My goodness… is it almost that time again? Yes, we’re less than 2 months away from Bloodstock. The 2022 edition and to say I’m feeling quite excited, is an understatement. A lot of this comes from seeing the likes of Download and Hellfest taking place recently. That festival itch is becoming maddening and the desire to scratch it until I’m bloody is becoming hard to ignore.
This will be my 8th Bloodstock in a row and each year, I’ve loved it more and more. As I sit here, writing this, I’m watching the smiling faces of thousands of people going nuts for Agnostic Front on a livestream of Hellfest. It’s making me feel incredibly jealous, wistful, and excited for my own festival experience in August.
Last year, Bloodstock felt cathartic, managing to take place after so much COVID related trouble. We wrote a piece about it and in it, we talked about escapism. About how Bloodstock was a chance for us to get away from the real world and spend a long-weekend drinking, eating, seeing a plethora of bands and so much more with friends, family, and like-minded strangers. A chance to forget about the real world, work, responsibilities, and everything else that comes with daily living.
Escapism. It’s still a very relevant word.
As much as it would be nice to say things are different as we approach August 2022, the sad reality is that’s not the case. COVID still exists and its effects are still being felt. In particular as bands and artists attempt to pick up the pieces in a world of insecurity. Insecurity that has been heightened by even more global issues and, here in the UK, a cost-of-living crisis that is only going to get worse before it gets better and, of course, the dreaded ‘b-word’.
It’s hard out there. Everything costs more and that knock-on effect means people are spending less. It can be a very depressing cycle. So, having something like Bloodstock to look forward too, is more important than ever. It appears the organisers know this, having made a concerted effort to better themselves this year and seemingly planning to make this year’s Bloodstock the biggest to date. An incredible feat, when you consider the cost-of-living crisis effects the festival and the people involved just as much as it does the attendees.
The rubbish parts of the world still exists, and it will continue to exist when we all return home on Monday the 15th but until then, the euphoric haze of Bloodstock surrounds us all. We need the escape come August 11th. We all do and it’s comforting to know that this is a mindset shared by thousands of others who will be at the festival too.
When life starts to get you down, think of the field. Cracking open a cold one as the sun (hopefully) beams down upon you. Ordering your first beer, picking up your first bit of merch, buying your first festival burger (never Eazy Cheezy though – ever) and having your first shot.
Think of the moment the band arrives on stage, the pyro, the noise, and the lights. Think of the sea of head-banging that comes with another stellar showcase from a main stage band. Or the heat of the tents as a Sophie band or New Blood band smash through their sets.
Think of the smiles, the greetings, the hugs, and the love between strangers. Think of the smell of the portiloos, a bloke wearing a badly fitted mankini, your tent neighbour who might be the world’s loudest snorer, bin-jousting, drinking at 9am to get over last night’s hangover and the realisation that not only are you going to do it again, but you’re going to love it.
Don’t let the bastards grind you down. Bloodstock is right around the corner and for a brief period, we can just forget about everything and rock out. Escapism… perfected.