Words and thoughts : Adrian Hextall
With the festival almost upon us, we’ve already identified 10 bands you must see (the link to that item is below) but perhaps it’s time now to consider some of the less obvious acts on the bill. Some that should in fact be at the top of everybody’s wish list to see over the three and a bit days between 9th and 12th August. With 4 Stages, countless bands, multiple genres, great food, drink and company, it’s time to make way for Bloodstock Open Air 2018
When you look at the main posters, the focus is of course on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday. However, for those willing to take the plunge, for those willing to embrace the darkness, the music and power commences on Thursday night on the Sophie Lancaster Stage with acts like the Pagan \ Folk metal outfit Arkona bringing their own unique sound to Derbyshire. The Russians really offer something original as do Skiltron who, unable to bring Bloodstock to the highlands, instead bring the highlands to Bloodstock. Check out this track, ‘All Men Die’, from ‘Legacy Of Blood’. Cheery stuff and the perfect accompaniment to a horn of ale around the campfire on the first night of the festival.
Friday August 10th sees Bloodstock 2018 open its doors to the masses and this year we are blessed we some real rock royalty on the stages. Headliners Judas Priest on the main stage are joined by Doro who headlines the Sophie Lancaster Stage. The obvious ask here is for a timing clash to be afforded so that metal lovers of the world have the chance to enjoy both acts in full.
Elsewhere on the Friday though, Look to the Sophie Lancaster Stage and Ingested. Their brutal metal has earned them the title of Slam Kings and with the video to ‘Narcissistic Apathy’ likely to put you off eating in the local cafe for life, it’s easy to see why. Guitarist Sean Hynes is looking forward to the band’s first appearance at the festival. “It’s been a long time coming but we are beyond excited to be playing Bloodstock for the first time in 2018, we can’t wait to unleash our very own brand of brutality on you all. See you in the pit!” It’s been a while coming but the pit needs to be avoided by the weak, elderly and those of a nervous disposition!
One band that isn’t a stranger to the festival is Bloodbath. Returning to the site where they filmed their legendary 2010 performance that resulted in the release ‘Bloodbath Over Bloodstock’, the band have subsequently gone through a few changes that included Pain’s Peter Tägtgren for a while. The current line up consists of Old Nick – Vocals, Blakkheim – Guitar, Sodomizer – Guitar, Lord Seth – Bass and Axe – Drums. With a line up like that and a formidable 2010 performance to surpass, here’s a reminder of that memorable day 8 years ago.
With Bloodstock having a reputation as a wonderful family friendly festival, the facilities and especially the eating establishments must therefore be capable of catering for all tastes. So when your little demon has finished sacrificing one of the local squirrels to our dark lord [Or Krusher Joule as he’s also known] you’ll need some comfort that you can get their energy levels back up to peak performance in time for Gojira when they hit the main stage as headliners on the Saturday night.
The gallery below presents some of the best choices of food available to you:
Personal favourite and absolute necessity when the day has almost beaten you:
MOTLEY BREW & THE THEATRE OF PAIN MASSAGE
Been partying hard? Need some time out from the mosh? What could be better and more relaxing than a nice cuppa?… A Cuppa & A Massage! Motley Brew & The Theatre Of Pain Massage have teamed up again to provide you with the perfect retreat. As well as the usual Motley Brew’s hot beverage selection, served from early morning to late evening, we are delighted to bring you the skills of one of our fabulous massage therapists. Nina is a fully qualified therapist with 16 years professional experience helping festival revellers relax and unwind.
A massage and a cuppa, my idea of heaven right there!
If a cuppa and a massage doesn’t float your boat then perhaps Alestorm will. Mid bill on Saturday on the main stage, the band have progressed from novelty ‘surely only one album’ pirate metal act to an international phenomenon playing to bigger and bigger crowds every time. Expect fun, frivolity and shanties as the Scottish pirates lay waste to the festival and loot and pillage for around 45 minutes. Oh.. and expect the biggest sing along of the day when the band play this family friendly little number:
Still not convinced? Check out the 2017 Gallery showing just how much fun can be had by a bunch of the friendliest metalheads you’ll ever meet in a field in the middle of the Derbyshire countryside:
If you’ve made it to the end of the weekend…. pause for a moment to pay respect to fallen comrades, those who have been overcome by the mixture of heat and the demon drink. It’s a combination that can knock even the hardest of people and sees bodies facedown on the grass, arse in the air, gently upping the methane levels in the upper atmosphere. If you do see one of these poor souls, do check in on them, make sure they are OK and see if they need help getting out of the sun. It’s the least we can do and it’s part of what makes the festival so special.
For those that do soldier on and get to enjoy the final day of the festival, Doomsday Outlaw, Alien Weaponry, Watain and more grace the Sophie Lancaster Stage whilst over on the main, Ronnie James Dio stage, Monument, Evergrey, Amaranthe, Jasta and Fozzy get things moving before the evening and the festival closes with the trio of Devil Driver, At The Gates and the mighty Nightwish.
If the astute amongst you have spotted an omission from the Sunday main stage line up that’s because there is a special mention due for one particular act;
In what is undoubtedly an unusual move for the classic rock supergroup, they go on mid-afternoon holding aloft the award for Bravest Band of The Day and will face 20,000 face painted, kilt wearing metal fans with more leather and studs than a New Year’s Eve party at Madame JoJo’s. Will they triumph or will they fall flat on their faces? My money is on 20,000 people singing a note perfect rendition of ‘More Than Words’ at the top of their voices [See earlier comment about the mix of sun and alcohol]. Either way, fair play to the band for turning up, putting the pedal to the metal and giving it their all.
Come the end of the day, with the sun rising on the other side of the world, Nightwish will bring it all to a close. As a reminder of what to expect, here’s the title track from their last album, ‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful’
And there you have it, an idea of what to expect of you’ve not been before and a reminder of what to embrace once more if you’re a seasoned Bloodstock warrior. Sun [maybe], Fun [definitely], Family Friendly [even if Alestorm’s lyrical content is iffy at times], and more rock and metal than you can shake a stick at. And Mr Big [Legends!]
HOW TO GET THERE