Bloodstock Open Air 2011
This is one festival I’ve been waiting for all year.
And now it over……..
But it went down in true (Death/Black/Heavy – delete as necessary) metal style.
Again its all raining and stuff when we hit the skids for this years outing of Bloodstock Open Air, but we are the hard core, the slayer of beasts and the eaters of vegetarian cuisine, so we gather pace and before too long reach the mighty, awesome gates to hell. Then get our passes and pitch up!
Things are a little different this year, not by much mind… but enough to make things unfamiliar. The camping area is a monster and there is hardly anyone to within 20m, which is pretty good in my mind, but the ground is the same as the festival – rock! and I bust loads of tent pegs……..
Its not long before we’re back again at the Bloodstock Arms bar and devouring a couple of cold brews issued from the same busty wenches as last year no less. Nice touch. The sun comes out to 10,000 ‘Boo’s & Hisses’ as all them pale types, sporting the latest in black metal shirts, black jeans, black monster boots…. you get the picture….. cower at the sun as they smoke and whimper. Not really melting or anything, just having a fag and moaning cos the suns out. I too had my festival moan on.
Soon afterwards we are joined by a couple of friends and get our shift on to the main stage for some metal action.
The day starts out in good form, with a fair few punters braving the sun and heading down to the main stage for an early mosh.
The practice picks up slowly and by 4pm the place is awash with black, zombie faced rejects swinging their massive thatch all over the shop.
Its an impressive sight when no less than 4,000 of the hard core are shacking their nit farms at you. Being as bald as a baboons arse and only half as good looking – I don’t see the attraction, although I did spy a couple of lovely’s at it which held my gaze for a short while……
The day rolls on and the metal gets ever so raucous, the crowds grow and the atmosphere becomes electric as everyone’s favorite, bald elastic chops Devin Townsend takes position and fires into one hell of a set – and I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that this may have been the best set of the weekend. Outstanding music, outstanding performer.
Devin finishes his set and we all wait in silence for (the cause of many arguments) WASP – so is it We Are Sexual……. snore-a-rama……we discussed it with several bods and we really don’t care anywho. WASP roll onto stage to a sea of screams and a Towering Inferno of dry ice, and I think this may have been the desired effect, as the boys have lost their looks and could well do with asking Vince Neil where he gets his work done. But we’re here to scream until we like it…. and then some. What we do in reality is drink until we go ape shit.
Its all a bit weird on Saturday, the mood has dissipated a little and there’s a strange vibe descending – I’ve heard its Black Metal day. I’m not sure what the ingredients are for Black Metal day, so I hold my breath and take a peep. Its like all dressed up goth/rock/metal/death style and thinking you really are a mad bastard from medieval days. I hear the pipes beckoning and I head to the main stage just in time to witness a hooded wraith playing the bag pipes floating across the stage, and before I know it Gravedigger are on. But not really cos they got big ass sound problems and they aint best pleased – all kicking the monitors and freaking out. Pretty good set I say.
I witness a bevy of pure metal mixed in with some rock opera/ theatre stuff – really LOTR’s dudes, giving it the Albert Hall treatment.
And you want to have seen the tight spandex – well, safe to say – scary bollocks.
The night time is at hand and the photo pit is near to busting. Me and mate, decide to fall on our swords and shoot the first song only – so for being sound blokes – the pit master invites us in first. Nice. Norway’s scariest Everly Brothers show case take to the stage with faces all doomy black and white showing of the very latest in Bergen attire. This is IMMORTAL, but hold the bus cos they look like dead people – hows that work,? lost in translation I wonder.
Sunday brings a welcome return to normal metal of sorts. And we head happily to see Exodus, Napalm Death, 1349, At the Gates and a whole plethora of fine outstandingly good metal. This is a great festival, the area is generally small – but as you will all know its not size that counts, its whats shape it is and what to do with the bloody thing…. the folks as always are here to party and have a blinder and they do. We all do, and it refreshing to be able to go to a festival where there are no preconceptions, no judgment. Its very much an open door policy for all.
You should attend. There is another world if you look, and its blessed in metal. I’ve had an awesome weekend and really look forward to next years offerings.
Thank you Adam and the Noise Cartel - Outstanding!
Author & Photos: Dave Livingstone