Zach’s Dad played in one of the bands gracing the New Blood stage. Bloodstock 2016 was Zach’s first festival and he wanted to share some words about it afterwards. As editor-in-chief, I now want to hire him, so if his mum and dad allow then I hope to see a lot more from this young lad on the site in weeks to come! – Mosh
I’m Zach, I’m 11 years old and this is my first review of a my first ever heavy metal festival. My Dad is in a band and he won a competition to play this year, so I was looking forward to watching him play as well as my favourite band Twisted Sister.
I’ve never been to a festival before, so I was a little nervous and didn’t know what to expect. I thought to myself when I was walking in, I’m home. There were people that were dressed just like me and everyone was so nice and friendly.
The first band I saw on Friday was a band called Corrosion Of Conformity – I’ve never heard of them before. I had to go and watch them because my mum told me to. We were really close to the stage, they were very loud and groovy and made me want to dance. They looked awesome while they were playing.
After we saw Corrosion Of Conformity we went to have a look for some food and around the shops that were selling cool stuff. I had a hot-dog and then bought an official Bloodstock T-shirt (I actually wanted a Twisted Sister T-shirt, but it had swearing on it, so I wasn’t allowed). After we had some food, we went to watch some medieval fighting. it was great fun because they had awesome armour and weapons – it was very entertaining.
The next band we saw were Beholder. I’ve heard of them before, but didn’t know their music. I loved them because it was a bit of metal and a bit of singing and that is definitely the kind of music I like. The singer, Simon, looked at me and put ‘the horns’ up, it was so cool. I really liked it when the whole crowd put their hands in the air because it made me feel really part of something awesome.
We saw a band on the big stage called Behemoth. They were cool and scary, they had scary make-up on and the bass player looked like an Orc. They were very heavy and I liked the flames. I quite liked them but mainly I was just really excited to watch Twisted Sister.
A couple of years ago my little brother and I were watching Sponge Bob Square Pants and there was a song on it called “Goofy Goober” and it had the backing track of “I Wanna Rock” on it. I looked it up on YouTube and that is how I got into Twisted Sister. I really like them because the singer is really good and he saved heavy metal. I like that the lyrics have a meaning. This was Twisted Sister’s last ever UK show, I felt very lucky but quite sad.
Before they came on they played a video of the last 40 years of their career, it was very emotional. When the band came on stage they looked cool, the singer Dee Snider had a pink mic stand and the bass player was very hectic. One of my favourite things about watching them was that everyone knew the words to their songs. Even though Twisted Sister are quite old, Dee Snider moves around like a 20 year old, I think they must do lots of stretching before they go on stage.
During “Burn In Hell” I was singing along to the words and a guy in a bandana came up to me and said “You’re the future of metal!”. It made me really happy. When they played “We’re Not Gonna Take It”, the whole crowd were singing along and jumping about and it made me feel really excited. Just when everyone thought it was all over and they had finished, they came back on stage and played “Come Out And Play” and “S.M.F.”
When it was all over and they had left the stage, I couldn’t quite believe that they had finished. It was the best thing I have ever seen. My Mum, Dad, my brother and I went to front of the stage and took a selfie. As we were leaving the festival to go back to the hotel, I wondered what Twisted Sister were feeling after their amazing show.
When we got back to the hotel, we met a really nice man who worked for Bloodstock. We had a chat with him and he very kindly gave me and my brother some plectrums from bands like Slayer, Megadeth and Zak Wylde. Best day ever!
The band I most wanted to see on Saturday was Gojira. We had a lot of bands to see, as lots of my mum and dad’s friends bands were playing.
When we first got there, me, my Dad and my brother went on the dodgems two times in a row. We got some nachos as well and my mum spilt them all over herself, it was really funny!
The first band we saw were This Is Turin on the Sophie Stage. The singer was very emotional and they did a song for lots of people that passed away, which was very touching. Their songs were very fast and the singer had a very deep voice. I liked them, they were different to what I would usually listen to.
The next band were called Pulverise, on a smaller stage. Pulverise are a rap-metal band and they are very happy and fun. They did a cover of “Shake It Off”, which was a really funny thing to do. They have a girl singer and a girl drummer, the singer is called Jojo and she winked at me and that was awesome. They are from Leeds and everyone in the audience was shouting Yorkshire a lot.
We had to run over to the New Blood Stage to watch a band called Conjurer. Conjurer’s bass player is called Andy and he used to be in a band with my dad called Bludger. There were lots of people in the tent, Conjurer were very heavy, they screamed a lot and Andy jumped off the stage.
After Conjurer we watched Fear Factory. My mum said they were going to be really good, but they weren’t as good as I expected. The singer was a bit out of tune and it wasn’t my kind of thing.
After Fear Factory we went to watch the strongman final. These guys were massive and they must work really hard at working out. At the end after the trophy presentation, one of them came over to talk to us and he gave me a gold medal, it was such a nice thing for him to do!
As it was a really hot day, I got a bad headache so was a bit gutted. We decided to stay and watch Gojira, and then go back to the hotel early to get some sleep.
Gojira were amazing. They were really tight and played really well, they seem like really nice people too. I would like to go and see them again but at a smaller gig as we were quite far away and there were lots of tall people at the front.
It was a shame that I wasn’t feeling very well, but on the whole Saturday was really good and I was very much looking forward to watching my Dad’s band and Anthrax on Sunday.
We had to get up really early on Sunday so that my Dad could get prepared for his show with Pteroglyph.
While we were waiting for Pteroglyph, there was a band on the main stage called Ghost Bath who were screaming constantly, I didn’t really like the noise because it was very early in the morning.
My Dad plays guitar with his friend Jimmy MacGregor in Pteroglyph. They were on quite early, but there were lots and lots of people. It was really weird to see random people watching my Dad. Pteroglyph are quite heavy, but with singing parts. I was a little inspired by Jimmy’s singing and my Dad jumped around a lot. After they played a man wanted his photograph taken with my Dad, which was really strange.
While my Dad was packing his equipment away I watched Heart Of A Coward with my mum. They were really heavy and really fun to watch, there was a mosh pit and lots of horns in the air.
When my Dad got back we had to drop some keys off in the VIP area. On the way there, we accidentally ended up in a circle pit to a really awesome and hectic band called Unearth. A circle pit is not really as scary as it looks, everyone pushes each other and runs about. If you fall over people help you get up again. I’d like to go in another one soon.
The VIP area was not as cool as I thought it was going to be, although we met Darth Vader and a dog in there. On the way back I bought a Nirvana hat. We spent lots of time talking to people and messing about, so the next band we got to see properly were a band called DragonForce.
DragonForce were very cool looking and they had a really amazing backdrop. The guitar player was really good and the singer has an awesome voice. They aren’t very heavy and found them to be quite a calm band.
Before Anthrax played there was another band on called Symphony X, but we didn’t watch them properly because my brother had a strop, I think he was just a bit tired. We got some really nice chips and then went right to the front of the stage by the barrier to watch Anthrax.
Anthrax are my Dad’s favourite band, he got into them when he was the same age as me. I think they must be really old. There were loads of people in the crowd with Indian head dresses on, which was kind of cool. Anthrax are thrash metal and the guitar player Scott Ian kept saying ‘Do you like thrash metal?’ and everyone did! They played a song called “Caught In A Mosh” and it was really hectic and exciting to watch people moshing. Lots of people were putting their hands up in there air and singing along. My favourite song they played was at the end and it was called “Indians”, I guess that’s why there were people there in head dresses.
After Anthrax played, we had to leave because my brother was really sleepy and my mum was a bit poorly. I was disappointed to not see Slayer, maybe next time they are in the UK, I’ll go and watch them. They look cool and the guitar player Kerry King has loads of tattoos.
I’ve learnt loads about heavy metal and really enjoyed my weekend. I hope to go to Bloodstock again next year.
Here are some things I have learnt:
- People who look different from other people are really nice.
- New experiences are scary but good.
- Bring your own toilet roll to festivals.
- Never eat the noodles.
- Heavy metal people are the best kind of people.
Here are my favourite things about Bloodstock 2016:
- Twisted Sister
- Watching my Dad in Pteroglyph
- Going in a circle pit.
- Meeting other people my age who also like heavy metal.
- How friendly and welcoming people were.