK, BLOODSTOCK.
Organisers Paul Gregory and Vince Brotheridge first came together when Paul was looking for someone to build his website. Paul met Vince through a mutual friend and soon it became apparent that although their backgrounds differed, their taste in music didn't. After a succession of meetings they agreed to form Amust4music, the umbrella for all bloodstock.
Paul has lived in Derby since he was born, so when he and Vince were looking for a venue for Bloodstock, the
Derby Assembly Rooms seemed the ideal solution, surrounded by pubs local eateries and accommodation.
They have the location they had the name, all they needed now was an identity an image to help establish Bloodstock's roots, this is when Paul had the idea of using some of Derby's folk law, 'The Derby Ram' ( No one knows for sure who first spotted 'the finest ram that ever was fed on hay'. Legend has it that this fabulous, fearsome beast was ten yards tall, had a tail like a bell-rope, and the teeth of a regiment of men. The butcher who finally slaughtered the ram was said to have drowned in its blood ).
After Paul painted the first image he decided to give the beast a name, so a competition was held and the name was given, 'S-tan', the name was given by a fan, for fans by fans.
The first headlining band confirmed to play Bloodstock's first show in 2001 was Saxon. This came about as Paul had the good fortune to make the acquaintance of the Band 'Saxon' and their indomitable singer Biff Byford in 1984. He was commissioned to do the artwork for the album and the stage designs, the album was 'Crusader', now a classic in the annals of rock. Paul has painted ten albums to date for the band and has developed a great friendship with Biff and the boys. Saxon were very supportive of Bloodstock and were happy to Headline the very first one day show, alongside Primal Fear, Glenn Hughes, Blaze, Skyclad, Return To The sabbat and many more.
Line Up: Indoor 2002
Blind Guardian, Bal Sagoth, Diamond Head, Return To The Sabbat, Threshold, Primordial, Freedom Call, Elvenking, Enemymaker888, Biochemical, Twelvepointhead, Gamma Ray, Balance Of Power, Infobia
Following an incredibly successful show with over 700 people in attendance and great reviews to follow, Paul and Vince were straight on to planning the 2 nd years show even though they had made a considerable financial loss which they expected in the early days.
Continuing with the same theme, S-tan, Paul introduced another element into the artwork for the second show, that of the headliner. Paul had already done the artwork for Blind Guardian's 'A Night at the Opera' and a shirt with a similar theme for their headline spot at Wacken, so he was certainly going to continue the theme for Bloodstock.
Paul says, 'Blind Guardian were brilliant to work with whilst he was doing their artwork and just the same as Bloodstock's headliner, top band, top guys'.
So with Blind Guardian headlining and Gamma Ray second on the bill the 2 nd Bloodstock was on its way to becoming a great lineup, hence, the festival drew a larger audience than the first year with approximately 1500 metalheads in attendance.
Line Up: Indoor 2003
Nightwish, Biomechanical, Dragon Force, Fulc, Waylander, Paradise Lost, Edguy, Fourwaykill, Invey, Masterplan, Bates Motel, Saracen, Illuminatus, Ninedenine, Cruel Humanity, Bumsnogger
Later in 2002 Paul and Vince went on tour with Saxon. Saxon were asked to headline a festival in Germany due to none appearance of the original headliner, at that festival Vince first saw Nightwish. Having never heard them before, he was quite literally blown away by their entire set and felt they would be a perfect headlining band for Bloodstock in 2003, plus this would be their first UK show. Paul recalls how excited Vince was at Nightwish agreeing to headline the Saturday, so we can thank Saxon again for that moment. It was at this stage that Paul and Vince decided to take a leap of faith and host two days of metal mayhem with Saxon agreeing to come back to headline a more classic evening on The Friday alongside Blaze, Power Quest and 5 th Man Down. Nightwish headlining the Saturday alongside Dragonforce, Paradise Lost, Edguy, Masterplan and Mercury Rain plus a great mix of bands on the 2 nd stage.
Line Up: Indoor 2004
Gamma Ray, Season`S End, Threshold, Invey, Sinergy, Liquid Sky, Super Massive Object, Illuminatus, Infobia, Fourwaykill, Children Of Bodom, Cruachan, Evergrey, The Prophecy, Sonata Artica, Gutworm, Nowhwere Near The Garden, Primal Fear, Balance Of Power, Humanity, Edenbridge, Seven Years Dead, Panic Cell, Rezin 69, Intense
Paul says '04 was a piece of artwork that as a design, just seemed to work on every level.
The colours reflected 03, S-tan seemed more menacing and with a bit more attitude. With GammaRay and Children of Bodom headlining the show, S-tan was in his element and so as it seems was everybody else.
Keeping with a more classic theme for the Friday evening and Gamma Ray holding the headlining slot, supported by Threshold, Sinergy, Illuminatus and Infobia. Children Of Bodom was a little more diverse as the headlining slot for the Saturday and went down a storm with Sonata Arctica, Primal Fear, Evergrey, Balance Of Power, Panic Cell and Intense alongside them.
Line Up: INDOOR 2005
Hammerfall, Conquest Of Steel, Stormwarrior, Warchild, Metalium, Deliverance, Reckless Tide, Zillah, Cathedral, Within Temptation, Amon Amarth, Soliloquy, After Forever, Balance Of Silence, Bob Catley, Jesus Fix, Kingsize Blues, Raven, Iron Saviour, Dreadnought, Rise To Addiction, Pro Jekt, Mfkzt, Suidakra, Season’s End
Paul decided to go back to stronger colours on the artwork for this years image. There are several elements in this work that made it different from the rest keeping the colour overall the same, the addition of the snake, S-tan and the country needs you addition for which Paul has no idea how he managed to get in!
This years show had the largest number of bands yet with Hammerfall headlining the Friday main stage slot with Stormwarrior, Metalium and Reckless Tide alongside. A Battle Metal Night ensued on the Darwin Stage with Conquest of Steel, Warchild, Deliverance and Zillah. Saturday showcased Within Temptation as the main headline act alongside Amon Amarth, After Forever, Bob Catley, Raven, Iron Saviour, Suidakra, Season's End and Rise to Addiction. Where as the Darwin Stage heralded Cathedral, Soliloquay, Balance of Silence Jesus Fix, Kingsize Blues, Dreadnought, Projekt, MFKZT and Osmium. A feast of metal was had by all.
Line Up: Indoor 2006
Deathstars, To Mera, My Dying Bride, Eden, Axel Rudi Pell, Steel Tormentor, Captive Audio, Tourettes Syndrome, Machine Men, Isaiah, Marshall Law, Awaken, Vanden Plas, Illuminatus, Died Smiling, Majesty, Primal Fear, Enemy Unknown, Omnium Gatherum, Deadfall, Sworn Amongst, Beyond Afterlife, Agankast, Mael Mordha, Hostile, Bloody Embrace
As with all the imagery for Bloodstock events I try to produce something different each year. The themes are established with S-tan and the snake, which in a way makes it more difficult to alter the imagery significantly. However I shall rise to the challenge yet again for 07, this should also be a significant year for our shows with Wacken Open Air as our partner.
The bloodstock collective and I look forward to meeting you all next year at one or both our shows. Show your support, live the dream.
For fans by fans.
Line Up: OPEN AIR 2005
Breed 77, Mostly Autumn, Children Of Bodom, Gotthard, Panic Cell, Sebastian Bach, Paradise Lost, Edguy, Evergrey, Masterplan, Humanity, Fourwaykill, MARIONETTE
In 2005, Paul and Vince took an even bigger leap and decided to expand the sell out indoor show which only allows for a maximum capacity of 2500 metalheads, to hosting an Open Air festival alongside the now well established indoor festival which would allow for up to 10,000 metalheads, hence the birth of Bloodstock Open Air.
Paul says the logo for BOA was fairly easy to develop, but he still wanted to keep the original concept of the ram. Once the layout for the lettering was decided it was then he came up with the idea of the metamorphosis from S-tan to S-tan plus snake. As the Bloodstock designs were quite detailed Paul decided to simplify the BOA design for it's first appearance.
There is a huge financial strain to put on two top notch metal festivals, but Paul and Vince were so commited to bring their dream to reality and realised the UK's need for a Open Air show that could still retain the friendly Bloodstock atmosphere that the indoor show had become renowned for. At this juncture Wacken showed huge support and leant their European marketing muscle to help spread the word of Bloodstock and offered sound advice to Paul and Vince to help build for the festivals future. Sebastain Bach (ex skid Row) was a superb headliner for the Friday with Mostly Autumn, Breed 77 Gothard and Panic Cell. The headlining slot for the Saturday had to be Children of Bodom as they were so well received at Bloodstock in 2004. Followed by previous Bloodstock band Paradise lost, with Edguy, Evergrey, Masterplan, Humanity and Fourwaykill.
Line Up: OPEN AIR 2006
Atheist, Evile, Rage, Kingsize Blues, Headless Cross, Metal Church, Edguy, Pitiful Reign, Nocturnal Rites, Nephwrack, Pyramaze, Kyrbgrinder, State Of Serenity, Season’s End, Stratovarius, Sicfelt, Solice, Ashtar, Callenish Circle, Deadeye, Beyond All Reason, Ensiferum, Deadweight, Bal Sagoth, Turisas, Gorilla Monsoon, 19 Th Century
I tried to capture elements of both festivals in this image, also I believe it's good to add splashes of humour within the artwork, cans of larger etc. You may notice other additions, the shield carrying the Wacken crest. Some of the characters within the artwork are actual fans, something I deemed appropriate.
Often when producing artwork you're not always aware of those elements that sneak in and catch you unawares.
I don't recall who it was who complimented me on the snake being in the shape of the number two, whilst pointing out how problematic it was going to be to paint 04. Well now's the time to own up, as obvious as it is to me now, it was not a conscious decision. I was, as always concentrating on the design whilst subliminally focusing on the 2. Strange as it sounds that's how it happened.
How metal is that.
Line Up: OPEN AIR 2007
Mendeed, Testament, Head On, Kiuas, Firewind, Sight Of Emptiness, Mindflow, Blindsight, Life Denied, 4 Dj`S Of The Apocalypse, The Aftermath, Zenith, Metal Karaoke, Sinocence, Idiom, Theomen, Enemo J, Korpiklaani, Timefall, Lacuna Coil, Cerebral Fix, Memfis, Forever Never, Epica, Wolf, Hexagram, King Lizard, Dark Tranquillity, Exploder, Damage Control, Scar Symmetry, Voodoo Six, Nemhain, 4 Dj`S Of The Apocalypse, Headrush, Metal Karaoke, The Hollow Earth Theory, Sinnergod, Nephwrack, Kobrakai, Trigger 9, Rise To Addiction, Terrathorn, Beyond All Reason, Benediction, Speedtheory, Honey For Christ, In Flames, Exit Ten, Dream Evil, The Apostacy, Arch Enemy, Legion Ofthe Damned, Hanging Doll, Sabbat, Axis Of Evil, Finntroll, Freedom Call
2007 was a record-breaking year for Bloodstock Open Air. We added an extra day to the festivities and secured out biggest line up in the festivals history starting with Testament as our Thursday headliner. We soon followed this announcement with Lacuna Coil headlining Friday and In Flames to headline the Saturday. The rest of the line up came together pretty quickly after that.
Bloodstock’s official website was totally overhauled and every spare minute of the team’s time was dedicated to building the festivals profile in every way possible. One of the most successful additions to the website was the facility for unsigned bands to upload their own music videos to allow thousands of metallers around the globe to vote for their favourite world wide unsigned band. This winning band 'Sight Of Emptiness' came all the way from Costa Rica to open the main stage on the Thursday evening to rapturous applause.
Our objective in 2007 was to literally double the attendance of the previous year’s open air which saw well over 2,000 fans attend in 2006.
All we had to do now was make sure that all the true metal fans around the UK were also aware of Bloodstock’s fantastic line up.
One of the largest record stores in the country 'HMV' agreed to display our posters, flyers and sell tickets for us and the same can be said of as many independent record stores who were only to happy to support Bloodstock and the UK metal scene. This was also the first year that Bloodstock saw a huge shift in the amount of support from the media. The metal magazines have always supported us but now we had sky TV and radio that had a core metal fan base thirsty for a festival such as Bloodstock Open Air.
Well as everything else was now in place and tickets were shifting nicely, the weather decided to throw a bit of a spanner in the works as the summer of 2007 proved to be the wettest summer in over 50 years. As luck would have it about 1 week before the festival the weather abated and the roads eventually cleared …Hoorah ! !!
Over 5,000 fans turned up and braved the wet to celebrate Bloodstock’s most successful Open Air to date and to those of you who were there ………WE SALUTE YOU!
Line Up: OPEN AIR 2008
Primal Fear, Pro Jekt, Hospital Of Death, Evile, Son Of Science, Opeth, Anger Management, Tyr, Helloween, Obsessive Compulsive, Saint Deamon , A470, Broken Faith, Akercocke, Firebrand Super Rock, Destruction, Invasion, Praying Mantis, Soulfly, The Dead Lay Waiting, Outcryfire, Sorcerer`S Spell, Moonsorrow, Swallow The Sun, Dimmu Borgir , Keltic Jihad, Communic, Uniting The Elements , Eluveitie, Witchsorrow, Mantra, Soilwork, Cloudscape, The Defiled, Iced Earth , The Dirty Youth, Hellfighter, Napalm Death, Blood Island Raiders, Rise To Remain , Empyreal Destroyer, Evil Scarecrow, The Berzerker, Seven Years Dead, Fury Uk, Rsj, Sondura, Concept Of Time, 9 Days Down, Metalloid, Mob Rules, At The Gates, Kataklysm, Overkill, As I Lay Dying , Crowning Glory, Nightwish, Alestorm , Grand Magus, Ravens Creed, Necrosadistic Goat Torture, Heaven`S Basement, Celtic Legacy, De Profundis, Serotonal, Ravenage, Liquid Sky, Ted Maul, Adam Bomb, Silent Descent, Cursed As Angels, Musta Talvi, Es Oterica, Blasphemous Creation
With its strongest line up in 8 years and the highest number of metal heads in attendance since its conception - Bloodstock Open Air truly came of age in 2008.
When we first started out on the journey of Bloodstock in 2001 we were told by so many that there just weren’t enough metal fans in the UK to hold a metal festival. Nearly 8 years on over 8,500 people descended on the quiet village of Walton On Trent in Derbyshire to celebrate 3 days of full on metal.
Opeth, Dimmu Borgir and Nightwish headlined the weekends festivities. And we were fortunate enough to secure ‘At The Gates’ who reunited for the first time in many years to offer up an exclusive UK show in 2008 and their fans were not disappointed. Special Guest’s ‘Helloween’ turned out a stunning performance alongside Iced Earth, Overkill and so many more.
Organisers Paul, Rachael and Vicky have always aimed to get the festival to 20 – 25,000 capacity seeing this as a comfortable level which would allow the festival to retain its intimate safe and friendly atmosphere. The fans who attended Bloodstock this year truly excelled themselves as we had the highest number of metal heads attending in the festivals history and the whole atmosphere front of house and back stage was awesome.
The unsigned stage turned up some amazing metal acts that we know will be around for many years to come - Marshall Law and Conquest of Steel made a guest appearance on the Thursday night and really set off the weekend’s metal party with a bang. The metal karaoke tent run by the infamous 4 DJ's of the Apocalypse entertained well over 4000 metal heads each night after the main arena closed down and was as always packed to the rafters.
Valhalla smiled down on Bloodstockers this particular weekend as the UK was experiencing yet another full on frontal from the rain and other festivals were struggling against a tide of mud baths – Bloodstock received no more than a cup of it. Roll on 2009...
Line Up: OPEN AIR 2009
Katatonia, The Green River Project, Pythia, Vallenbrosa, Godsized, Die Apokalyptischen Reiter , Xerath, Saxon, Gods Of Hellfire, Malefice, Alternative Carpark, Municipal Waste, Bloodshot Dawn, Million Dollar Reload , Ventflow, Carcass, Arch Enemy, Snakebite, Insomnium, Divine Chaos, Sodom, Bisonhammer, Blindfolds Aside, Blitzkrieg, Left To Bleed, Celesty, Arthemis, The Rotted, Abgott, Wintersun, The Haunted, Internal Conflict, They Will Rise, Candlemass, Nefarious, Apocalyptica, Solsikk , Enslaved, Inner Eden, Battlelore, Kreator, Sanctorum, Blind Guardian, Switch Blade Scream, Cradle Of Filth, Severed Heaven, O.M.T, Wolf, Entombed, Niyah Sky, Uncle Rotter, Hunted, Tribe, Anterior, Darkness Dynamite, Edens Curse, Nya, Sabaton, Turisas, Primitive Graven Image, Biomortal, Satyricon, Eibon La Furies, Amon Amarth, Nightmare World, Beholder, Sower, Moonspell, Equilibrium, Triaxis, Girlschool , Agonyst, Europe, Annwn, Anathema, Into The Woods, Long Time Dead
Having truly come of age the previous year, 2009 saw Bloodstock Open Air embarking on the next phase of its development. With Bloodstock firmly established as a major event on the UK rock festival calendar, the team used the kudos and leverage they’d gradually built up to take everything to the next level. From sound, lights and staging, entertainment and sideshows, right down to food, drink and other amenities, 2009 was a year to remember.
In keeping with a consistent pattern, audience numbers were once again up, as over 9,500 fans from the UK and overseas flocked to see one of the best line-ups of metal on offer anywhere. The atmosphere, both out front and backstage, was amazing, as was the weather, always a bonus in Britain!
The unsigned stage was busier than ever and packed to the roof, as Bloodstock extended its commitment to promoting up-and-coming metal talent. Well over 30 new bands were showcased, including several who later returned to Bloodstock on a bigger stage.
The Sophie Lancaster stage, too, was bustling throughout the weekend, with too many outstanding performances to mention them all. Pythia, Malefice, Xerath, The Rotted and Abgott were just a few of the bands who kept the punters entertained and the festival’s second stage growing in quality and stature.
Friday’s main stage activity was kicked off by NWOBHM veterans Blitzkrieg, after scheduled opener Million Dollar Reload got lost in the winding country lanes which surround the festival site. The hapless rockers did, however, make it in time to follow Blitzkrieg and from then on in, it was a seamless day of metal mayhem. The line-up had something for everyone including gothic gloom from Katatonia, classic British metal from Bloodstock veterans Saxon and some top notch thrash from Municipal Waste and Teutonic terrors Sodom, who were playing their first UK gig in 20 years. The day closed with amazing sets from Arch Enemy and headliners Carcass, who were on a hugely-popular comeback trail and on the best form of their lives.
Saturday on the main stage was time for a raft of European bands to strut their stuff, including Bloodstock favourites Wolf, Swedish doom legends Candlemass, German thrashers Kreator and the returning Blind Guardian who put on a spectacular show. Britain held the day, however, with a headline slot from the one and only Cradle of Filth which, although sadly cut short, showed us once again why they’re one of the biggest UK metal bands of the last two decades.
The Bloodstock forums exploded when it was announced that Swedish melodic rockers Europe would headline the final day, some in favour, and some not so sure! After the UK’s own Beholder got the main stage fired up, there followed yet another fantastic day of music with stunning performances from Swedish power metallers Sabaton, Merseyside miserablists Anathema and Finnish battle metal crew Turisas, who turned in what was surely one of the best performances of their entire career. Things just got better as the Scandinavian contingent of Amon Amarth and Satyricon played their hearts out, finally paving the way for Europe’s festival-closing set. In the end, the Swedes took Bloodstock by the scruff of the neck and rocked our socks off. After a stunning show and a mass sing-along of their anthem The Final Countdown, they left the stage vindicated, victorious and grinning like lunatics!
After such an exhilarating weekend, the Bloodstock team went into preparations for the festival’s tenth anniversary charged with energy and full of enthusiasm. More bands and fans had rocked, and the positive press and plaudits kept rolling in. By the fans, for the fans… we knew we must be doing something right.
Line Up: OPEN AIR 2010
Rage, Steelwing, Splintered Soul, Enforcer, Lordaeron, Ross The Boss, Tempestora, Behemoth, Mithras, Under Blackened Skies, Dream Evil, Powerwolf, Morgue Orgy, Hospital Of Death, Sonata Artica, Betraeus, Sylosis, Gorgoroth, Black Spiders, Collapse, Grieve, Ensiferum, Senturia, Snakebite, Credit To Dementia, Meshuggah, Shrapnel, Arceye, Opeth, Cathedral, Benediction, Regardless Of Me , Mordecai, Desecration, Of No Consequence , Zocalo, Fear Factory, Echoes Fall, Obituary, Silas, Andromeda, Achren, Burn The Hive, Devin Townsend, Leaves Eyes, Reism, The Whores , Amorphis, Children Of Bodom, Lithurgy, Aghast, Edguy, Swallow The Sun, Flayed Disciple, Onlslaught, Chaos Asylum, Evile, Killing Machine , The Prophecy, Witch Sorrow, Purified In Blood, Orestea, Old Corpse Road, Gwar, Gojira, Stone Circle, Traces, Doro, Mutant, Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse , Neonfly, Korpiklaani, Extreme Od, Ishmael, Bloodbath, Furyon, Twisted Sister, Hekz, Core Project, Holy Moses, Bonded By Blood
For its tenth anniversary, Bloodstock Open Air staged the biggest and best festival yet. Over ten thousand metalheads thronged to the hallowed grounds of Catton Hall in Derbyshire for a wild weekend of celebrations to the tune of some of the best metal bands on the planet.
As always, the atmosphere was electric, with Bloodstock veterans and yet another wave of enthusiastic first-timers uniting to enjoy the spirit of camaraderie which makes the festival unique. Rain greeted the early arrivers but it wasn’t long before the clouds rolled back and the UK’s premier metal event really got underway in style.
Amongst a number of new additions and improvements, both the unsigned stage - renamed the New Blood stage - and the Sophie Lancaster Stage were expanded in size and hosted dozens of excellent bands, new talent and established names alike. The highlights were numerous with the likes of Steelwing, Enforcer, Powerwolf, Benediction and Sylosis lighting up the Sophie Stage while over 30 up-and-coming outfits strutted their stuff on the New Blood stage. The future of metal has never looked better… The main stage was also renamed as the Ronnie James Dio Stage, a universally popular move in memory of one of the greatest figures the world of rock and metal has ever seen.
The events of day one were typical of the metal community in general and of the Bloodstock fraternity in particular. Alongside sterling sets from the likes of Rage, Sonata Arctica and Meshuggah, UK doom veterans Cathedral stepped in at the last minute to deputise for Behemoth who were forced to pull out due to frontman Nergal’s recent illness. Needless to say Cathedral were welcomed with open arms and turned in a superb performance. No one present, however, will ever forget Opeth’s moving tribute to the late Ronnie James Dio. Bravely stepping in for the absent Heaven And Hell, Opeth held the audience spellbound with a truly stunning rendition of the Rainbow classic ‘Catch The Rainbow’, dedicated to Ronnie and a truly amazing life creating the music we all hold so dear.
Day two was littered with memorable turns, from Evile and Onslaught’s thrash attacks to Obituary’s deadly death metal, via an awesome return to form from industrial metallers Fear Factory and, of course, a highly-entertaining headline slot from the returning Children Of Bodom who last graced the Bloodstock stage during the inaugural outdoor event back in 2005.
Day three was equally thrill-packed, Bonded By Blood and Holy Moses bringing the thrash, Suffocation, Gojira, Bloodbath and the legendary Cannibal Corpse dealing the death and Doro playing one of the best shows of the weekend while Gwar and Korpiklaani dished out some liquid-drenched fun, albeit with very different kinds of liquids… It then fell to the one and only Twisted Sister to stage a simply mind-blowing finale, sending the entire festival into one massive sing-along as the New Yorkers reeled off hit after hit and brought Bloodstock’s first decade to a spectacular close.
It was another year but so much more than just another Bloodstock. As fans said their farewells and the hard working crew began putting the festival back in its box till next time, there was time to reflect on an incredible achievement. From the ground up and from scratch and with nothing but passion, belief and love for heavy metal music and all it stands for, Bloodstock has made a dream come true; a real metal festival for real metalheads – by the fans, for the fans, ten years and counting. To 2011 and beyond!
Line Up: OPEN AIR 2011
Achren, Xerath, Revoker, WASP, Devin Townsend, October File, Kreator, Lawnmower Deth, Byfrost, Coroner, Arthemis, Unknown Fear, Triptykon, Poisonblack, GRAND ULTRA, Forbidden, Wolf, Romeo Must Die, The Defiled, Cerebral Bore, Imicus, Shreddertron, INNER FIRE, EnTro-P, PRIMITAI, RANNOCH, Saturnian, The Furious Horde, DECIMATION, CRYOSTORM, Training Icarus, Brezno, Angel Witch, BLUDVERA, The Rotted, Hammer Of The Gods, Immortal, Deadly Circus Fire, Rhapsody Of Fire, Therion, Wintersun, Ihsahn, Finntroll, Def Con One , Blake, Tarot, Dripback, Grave Digger, ZOMBIE MILITIA, Skeletonwitch, SOULSPHERE, PURE NEGATIVE, FOUL BODY AUTOPSY, IMPALED EXISTENCE, HOSTILE RISING, BURY THE CONSCIOUS, FURYBORN, HAERKEN, INTENSIVE SQUARE, Motorhead, Criminal, CANDID INIQUITY, Amaranthe, Primeval, Power Quest, Survivors Zero, Twilight`s Embrace, Sanguine, Nemhain, Hellish Outcast, NORTHERN OAK, TALANAS, Morbid Angel, ACHILLA, At The Gates, SPIRES, LIFER, VISITOR, Exodus, WOLFCRUSHER, Hammerfall, SACRED ILLUSION, AKARUSA YAMI, Napalm Death, PRIMORDIAL, 1349, Hell
Another year, another mega metal weekend, and Bloodstock celebrated its eleventh installment in typically robust style. Almost 11,000 metalheads made the pilgrimage to the now well-trodden grounds of Catton Hall, making BOA 2011 the biggest Bloodstock yet. As usual, we welcomed a throng of newcomers alongside the hardcore of regulars, and the atmosphere as always was truly special. With rain on Thursday night, the temperamental British weather threatened to be anything but special, but come Friday, the weather gods were smiling, the clouds had broken and the festival enjoyed a balmy few days of mirth, merrymaking and, of course, metal!
The early birds – and blokes, obviously – were treated to a special Thursday night entrée as Beholder, Revoker, Xerath and Achren stormed the Sophie Lancaster Stage to really get things warmed up. The Sophie Stage also saw Bloodstock’s first ever world class comedy acts in the shape of Jason Rouse and Steve Hughes, both of whom returned to wrap things up on Sunday.
From the moment that The Defiled hit the Ronnie James Dio stage on Friday until the day ended with a hit-filled set from the legendary W.A.S.P., it was clear that BOA 2011 would be another classic year. Friday’s highlights were many; Wolf putting in their third Bloodstock appearance, thrash-tastic sets from Forbidden, Coroner and Kreator, a truly earth-shattering tour de force from the mighty Triptykon and, of course, the return of the amazing Devin Townsend, who put the ghosts of the previous year’s technical glitches firmly to rest with a truly stellar display. With more bands than ever performing on the Sophie Stage, it fell to the ludicrous but loveable Lawnmower Deth to top a day which featured memorable turns from October File, Byfrost, Arthemis and many more.
Saturday got underway in fine style, Skeletonwitch’s mash-up of black/death/speed/thrash/whatever kicking off main stage activities and blasting hangovers into oblivion. From the power metal of Grave Digger and Rhapsody Of Fire, to the cerebral stylings of Therion, Wintersun and ex-Emperor man Ihsahn, it was another great day, crowned in inimitable fashion by the one-and-only Immortal. With a full moon glowing overhead, the Norwegian trio put in a performance truly worthy of headliners, their ice-cold yet catchy black metal hymns providing the perfect ending to the festivities. Over of the Sophie Stage, meanwhile, fans enjoyed more comedy from Keith Platt and Steve Hill, and another quality line-up of bands including Hammer Of The Gods, The Rotted and a bristling set from New Wave of British Heavy Metal veterans Angel Witch.
Anyone who caught Hell’s Sunday morning performance opening the Ronnie James Dio stage witnessed one of the outstanding shows of the entire weekend. And what a way it was to kick off the final day. Both Napalm Death and At The Gates were back to tear us a new one while Swedish power metal kings HammerFall also made their long-anticipated return to Bloodstock. Whilst Exodus and Morbid Angel both turned in simply incredible performances, one of the day’s most memorable events was the crowd singing along with Primordial after vocalist Nemtheanga suddenly lost his voice. An unforgettable Bloodstock moment. With another strong Sophie line-up including the likes of Evil Scarecrow, Power Quest and Criminal coming to a close, one of metal’s founding fathers Motörhead laid waste to the main stage as only they can. Lemmy says it’s just good old rock’n’roll, but whatever you call it, it was one hell of a way to round off another incredible year for Bloodstock.
And so the festival continues to go from strength to strength, fueled by the passion shared by the fans, the bands and all the individuals who toil so tirelessly to make the event what it is. Once more, by the fans, for the fans, forever! Even if the world ends in 2012, we think Bloodstock might just keep going…
Line Up: OPEN AIR 2012
VIKING SKULL, MARIONETTE, BLOODSHOT DAWN, SATURNIAN, ALCEST, EASTERN FRONT, FALLEN FATE , CAMBION, WAKING THEO, PYTHIA, EXILE THE TRAITOR, WINTERFYLLETH, DERISION, MY WOODEN PILLOW , SCARE TACTICS, SWEET SAVAGE, KILLER HURTS, KREPUSKUL , CONTROL THE STORM, GONOREAS, PRIMITAI, KATALEPTIC, IN COMA, COMMANDER IN CHIEF, WARHORSE, INFERNAL CREATION , BEHEMOTH, DIO DISCIPLES, WATAIN, SEPULTURA, ICED EARTH, MOONSORROW , GRAND MAGUS, FREEDOM CALL , MALEFICE, DOOMED, GONE TIL WINTER, STORMBORN RELEASE, WRETCHED SOUL, FATHER, COSMIC VORTEX, BULL RIFF STAMPEDE, APOLLYON, THE CONFLICT WITHIN, SUBLIME EYES, TEMPUS FUSION , MERCILESS FAIL, REFLECTION IN EXILE , ORANGE GOBLIN, SIGHT OF EMPTINESS, WITCHSORROW, DEATH VALLEY KNIGHTS, FURYON, RISING DREAM, INFERNAL TENEBRA, DRIPBACK, MACHINE HEAD, TESTAMENT, SAVAGE MESSIAH, HATEBREED, SPLINTERED SOUL, SANCTUARY, MAYHEM, CROWBAR, CHTHONIC, IAMI, BENEDICTION, DREAMCATCHER, SHATTERED SKIES, INCINERY, SA-DA-KO, BLYND , AIRSTRYKE , AERTHARA, FROM RUIN , SEPREVATION, HAKIN, REIGN OF FURY , A THOUSAND ENEMIES, HURON, ANAAL NATHRAKH, HEADCHARGER, DEMONIC RESURRECTION, NOCTIFERIA, ANCIENT ASECENDANT, CRIMES OF PASSION, BATTALION, FLAYED DISCIPLE, RE ARMED , ALICE COOPER, DIMMU BORGIR , PARADISE LOST, ANVIL, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, NILE, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, KOBRA AND THE LOTUS, EVILE
Bigger, better and louder than ever, Bloodstock Open Air turned 2012 into a true rock apocalypse! Around 11,500 metal maniacs invaded the beer-soaked battlegrounds of Catton Hall for yet another long weekend of music, merriment and great memories. The phenomenal attendance figure is the largest yet, showing Bloodstock continuing to grow year on year without sacrificing an ounce of the passion and integrity that makes it the UK’s number one metal festival. Of the newcomers joining in the fun with the Bloodstock faithful, the vast majority were here through word of mouth recommendations, a heartening testament (no pun intended) to people power and the underlying strength of the UK metal scene. And as always, we welcomed an even larger contingent of fans from all corners of the globe, many making the pilgrimage for the very first time.
We wouldn’t be truly British if we didn’t mention the weather, but suffice to say that the Sky Gods mostly spared us their wrath, with just a few showers sprinkled over an otherwise warm and (sometimes) sunny weekend. As is now the tradition, the festival kicked off on the Thursday night with the Sophie Stage rocked to the ground by amazing warm-up sets from Saturnian, Bloodshot Dawn , Marionette and the mighty Viking Skull. As a way to get the party started, it was perfect.
Friday’s main stage festivities kicked off in style with Reading newcomers Malefice, and from then on in, it was quality all the way. Ten years absent from the Bloodstock stage, German power metallers Freedom Call returned to prove that age has not wearied them, and there were repeat visits too from Sweden’s Grand Magus and epic heathen metallers Moonsorrow.
The other main stage highlights were too many to mention, but special shout outs should go to Watain who caused mayhem on stage (and, by all accounts, vast destruction at their hotel afterwards), and headliners Behemoth. The band had originally been scheduled to play Bloodstock 2010 but were forced to cancel when frontman Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski was diagnosed with leukemia. Fortunately, he made a complete recovery, and Behemoth’s triumphant set will rightly be remembered as one of the most outstanding Bloodstock performances to date.
Saturday’s main stage action exploded into life as Birmingham death metal veterans Benediction made their third visit to Bloodstock, followed in rapid succession by stellar sets from I Am I, Cthonic, Crowbar, Mayhem, Sanctuary and Hatebreed, the latter tearing up the place like there truly was no tomorrow. Thrash titans Testament were up next, pumping out classics with the enthusiasm and energy of guys half their age. It then fell to Oakland bruisers Machine Head to crown the day with what was a masterful exercise in pure metal and spectacular showmanship. If Behemoth had brought a ton of pyrotechnics with them, Robb Flynn’s boys had carted in the entire pyro factory!
Come Sunday morning, thousands of us were up to our necks in beer (proper quality stuff mind, this is Bloodstock!), burgers and bruises, but there was no time to back off from the merrymaking as main stage openers Kobra And The Lotus reminded us. Huddersfield thrashers Evile followed, making no less than their fourth Bloodstock appearance and what a show it was. Crowd surfing on a Li-Lo was just one highlight! The afternoon and early evening witnessed star turns from a string of top names including death metal doyens Nile (complete with a brief but nonetheless Biblical downpour!), face-melting Michigan quintet The Black Dahlia Murder, old school heroes Anvil, UK gloom merchants Paradise Lost and Norwegian black metal machine Dimmu Borgir. Some new to Bloodstock, some not, but all did themselves and us proud. It remained, however, for shock rock king Alice Cooper to show the rest of us how to really take control of a crowd. In a performance that smashed straight into the annals of Bloodstock legend, Alice dished out a lesson in stagecraft and pure entertainment which explained why he’s still a rock star to end them all.
The rest of the weekend’s Sophie Stage events were littered with highlights, the likes of Winterfylleth, Pythia and Eastern Front keeping heads banging until French dark metallers Alcest finally rounded off Friday with a bang. Saturday’s Sophie action was, if anything, even more exciting, an incredible showing from our very own Orange Goblin bringing a party-atmosphere close to a great day which saw sets from the likes of Witchsorrow, Furyon and Savage Messiah. It was also amazing to welcome back our Costa Rican chums Sight Of Emptiness, winners of the 2007 Bloodstock Unsigned competition. Sunday’s Sophie offering saw Crimes Of Passion, Demonic Resurrection and Headcharger, among many others, keep everyone’s blood pumping until the sonic holocaust that is Anaal Nathrakh finally blew the roof clean off.
No Bloodstock is now complete, of course, without the youth-fueled foundry of metal that is The New Blood Stage, our showcase for emerging talent and the brightest hopes for the future. As ever, we were blown away by the sheer quality of the bands who took part in our annual Metal 2 The Masses campaign, and particularly of those who through sheer tenacity, determination and musicianship bagged coveted slots at the festival. The next generation is growing strong, and we salute you all!
All in all, 2012 was another unbelievable year for Bloodstock and for the family of fans, musicians and dedicated volunteers and professionals who give their all to make this festival what it is. Not only did the 2012 UK Festival Awards make Bloodstock winners of ‘Best Festival Under 15,000’, they nominated us for both ‘Promoter of the Year’ and ‘Best Grass Roots Festival’. And so the story continues, the wheel turns and the rock rolls on. By the fans, for the fans, forever!