Sean’s got a lot to say about Bloodstock this year. Here is the first part of his series of reviews, an overview of the event itself.
As the second weekend of August came around again, the denim jacket and black t-shirt-clad masses descended upon Derbyshire’s Catton Park for another moshing good time. For the third year in a row, the Moshville Times crew have had the immense privilege of being invited to bring you the best press coverage of the UK’s finest open air heavy metal festival.
With a bigger team than ever before, we headbanged, mosh pitted, crowd surfed and screamed until our lungs collapsed with our fellow metal brethren. All while bringing you reviews, interviews and photos aplenty of the metal madness that unfolded. We’ve already teased you with our mini overview reviews of the weekend as well as our Instagram posts. Now we bring you the results of our sunburnt and sweat/beer-soaked weekend – look out for all of our posts in the coming week!
The first thing to mention is of course the very family friendly, and generally friendly vibe of the festival. There were lots of young children at the festival this year and there was never any trouble. The ever-present festival security team from Showsec ensured that everyone was safe and had good time. Second, the Rock and Metal Gallery made another appearance this year, showcasing album sleeves by renowned metal album cover artist Eliran Kantor. There were pieces by Radio 1 Rock Show DJ Daniel P Carter, and of course there were the always amazing masterpieces by Bloodstock founder Paul Gregory. There was also an opportunity to obtain a copy of the book And Justice For Art: Stories About Heavy Metal Album Covers by Ramon Martos.
Another key thing to mention, is the other non-musical entertainment at Bloodstock. This year featured a strongman competition where metalheads wanting a break from the bands could watch bodybuilt men and women compete in a show of strength. A Bloodstock regular is of course the funfair with options to choose the dodgems or from two thrill rides.
The next addition to this year’s Bloodstock is everyone’s favourite, the shopping and food stalls. There is always an immense variety to choose from where you can find that much sought after album, t-shirt, or studded leather accessory you can’t find anywhere else. In terms of food, Bloodstock always caters for all tastes from burgers, to pizza, to noodles to curries, to vegetarian and much more.
Last but definitely not least is the reason the metal masses flock to Bloodstock – the bands. The festival always books a variety of the best metal bands from the world over. The headlining bands are a prime example – Friday night was headlined by death metal Vikings Amon Amarth, Saturday night featured theatrical occult rockers Ghost, and Sunday night was taken over by thrash metal legends Megadeth. The festival also catered for all heavy metal fans with black metal bands like Inquisition, hardcore heroes like Hatebreed, power metal legends like Blind Guardian and more. There was also a plethora of up-and-coming bands showcasing their brands of heaviness on the New Blood stage, where bands won the opportunity to play at the festival in Bloodstock’s flagship Metal 2 the Masses competition.
Overall, there’s something for everyone at Bloodstock. With the variety of different bands performing, the massive choice of food and merchandise at the stalls and more. The friendly atmosphere coupled with the above guarantees a safe and fun time for metalheads young and old, and everyone at Bloodstock goes home with awesome happy memories. It is an understatement to say that Bloodstock Open Air is the best heavy metal festival in the world!
All photos by Aidan Huxford of Hetty Images.