Sophie Lancaster Stage
As Bloodstock has grown over the years, we’ve strongly supported worthy causes and to that end The Sophie Lancaster Stage has taken pride of place within the festival. Turning away from the all too obvious trappings of commercially branded sponsorship, we stand committed to our belief in the importance of a message highlighting tolerance and inclusivity within the heavy metal community as well as a stronger understanding within a wider society setting.
This entertainment and Live Music Stage was named in tribute to a young girl who was brutally attacked along with her boyfriend in 2007 while walking through their local park in Bacup, Lancashire. Sophie and her boyfriend were singled out, not for anything they had said or done, but simply because they looked and dressed differently. Unfortunately, Sophie later died in hospital following the injuries from this vicious and unprovoked attack.
To this end The Sophie Lancaster Foundation was set up by Sophie’s family to help provide training to professionals to raise awareness of the prejudice and violence faced by people from alternative subcultures. The Foundation has grown significantly over the years offering workshops in schools and colleges throughout the UK, as well as being represented in tackling these issues and challenging pre-conceptions and offering advice and information to whoever may need it. This message of positivity and inclusion has witnessed the Foundation holding the world's first Alternative Hate Crime Conference (2014), hosting a conference within the European parliament as guest speaker at the first Hate Crime Symposium in Strasbourg, France and of course having such love and support from the wider arts and music community.
Many musicians, artists and bands from alternative subcultures have also become heavily involved with the foundation or have been inspired by Sophie’s story. Cradle Of Filth, Devilment and Evil Scarecrow, to name but a few, all contributed to a compilation album S.O.PH.I.E. whilst Dutch symphonic metallers Delain, wrote the title track of 2012 album ‘We Are The Others’ about Sophie. Closer to home our own band booker Simon Hall, first got involved with the Foundation when his Midlands metal band Beholder wrote a song called ‘Never Take Us Down’ in the wake of Sophie’s death. The Foundation asked to use it and it was released as a charity single and has been used in presentations throughout schools and colleges ever since.
So, the connections between the arts, music and freedom of expression are undeniable and Bloodstock further spreads that inclusion within the bands it approaches for this unique stage. Whether it be giving a leg up to the emerging bands of tomorrow or giving a platform to bands from countries who find it increasingly difficult to be seen on a major scale … Jasad, Burgerkill (Indonesia), Alien Weaponry (New Zealand) etc, then it works hand in hand with the fullscale production headliners such as Watain, Battlebeast or Fleshgod Apocalypse … to name but a few.
Bloodstock and the Sophie Lancaster Foundation work with a common cause and we endorse the sentiment of Stamping Out Prejudice, Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere and to that end we look forward to maintaining our support to the campaign.
For more information on The Sophie Lancaster Foundation and how you can show your support please feel free to look up the following.