Review: Bloodstock 2012

Louise McCormick and Gareth Kelly were part of PRS for Music’s on-the-ground team of set list collectors at Bloodstock 2012. Read their reviews.

Paul Nichols headshot
  • By Paul Nichols
  • 17 Aug 2012
  • min read
Now in its eighth year, Bloodstock Open Air brought its annual onslaught of wrath and hellfire to Derbyshire. Bloodstock is one of the more specialist UK festivals, filling in a decent sized gap in the market for the more extreme metal fan: specialising in various forms of black, death and thrash metal; providing a decent offering of hardcore, stoner, doom; and providing good old straight-up rock and roll.

The mainstage bands had travelled from far flung places such as America, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Taiwan and, er, Huddersfield for the festival, but the majority of the smaller bands at Bloodstock this year (as with every year) were British. The New Blood stage at Bloodstock showcases mainly new British underground bands, giving many the opportunity to play their first festival and  encouraging them to build up to future performances on much bigger stages. These bands are generally new to the music business of live performance too, and as a result there are many potential new PRS members that can be brought into the fold.

Setlist collecting at Bloodstock was a lot of fun. The nature and vibe of the festival somehow brings out the best in everyone, and there were many happy exchanges, helpful managers, friendly band members, and supportive staff. We witnessed a bunch of highly organised professionals doing exactly what they evidently love to do, and the whole weekend flowed excellently. The beauty and magic of Bloodstock is that the attendees live and breathe their genres; but there is no prejudice amongst fans. All who attend Bloodstock are there for the same reason – the love of the riff, and the passion of real metal.

My festival highlights were Hatebreed, the Black Dahlia Murder, Crowbar, Grand Magus, Birmingham's very own Anaal Nathrakh and, straight out of Corby, Viking Skull. Thanks very much Bloodstock, see you next year!

Words: Louise McCormick

This year was the third time that PRS for Music returned to Bloodstock festival and with pretty much the same staff returning for those years they really do treat us like part of the team now and we feel very lucky to be part of an amazing and unique event.

With around 12,000 people attending the festival still has a very intimate feel except now you have heavy metal titans like Behemoth, Machine Head and the ever shocking Alice Cooper headlining the weekend. The success of a family run event of this size highlights just how great the team behind Bloodstock are.

Working over four stages the PRS for Music team found the friendly staff and the enthusiastic bands a pleasure to work with, ensuring we had our work done quickly and giving us time to enjoy some damn impressive acts such as Hatebreed, The Black Dahlia Murder, Dripback.

Possibly the best element of the festival is the New Blood stage which showcases some mighty fine young bands that have come from all of the UK after winning competitions to battle out for a place to open the Wacken 2013 festival in Germany. There were some great acts that all deserved to win, but if I had to choose one it would be the might of Bull Riff Stampede – they had the biggest crowd of the weekend in the tent but also got festival promoter Simon Hall starting a pretty magnificent circle pit!

No other festival has such a unique bill, with breakfast (courtesy of the Benediction Breakfast Club!) accompanied by some nasty grind inspired thrash or epic fist raising power metal, it has something for every extreme music fan. And with the bands and fans being of a similar ilk, it’s not rare to find members of your favourite group sat beside you watching some of their own favourites. These touches make it special and ensure that we’ll aim to keep attending year on year!


Words: Gareth Kelly
Pictures: Gareth Kelly