Festival Review: Bloodstock Open Air

Festival Review: Bloodstock Open Air


Written by: Dan @ Cherry Dog Apparel
Catton Hall in Walton-on-Trent, Derbyshire, UK
Thursday 30th August 2023

Is Bloodstock Open Air the heaviest festival in the UK? Given the weekend of music we experienced in derby the other week (blog post and content went onto the internet later than expected..) I would say that the answer to that question is a resounding fat metal yeahhh! Over the intense three days of music we were treated to incredible main stage performances by Killswitch Engage, Meshuggah and the one and only Megadave - I mean Megadeth - and each one brought the metal in their own unique incredible way! As well as the headliners we all love to come and see, bloodstock also offered up a fantastic share of small to big bands across 4 stages covering all sorts of metal sub genres.

A personal favourite for me was a new band I was recommended to go and watch at the Sophie Lancaster stage on Sunday. They’re called Torture Demon and given the fact this band started at like 11:30 (if I recall correctly), I gotta say they pulled in a great crowd! They did sound check themselves and then 5 minutes later came out to play, and a circle was formed almost instantly. I was informed that they played the new blood state a couple years back so it was cool to see their fans from years ago return to see them moving up the ranks. They’re touring in a couple months too so will try and catch them for a second time.

In the midst of the weekend we also got to watch the fanatic Sepultura, In Flames, Pest Control and Abbarth to name but a few. Unfortunately Halloween had to pull out of the line up but a solid and well approved stand in was KK Priest. Now even though we had to step back into the press area, we could still hear the remainder of their set backstage and they had a great sound! Might have to catch them a second time too!

Aside from the music, the camping was full of happy festival goers. Whether you were in Valhalla camp, or over in Midgard, there were always a helpful bunch of festival crew around to point you in the direction of the nearest entrance, exit or pisser. Food was as expected, same for the drink on offer. One thing I was pleasantly surprised with was the amount of water taps around the campsite and main area. They serviced more per capita than download did that’s for sure! Although in saying that we were only blessed with one hot day at bloodstock and then followed 2 days of content overcast-ness and some showers.

Other activities on offer included vendor and trader stands where you could buy drinking horns, patches, merch and all sorts! It was great to stop by the Metal for Good stand to catch up with Katy and Chris also! The ace throwing that neighboured them also pulled in a consistent crowd and we even had a go too! (I certainly need some practise compared to my counterpart, Andy). One thing that was new and interesting was their games room. A small square shaped room setup just next to the Guinness tent. Not sure how much I’d wanna play games when I’ve paid to attend a music festival but it served a good purpose for a lot of people who maybe wanted to pass the time with other recreational activities other than moshing, drinking and axe throwing.

Overall, bloodstock treated me and others well! It’s certainly something we’re looking at attending again next year, especially as one of the already announced headliners is Amon Amarth! Would love to jump back into the crowd rowing again so they’ll be a certainty to go and watch if BOA 2024 happens for us!

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the wonderful bloodstockers who took part in our first ever festival video. We went round asking bloodstockers some easy and tough questions to test their bloodstock knowledge! And what can we say… some of you did not disappoint! Sadly… some of you did though! Nevertheless we had a great time and gave out a lot of free tee codes for all of you lovely lot! We’d love to do more of these and once we’ve got ourselves make to normal schedule the videos will be out on our YouTube channel for you to share if you wish to.

Once again, thank you to everyone who made our first time at Bloodstock a fun one!

Back to blog