Bloodstock Report Part One: Thursday and Friday

I’ve just come back from my annual festival trip, this time to Bloodstock Open Air in the West Midlands. If lists of heavy metal bands and their performances is your thing, read on; if it isn’t, read on anyway and try something new today!

Bloodstock is easy to get to, with the festival operating a shuttle bus service from nearby Lichfield City train station to the festival site. My Bro-in-Chief Conor and I arrived in Lichfield about 4pm, made a quick visit to Aldi for supplies, and got the bus out to the campground. All the sites are named after the worlds of  Norse mythology – we chose Asgard over Valhalla, being the two nearest our entrance, and later learned of Midgard and Hel. Unfortunately we arrived just a little too late to set up our tent and get into the arena in time to see opening band Balls Deep and their groovy, catchy aggression.

We spent the remainder of the evening getting familiar with the arena, the shops, and the variety of available beers. One great find was the Prat in a Hat thrift shop, fronted by two huge bins of second-hand hats. They stocked all sorts of hats: an enthusiastic festival goer in a newly acquired bike helmet told us with great confidence “There’s a hat in here for you, and there’s a hat in here for YOU.” And sure enough, I found a nice camo-print baseball cap that fitted me well. Thank you, mystery hat sage. Other stalls had camping gear (which might literally have saved my life as I forgot to pack a sleeping mat), clothes, CDs, and novelty items or accessories. Bloodstock also had an excellent variety of foods; we filled up the first night on delicious roast pork baguettes with apple sauce and crackling. The Bloodstock Arms pub had a couple of beers from Wychwood Brewery (the brewery that makes Hobgoblin) and some smaller craft beers alongside Strongbow and Fosters. One section of the arena was taken up by fairground rides, because being strapped to a giant mechanical rotating claw and spun around in the sky is pretty damn metal. Continue reading

Did Not Do the Research

I understand that metal’s tendency to classify subgenres and styles to a very high resolution can make it impenetrable to outsiders. We’re over here distinguishing between five different kinds of grindcore, while there are people out there that don’t know there’s a difference between metal and punk. And that’s fine! Not everyone needs to understand everyone’s hobbies.

But this is one of the most impressive examples of getting it wrong that I am aware of.

(Large picture below the cut.) Continue reading