Bloodstock Open Air is the heavy metal festival.
Hosted at Catton Hall in Walton-on-Trent 2005, it celebrates the best that genre has to offer. 2016’s event will take place from August 11th to 14th, with a whole bevy of bands turned it up to 11 across three stages.
Ronnie James Dio Stage
The rock faithful will be aware of rock legend Ronnie James Dio’s tragic passing in 2010. Ronnie and his former Black Sabbath bandmates had been booked to play Bloodstock 2010 as Heaven And Hell; sadly, that was not to be.
But Bloodstock keep that spirit alive on the Ronnie Jamie Dio stage, with numerous headlines acts playing across it. Expect Twisted Sister and Venom on Friday, Mastadon, Paradise Lost, and Fear Factory on the Saturday, and ultimately Slayer, Anthrax, and Symphony X on Sunday.
Sophie Lancaster Stage
Bloodstock might support the heavier side of heavy metal, but the organisers clearly know a good cause when they see one. In fact, supporting charities has been a guiding principle of the festival since it kicked off, which is why they renamed the Live Music Stage the Sophie Lancaster Stage to pay tribute to someone cut down in their prime simply for dressing differently.
The Stage has played host to a string of live acts over the years, and it’s the only stage that plays four days instead of three. Expect Phil Campbell’s All Starr Band, Psykosis, Karybdis, and Sublime Eyes on the Thursday, Diamond Head, Beyond the Black, and Beholder on Friday, Acid Reign, One Machine, and Misanthrope on Saturday, and finally Goat Whore, Vektor, Memorium, and Whispered on Sunday. Just a small selection of what’s on offer.
Hobgoblin New Blood Stage
Formerly dubbed The Unsigned Stage but known since 2010 as the New Blood Stage, here is where you’ll be able to discover the boldest sounds in metal from the next generation of performers. Designed specifically to showcase new talent, something that has been a strong focus for the organisers since Bloodstock’s inception, this is where newcomers and self-signed artists get their breaks.
On the Friday, those raw new sounds will be coming from groups such as Exhumation, Agrona, The Crawling, and Triverse Massacre. Head back on Saturday to thrash it out to performances from acts such as The Face of Ruin, Poseidon, Regulus, and Mordrake, then come back for a final experience on Sunday to hear Gutlocker, Footprints in Custard, Valous, and Chronicles.