Sunday, March 3, 2024

An ABC guide to Bloodstock Part 2: Letters J through R

Week 2 – Letters – J through R…

We are now just past the two weeks threshold, just under 14 days away, or approx 312 hours at the time of writing….not that we are counting hours here, or are we? Those hours do seem to be getting longer I can tell you that!

Next up on our ABCs of Bloodstock, we come to J through R! Did a struggle happen for some of these letters? Absolutely! The joys of a beaten and broken mind post-covid for me means my mind is like a sieve…only rather than have a part to catch the contents and drain the water, it has nothing and everything escapes…..have I attempted a list just to remember stuff for this list? Of course! Have I remembered where it is, absolutely not! Try we must anyway!

J – Juggle

You can guarantee there will be clashes, it is inevitable! We aren’t talking painfully impossible decision clashes (I’m looking at you Damnation festival, but my god do I love you and appreciate the thankless task you face setting up your lineup over the years I have been!). Some of it will be all about what you are willing to sacrifice than anything else…. tent capacities will play into that also…Anyone remember Suicidal Tendencies or Evil Scarecrow in the Sophie tent? I fully expect Malevolence to be pushing the limits on who gets in that tent and who remains stuck outside looking in this year! There are some potentially evil-looking clashes though, Testament and the secret band look to cross over…. Bury Tomorrow and Ingested…Cattle Decapitation and Orbit Culture, the list just goes on! How on earth do you decide?! Any innovative ideas on how to choose, do let us know!

K – Killing Joke

Now, this is an odd one to try and think out before adding to the list, mostly because personally, I am not much of a fan, Killing Joke are however undeniably legendary in status and one well worth catching! A band much more than just their hits, they will have a plethora of material to work through in their Sunday slot sandwiched between Dark Funeral and Lamb of God. Why include them? Well, I am willing to bet that anyone that reads this can sit there and think of one person each that they know will say Killing Joke are not a Bloodstock band. I’m also getting on a bit, and it makes me wonder how many of the younger generations going will have heard of the band, if this can be enough to convince one person that doesn’t think they’re a Bloodstock band or gets one younger person to go check them out and walk away a fan, then job done!

Killing Joke – Lord of Chaos

L – Litter

It might be a small thing, but it is a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Bloodstock has prided itself on many things, especially when it comes to the fans. Plenty of time and effort goes into the build-up and breakdown of the festival, many stay onsite for what must feel forever in all of this. Quite simply clearing up after yourself, leaving the campsite on Monday morning in the condition it was when you arrived, and you’ll be saving many valuable hours of work! Keep it clean, keep it tidy, and be safe in knowing that you are part of a bigger thing that just does it better than some other festivals do. No one likes seeing on the news a massive sea of abandoned tents and rubbish everywhere, Bloodstock isn’t like that thankfully, but that partly rests on you. If you are using your tent solely for this festival with no intention of taking it home, the legendary Fat Franks will be open until midday on Monday and happily take any camping gear donations; tents, camping chairs, sleeping bags, air beds, bedding, etc. All donated items will be passed on to Pathways Homeless Charity and a local scout group, for a nice little incentive, when you donate, you will also be entered into a draw to win a pair of tickets for Bloodstock 2023! Winners are expected to be announced approx. 28 days after the festival. You can’t say much fairer than that! Just put yourself in their shoes, would you want to be stuck clearing this mess up for days after?

Drone footage of Bloodstock 2019.

M – Mercyful Fate

I tried to keep the bands mentioned to a minimum, but you just cannot pass up Mercyful Fate! They finally join us after first being announced for a headline slot in 2020 before the world shut down. There isn’t much more to be said really, this will be a set to go down in history!

N – New Blood Stage

This really doesn’t need any introduction, it is the lifeblood of the festival, the up-and-coming winners that have battled it out across venues from all over to win their place here. It is sad to say and I am pretty sure that the legend of a man, Mr Simon Hall can attest to, there just isn’t enough time or room in the festival to showcase all of the amazing talents on offer, I really do not envy a man with such difficult choices to make when it comes to travelling and judging on the bands taking part in the Metal to the Masses heats for their spot on the New Blood Stage. Be sure to check it out if you never have, you may come across your future favourite band!

O – Order sooner rather than later!

There is always something left to the last minute, we just kick down the road until it is almost too late! Be it innersoles for the footwear, new tent pegs, antihistamines, ear plugs, new socks…it could be anything, but whilst we live in a world of convenience, it is better to be safe rather than sorry. You really don’t want to order that battery pack to charge your phone whilst at a festival just to have it arrive the night before departure faulty! Ordering the earlier is the way to go, give time for any faulty goods to be dealt with, any shipping delays or pesky courier issues handled, save yourself that added stress and get on it!

P – Party!

Thursday night is party night at Bloodstock, an easy evening of just a handful of bands opening the Sophie stage gives you time to get acquainted with your surroundings, have a walk around the arena, work out where those toilets are, how long it takes to get to the bars, where the merch is. It’s also a great time to meet new people, fellow campers around you, old friends, you name it! Thursday is the day to set up, meet your new neighbours for the weekend and get set to have some friends for life.

Q – Quit

Knowing when to call it quits is just as important as having a good time partying! Knowing your limits and calling it a night or having that one drink that pushes you over the edge etc. It is a long weekend, especially when the weather is intense, no one wants to overdo it and then struggle with a colossal hangover the next day or be ill through it, moreover, there will be points around for medical help and aid, but the less strain put on those the better for everyone. No one has fun seeing someone carted off to an ambulance.

R – Rally

Carrying on from those previous two, there will be moments where someone might not be 100%, if someone seems unwell, check in on them, and give them some help. If they are uncomfortable, have a chat, no one knows what anyone else is going through and that small moment of your time could be monumental to another. Does this all get covered in the H – Help part? Yes, but that doesn’t take away the importance of it, hence the second reminder!

Next week, we polish our ABCs of Bloodstock with S through Z. With no being close to single-digit days away from those gates of the greatest of British metal festivals, we hope we have helped ease some of the stress and concern for some of you in your attendance. As with all festivals, there are always a few hiccups waiting in the wings and recent updates come in the loss of the insanely good Soen from the lineup due to flight disruptions, Strigoi will be making their live UK debut filling the void. Strigoi is the brainchild of Paradise Lost guitarist, Gregor Mackintosh formed Strigoi out of the ashes of Vallenfyre, expect heavy, dark, and atmospheric, a worthy addition to Bloodstock. We’ll look to keep you posted on any further changes, as gutting as some might be, the effort to fill these spots last minute by both the festival and the commitment of bands jumping in as above and beyond! The line up is currently looking very beautiful just below, time to get excited!

Ash Crowson
Ash Crowson
RAMzine Senior Contributor - Guitarist, photographer, geek, gamer, full on metalhead and allround barfly, if i'm not at work, a gig or studying for my degree, you'll find me at the bar! A fascination with second world war history and military aviation. All with a very dry humour to round me off!

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