Music and Safety First – Why Bloodstock Open Air 2021 is a go !

With Bloodstock Open Air 2021 less than a few weeks away, the difficult journey out of lock-down, organising a festival that can actually go ahead, meeting all of the...

With Bloodstock Open Air 2021 less than a few weeks away, the difficult journey out of lock-down, organising a festival that can actually go ahead, meeting all of the COVID-19 safe requirements and ensuring that the bands that have been booked can actually get to Derbyshire to play their allotted slots has been nothing short of both a nightmare and a miracle of perseverance of character in the face of adversity.

The organisers at Bloodstock have had the following issues to deal with over the last 18 months:

May 4th 2020 – Bloodstock Open Air Festival Cancelled

The message we were all dreading…..

Dear Bloodstockers,
Following the ongoing government guidance on mass gatherings and social distancing, we are extremely disappointed to announce that this year’s BLOODSTOCK will no longer be going ahead. We respect the government’s mandate and recognise it is made with the best intentions, in order to protect the health & safety of not only our audience, but our staff, crew, musicians, and other contractors who work on site at BLOODSTOCK. Safety remains of paramount importance to us.

We know you have been concerned about what the developing Covid-19 situation would mean for BLOODSTOCK and will be as disappointed as we are at this tough decision, but we hope you can appreciate it is the right choice to make at this time. We had been working tirelessly to ensure we could still offer the top quality BLOODSTOCK experience you trust us to provide, year on year – and this year more than ever, when we invited you to celebrate 20 Years of BLOODSTOCK with us. We do not – and never will – take this trust in us for granted.
We have been reading your comments on our social media, and many of you have said that in this circumstance, you would like the option to roll your 2020 ticket over to 2021’s event – and we can confirm that you are able do that. Rest assured that BLOODSTOCK will return with an almighty vengeance, better and stronger than ever, so to that end and to help assuage your disappointment, next year BLOODSTOCK will be adding an extra day!

The festival will be 5 days and start from Wednesday, as opposed to Thursday; the dates for 2021’s event will be 11th – 15th August. This will be at no extra cost to those who have already purchased weekend tickets for 2020 and wish to roll them over. We will also freeze prices at the ticket store until later this year, when prices will then increase by just £10 and a new, longer 6-month instalment plan will launch to make that option even easier to manage. The on-sale date for day tickets and any returns on previously sold out ticket categories, such as camper vans, will be announced in due course.

We know we are privileged to have such a strong BLOODSTOCK community, and as a united family of heavy metal fans, we WILL prevail.
Vicky, Adam, Rachael, Paul, and all at Team BLOODSTOCK.


With the announcement out of the way, we accepted what was and looked forward to “everything happening just a year later”. Of course behind the scenes, nothing has ever been that straight forward. There were a few markers that suggested individual countries were impacted in different ways and that it might have a much longer impact as far as finalising the bill was concerned.

August 12th 2020 – Mercyful Fate announced as headliner

Huge news. Yes we’d lost Behemoth BUT in their place we were getting Mercyful Fate who would be headlining the Ronnie James Dio stage at the Catton Park event. They were to be joined by Dimmu Borgir for the festival. Confirmed acts included (at this point) the likes of Judas Priest, Devin Townsend, Skindred, Saxon, Paradise Lost and many more.

Formed in 1981, Mercyful Fate reformed in 2019 following a lengthy hiatus. The thought of seeing them live once again, a band that could be described as having defined the sort of music we hear at Bloodstock sent so many fans to social media to express their joy. Things were indeed on the up!


March 9th 2021 – Mercyful Fate Pull Out

As the pandemic continued to rage and the UK remained in its 3rd lockdown, the viewpoint from the rest of the world didn’t look positive either. Infections, hospitalisations and deaths were on the rise again and in mainland Europe everyone was closing borders to try and deal with their own problem. Mercyful Fate had no choice to pull out and their iconic frontman, King Diamond had this to say:

“Due to the uncertainties of international touring logistics, health, and safety issues, MERCYFUL FATE are unable to perform at this Summer’s BLOODSTOCK. Unfortunately, most of our Summer routing is already postponed or postponing soon. Like many others in our position we’re amending our plans to get back on the road as soon as possible. We’re gutted. However, we are happy to say that we’ve worked with the BLOODSTOCK organizers and report that we will be back to headline the festival in Summer ‘22. Until then, stay heavy and stay safe.”

Roll on 2022 when King Diamond and the rest of MF return to Derbyshire!

March 9th 2021 – KREATOR confirmed as Saturday headliner replacement

Working behind the scenes 24×7, the Bloodstock team pulled a huge win out of the hat when KREATOR stepped forward to pick up the much sought after Saturday night headline slot. Frontman Mille Petrozza had this to say:

“We are very excited to headline the BLOODSTOCK festival for the first time!. This means a lot to KREATOR since all the previous shows we have played there were exceptional! We promise you the most brutal show BLOODSTOCK has ever seen! Be prepared!“.

The much lauded German thrashers had just released the deluxe ‘Under The Guillotine’ box set, celebrating their classic early Noise Records years and fans were awaiting the group’s fifteenth studio album – the follow up to 2017’s ‘Gods Of Violence’. Odds are some new music will be heard during the set in August

The cancellations weren’t confined to the headliners though. Many bands that would travel in from overseas were also having to pull out due to the uncertainties triggered by the pandemic.

March 9th also say confirmation that we wouldn’t be seeing Philip H Anselmo & The Illegals, Butcher Babies, Life of Agony, Sacred Reich, Necrot, Exhumed, and Unto Others.

 May 4th 2021 – New bands added to the bill

Nineteen bands are added to this years bill, with Evil Scarecrow set to headline the Sophie stage on Sunday evening, much to the delight of any metal fan that’s seen them perform at Catton Hall in the past.

The band said: “So, we haven’t played as a band for a year. Not even a practice! We closed and abandoned our rehearsal room. Our van is gathering moss on a driveway. We have two new members who we have never played with. One of them was our main stagehand, and we have not replaced that position.

Basically, Evil Scarecrow are, in reality, unconscious in stasis, floating through the void of space until we clear the disease-ridden Van Allen radiation belt. Along came the good ship Bloodstock, who nudged us awake to see if we will come and play with them. “No”, we mumble, “No band yet. More sleep”. They return with a cup of tea and a bacon sandwich. “It’s headlining the Sophie Stage”, they whisper. Shit. So, we’ve sprung back into life!

So, if you want to see the most shambolic, unpracticed, unprepared Evil Scarecrow show ever, then join us! We can’t promise our usual super-polished -ahem- performance. But we promise to bring the biggest, messiest, stupidest party yet.”

Broken Jaw and Colpocleisis have been added to the Friday lineup, while Saturday’s bill will feature Brummie rockers Devilfire, Irish sludgemeisters Grey Stag and purveyors of “true Metal”, Hanowar.

Sunday’s bill features a number of newer bands, including The Injester, South Of Salem, Son Of Boar, Wired, This Is Endless (featuring members of Onslaught/Ted Maul), power Metallers Fellowship and Sorceress Of Sin, melodic Death Metal band Frozen In Shadows, Hybridze, Strangle Wire, Words That Burn, Deitus and Ghosts Of Atlantis.

To paraphrase that old Christmas tune… “It’s starting to look a lot like Bloodstock”

May 18th 2021 – Cradle of Filth step in to replace Dimmu Borgir who are unable to perform

In a repeat of the 2019 festival line up, CoF step up to the plate once again to cover for Dimmu Borgir. Whereas previously the replacement has been on medical grounds, 2021 saw DB having to step down due, as expected, to travel uncertainties in light of the pandemic. Dimmu Borgir had this to say:

“Due to restrictions and uncertainties regarding international travel and logistics, we have to postpone Dimmu Borgir’s performance at Bloodstock until next year. The band is absolutely gutted about this, having to cancel Bloodstock again, but we have already confirmed with Vicky and the Bloodstock team that the band will be back in the UK for the 2022 edition. Stay safe!”

June 2 and June 21 – It’s raining bands as more acts get added.

June 2nd saw the announcement that a further 12 bands had been added to the bill. They were Power Metal outfit Battle Born, Brighton doomsters Halveksia, Odysseus who blend tech death and prog metal, Bournemouth alt rockers Solcura, deathcore brutalists Casket Feeder, London headbangers Slavesteel, blues-infused metalheads The Best Medicine, death metal disciples Godeater, Sheffield sludgers Kurokuma, trad death squad Pemphigoid, Huddersfield thrash beasts Riptide, and As The World Dies, who bring their prog-death from Birmingham.

June 21 saw the announcement of fourteen more bands added to the Jagermeister Stage at this year’s festival.

Friday features the addition of sludge instrumentalists Wall, Reading trio Black Emerald, slap bass/drum duo Ale of Adam, doom/stoner crew Godless Suns and classic rockers Häxan.

Saturdays lineup is boosted by alt metalheads Zookeeper, The New Sun (a solo project from Garganjua’s Scott Taylor), Middle Eastern doomsters Lowen, instrumental heavy prog three-piece Mountain Caller and Primitai. Primitai, who will be playing a stripped-down set on the Jagermeister Stage, are also set to play a full electric set over on the Sophie Stage on Friday.

Sunday finds the addition of bluesy hard rockers The Howling Tides, 100% prog beasts Trilobite, grindcore punkers Boycott The Baptist and Gemma Fox, the vocalist from Collibus.

July 1st 2021 – And it continues…

By July you’d have hoped everything had settled down but these are uncertain times and as such the team had more to deal with:

The biggest change was to Thursday’s Sophie Lancaster stage headliner The Night Flight Orchestra who were replaced by Lawnmower Deth, who said:

“We are truly sorry you’re not going to get Night Flight Orchestra. They’re terrific and awfully melodic. Naturally as the B-TEC replacement for them, we sound exactly the same, so your disappointment should be somewhat abated. Just think melodic Swedish hard rock, with balloons. However, the chance to get in a field, well a tent, with you lovely lot and some beer, did we mention beer, is the bar open yet? BLOODSTOCK, we’re coming! At our age, slightly slower, but we’ll be there. Bring beer. And dancing shoes. And beer.”

Elsewhere, stepping into Soen’s slot on Friday’s Sophie stage will be Conan, while replacing Lost Society on Friday’s Ronnie James Dio main stage, are Divine Chaos, with Lotus Eater joining the bill instead of Savage Master on Friday. Thrashers Shrapnel step in for Noctem on Friday’s Sophie stage, Necronautical will take the place of Blasphemer, and Spectral Darkwave join the line up for Sunday’s Jägermeister Stage.

July 13th 2021 – Up to the wire, additional changes bring some interesting additions

Just a few days ago, Dark Tranquility announced that they have to cancel, due to international issues, with Loathe taking their place on Friday’s Ronnie James Dio main stage.

“We are thrilled to be performing at this year’s Bloodstock Festival for the first time,” frontman Erik Bickerstaff says, “and to be sharing the Main Stage on 13 August alongside an incredible and eclectic lineup of heavy artists.”

For the same reason, Bury Tomorrow are replaced by While She Sleeps.

“Due to the band’s current lineup situation and despite best efforts, we are unfortunately unable to play Bloodstock this year,” Bury Tomorrow said. “We are truly gutted! We support the festival and hope everyone enjoys every minute of the weekend! We are, however, over the moon to confirm Bloodstock have invited us back next year, so we will see you all at Bloodstock 2022.”

Unleash The Archers have dropped out, replaced by Black Spiders (whose new album appears in the Drop2 list for RSD 2021)  while Lotus Eater has split up, so Foetal Juice takes their place.

“We are absolutely delighted to be playing Bloodstock this year,” Foetal Juice said. “It’s an incredible festival that we attend every year. The last time we played back in 2016 has still been the biggest show we have ever played. This year will absolutely kick that in the bollocks. We literally cannot wait to play this festival again.”

Are these the final changes, we don’t know but we do know that safety of musicians, security teams, caterers, other staff and fans alike take priority.  Detailed below are the requirements for everyone to follow in relation to the pandemic and the measures that will make Bloodstock as secure and safe as possible.  It’s a lot to take in but ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for this festival to work and work well: 


As a duty of care to the artists, crew and festival goers, BOA will continue to adopt certain covid safety measures for everyone’s peace of mind and wellbeing.   These are as follows:

For anyone 12 years of age and over you will  be required  to take a NHS approved Lateral Flow Test before you leave home (WITHIN 36 HOURS OF ARRIVING ON THE FESTIVAL SITE)

• You can order these tests online or pick them up at a local approved pharmacy FREE of charge

• Once you have taken the test, wait for the result and then submit it to the NHS website

• You will receive a confirmation email or text from the NHS with your result within 30 minutes.

• Please present your NHS email or text confirmation on arrival to the stewards so that your test result can be verified.

Once you have provided our stewards with proof of a negative test, only then will you be issued with your wristband.

Once you have received your wristband you are free to come and go from the festival site for the duration of your stay. You will not be required to take another test if you are leaving and returning to site each day.


Even if you have had both doses of the Covid vaccine you can still catch Covid and pass it on to others which is why  the lateral flow test is required.


You will also be asked to check in on site upon arrival using the official NHS Track & Trace Q codes which will be located around site both at car parks and also box office areas.  Please ensure you have downloaded the NHS Track & Trace app from either the Apple Store (Iphone) or Play Store (Android) before you leave home.

If you do not have a smart phone then we will ask you to supply your full name and mobile number on entry so we can add this to our manual check in form. This data will be destroyed after 30 days.


– Decontamination solution sprayed on all toilets, cabins, marquees which lasts 30 days
– Hand sanitising stations throughout site and backstage areas
– Public must show proof of negative Lateral flow test to gain entry into the festival
– Temperature check on entry to medical/welfare tent
– Cleaning down Front of Stage barrier between acts

– Food traders, markets & bars

– Hand sanitiser available at all times for public and staff
– Regularly clean down work services / sides / benches (bars)
– Use single use sauce sachets or staff pour sauces themselves
– Recommended use of face masks when working closely with each other
– Implement queuing system
– Encourage card payments over use of cash
– Use of single use cups, plates, cutlery only
– Encouraged use of hand sanitiser throughout time onsite with us
– All cutlery and food packaging will be single use, but using compostable packaging
– Masks to be worn when working within 2 meters of local crew for periods of time longer than 15 minutes
We appreciate for some the weekend may be a little overwhelming at times and would ask that we all be mindful and respectful of this.   We finally want to thank you all in advance for adopting these measures which we feel are necessary this year to enable us to host a safe and fun weekend that is long overdue.


If within 36 hours before arriving to the festival you test positive for Covid 19 having used an NHS Approved Lateral Flow test or a PCR test, we will issue you with a refund to the face value of your ticket, or you can rollover your ticket to Bloodstock 2022, providing you send in the following information by email to [email protected]

1- Photo evidence with you holding the positive test next to your face clearly showing the serial number on the test kit.

2- A copy of the email or text you received from the NHS covid app confirming you are Covid 19 positive.  This must show the Lateral Flow test serial number that matches your photo.

3- A photo of your festival ticket with the ticket stubb still attached.

4- Scanned copy of Photo I.D in the form of drivers licence or passport.

5- A copy of the Seetickets confirmation email Seetickets sent you when you bought the ticket. (If you purchased from a third party and not from an official Bloodstock ticket outlet  we will not be able to administer a refund).

Once we have verified all is in order with the above, we will email you to confirm all is in order and ask you to  post the physical ticket back to our head office quoting the reference number on the email we sent you.


If you live abroad and are travelling to the UK to the festival but there are travel restrictions in place still or quarantine is required on entering the UK  or returning back to your country, then you will be entitled to a refund  of the face value of your ticket/s or you can  roll  over your ticket/s to the 2022 festival.  You would need to inform SEETICKETS before the festival takes place.  We cannot offer a refund or rollover if you inform us ‘after’ the festival.


You must email us with all the above information no later than Friday 13th August to qualify for a refund.
You must email us no later than the day you were due to attend the festival to qualify for a refund.
We will aim to administer your refund requests no later than 30 days after receipt of your physical ticket (Unless your physical tickets have not yet been posted out by SEE tickets or another offiicial Bloodstock ticket outlet.  Festival office address to send your physical ticket back to:

Refund Request, Amust4music Ltd, 54 Arundel Drive, Spondon, Derby, DE21 7QW

NB: We will not be able to administer a refund until we receive the physical ticket back with the ticket stubb still attached.


Whilst any poster could be obsolete in the next 24 hours, the team are great at updating the website so check in here for the latest line up and when they are playing:

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