A Little History Of the Bloodstock Metal Festival
Sadly, due to a major health issue, we couldn’t bring you all the action from Bloodstock Metal Festival as it happened this year. However, we can still keep you up with news for next year’s festival. Really!
The festival may only just have finished, but they have decided to release some names for next year being as it will be 20 years of Bloodstock. Yes, the very first one was held in the Derby Assembly Rooms in 2001 and was a one day event with headliners Saxon on the main stage and Orange Goblin on the small one, playing to a few hundred folk. Now it’s an 18,000 outdoor three and a half day metal festival known worldwide. It continues to be independently run and is not afraid to take a chance on any form of rock or metal out there.
They are planning some surprises, as befitting an anniversary of the 20 years which will be revealed nearer the time. As soon as Decibel Geek is informed, we will let you our readers know.
So, onto the first announcements which were made on the screens live at the site. All of the bands are playing the main stage (known since 2010 as the Ronnie James Dio stage or of course Dio for short). Dio himself was due to perform that year with Heaven And Hell, but he sadly died before the festival began. Twisted Sister, who were due to play the Friday, moved to the slot that they should have played on the Sunday and Opeth came in at the last minute and headlined the Friday. It led to two emotional but brilliant headline sets.
First Announcements 2020
First up are the recently reformed Vio-lence, the legendary Bay Area thrash outfit. This will be their ONLY UK date next year. Anyone who wants to see in them in Britain will need to get along to Bloodstock. From my reading of it, the band have never played the UK before at all so this will be their first visit; a real first for the festival. They only have three albums to their name, with the last being Nothing To Gain from 1993. Their first album Eternal Nightmare is an absolute belter. It featured Robb Flynn (now of Machine Head). Featuring four of the members that made the album, this is as close to the original band as you can get.
Keeping it thrash metal, Sacred Reich will also be playing. Although they have been touring over the last few years, they haven’t recorded a new album since 1996… until NOW! Yes, they have a new album called (rather suitably) Awakening, which comes out the 23rd August. From the couple of tracks I have heard, it sounds very promising. Thrash, as expected, but with more groove. As far as I can tell, this will be their first visit to Bloodstock which makes it all the more special.
Making a very welcome return are also Skindred. This ragga punk metal band from Wales know how to put on a show and get a crowd going mental. Their last appearance at Bloodstock led to a mass “Newport helicopter” or “twirly” from not only the crowd but the security who burled their jackets/shirts around to the music. In Benji Webbe, they have a fabulous and charismatic frontman. They also have a great mix of styles – this is metal you can bounce, dance or mosh to. Expect a lot of fun when they are onstage.
Heading into the territory of melodic death metal, there are a couple of bands announced including The Black Dahlia Murder from Detroit, who haven’t played the festival since 2012. Since then, they have released three albums including their last in 2017, the banger called Nightbringers. They have one new member in Brandon Ellis, who takes over lead guitar work and backing vocals. Their influences are mostly Swedish melodic death metal and Carcass.
Returning for the first time (I believe) since 2007 come Dark Tranquillity from Sweden. They are one of the founding bands of the Gothenburg scene, along with In Flames and At The Gates. Their last album Atoma featured more clean vocals than usual from Mikael Stanne and, at times, headed into a gothic vibe. It is still heavy and intense, but with lots of moodiness.
Finally, from Los Angeles, come the female fronted Butcher Babies, who mix straight ahead metal, groove/thrash and almost pop. Formed back in 2009 by singers Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey, they have released three albums, the last being Lilith back in 2017. With influences ranging from the usual Pantera and Guns N’ Roses to Jimi Hendrix and The Plasmatics, they are an interesting combination and from the videos should be pretty visual live.
Tickets & Information
Early bird tickets, VIP, car parking, children tickets and campervan tickets will be available from Monday 12 August from the Bloodstock website.
As it has been for 14 years the venue will still be Catton Park in Derbyshire with the festival running over the weekend of 6 to 9 August 2020.
To keep up to date with all the announcements, info on the bands and all the rest keep your eyes on Decibel Geek.