It’s that time of year again when metalheads all over the UK and from abroad gather at Catton Park for a weekend of all-out heavy metal fun. This year your faithful Moshville Times crew had the immense pleasure and privilege of being invited back to work the media tent. This year our team has doubled in size to bring you even more reviews, interviews and photos for your delectation. To say we had a blast is an understatement, and we can’t wait to bring you all the content from the festival we can.
For me personally, there’s a lot of things about Bloodstock that I like. First and foremost is always the killer selection of bands. There’s always so much variety so no matter your taste, there’s always a great band on one of the stages that you’ll enjoy. If there really isn’t a band you want to see, there’s always plenty of other things to check out at Bloodstock such as the Battle of Bloodstock, where people dressed in medieval outfits fight til the death (not literally of course) for fun. This year also featured a strongman display where massively muscled people demonstrated their strength by lifting weights and more. In addition to all of the above, there was also the Rock and Metal art gallery featuring selected artworks by Bloodstock founder Paul Gregory and other talented artists. This year also featured some special tribute works dedicated to the late great Lemmy.
Another thing about Bloodstock I love is the awesome array of stalls there every year. The festival is not only the best at booking killer bands to perform, but they source other aspects of the festival brilliantly too. There’s always rare gem of a vinyl to be found, or a selection of albums you’ve struggled to find in your local music shop or online at the Bloodstock stalls. There’s also a plethora of shirts and other memorabilia you can’t find anywhere else – it’s a heavy metal supermarket like no other.
Then there is the variety of things the festival supports. Most notably is new and upcoming bands sourced via the metal to the masses campaign that play the Hobgoblin sponsored New Blood stage. Next is the festival’s charitable associations with the Sophie Lancaster foundation (which the second stage is named after) which fights hate crime, and the Teenage Cancer Trust. Finally the festival supports local craft brewing with its extensive selection of craft beers and ciders available in the VIP bar.
Finally, and it’s been said a lot, but one of the best things about Bloodstock is the real sense of community. As soon as you walk into the main campsite, Midgard, you feel as though you’ve arrived at a home away from home. You see more patched denim jackets and black band shirts than you’ve ever seen before and you feel as if you belong. Everyone is so friendly from the fellow metalheads you share mosh pits and drinks with, to the Showsec security staff, to the media colleagues in the press tent and more. You meet festival friends from previous years, you meet PR representatives you’d only previously contacted via email, you meet band members you’d only dream of meeting beforehand and you see various cosplayers (notably 2000AD judges, Harley Quinn and Jesus this year) all gathered for a good time and the pure love of heavy metal.
In terms of particular band highlights, they are to come in forthcoming reviews, but for me personally the best bands of the weekend were Twisted Sister, Fear Factory, Acid Reign, Vektor, Attica Rage, and Anthrax. They all put on amazing performances that I wish I could experience over and over again.
It’s undeniable to Moshville and myself that Bloodstock is the best rock and metal festival in the UK and I’d thoroughly recommend that everyone should go. Bloodstock is the best place to bang your head, scream lyrics, have a drink, make new friends and rock out and I’m sure all of us here at the Moshville Times are already looking forward to the prospect of returning next year.
All photos by Will Tudor.