Hello. Our names are Carl and Brendan and we really wanted to put into words just why Bloodstock is so damn important to us.
When Bloodstock announced they were forced to postpone their 2020 event because of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic it was something of a relief. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I was gutted but it was not unexpected and with the announcement, it put the possibility of the event going ahead to bed. Bloodstock 2020 would not be going ahead and instead, we would have to wait until August 2021 to get our fix of the best festival in the world.
Rather than let it get me down, that postponement and the overall lack of social opportunities gave me an opportunity to get other aspects of my life in order. It has been gratifying, especially with knowledge that 2021 would come around soon enough. Well, it has and to be honest, I didn’t expect to find myself worrying about the possibility of Bloodstock 2021 going ahead to be there. I doubt anyone did.
As I type this, we’re a few days removed from the government having announced a four-week extension to the current restrictions. The current restrictions that stop the likes of Bloodstock going ahead. When, and if they’re lifted, it will be July 19th 2021… a damn sight too close for this guy’s comfort.
It was awesome to see the festival come out almost immediately and assail many fears and from an outside perspective they look to be doing everything they can to make sure this year’s event runs. Man, I really hope it does because I think I need it. I think we all do.
I know it sounds hyperbolic but live music is such an important part of my life and Bloodstock has become the only place I want to be, come August. Considering I only started going in 2014, it’s not like I can call myself a Bloodstock veteran but I can point out that the fact that I’ve spent the majority of my 30s at the festival. No seriously, my birthday has fallen over Bloodstock since I was 30 and this year will be the first time it won’t have and I’ll be 37.
I just love it there. It’s not even about press as that’s something we only started doing in 2018 and have only had two years of that side of things. Even then, we’ve always bought our tickets because we’re going no matter what and that’s no different this year.
I’ve done Download, I’ve done Sonisphere, I’ve done Hellfest… yet the only one I want to keep going back to is Bloodstock. Why? Well, musical taste is an important part of it as Bloodstock’s heavier side of things guarantees the line-up is always going to appeal. However, it’s more than that… it’s also about the future. I love the New Blood Stage and what that offers, the Metal 2 the Masses events and Bloodstock often giving headline slots to bands that would never get a sniff elsewhere. It feels so forward thinking rather than relying on the same old bands other festivals do.
I do realise that part of the reason Bloodstock can get away with this is because it is of a certain size but still, how awesome has it been to see the likes of Amon Amarth, Mastodon, Gojira and Parkway Drive headline in recent years?
Bloodstock’s size is a major reason I fell in love with the festival and another reason I continue to love it. It’s big but it’s not stupid big (ala Hellfest), you can watch bands on all stages from a comfortable place or get into the throng of a pit if you want. Food stalls, beer, merch, the campsites… it’s all so close that nothing ever feels like a trek and we’ve noticed that once we’re in the arena, we rarely go back to our campsite because everything we need is right there. It can be exhausting but so damn satisfying. Even now, I think about it and I can picture the warm sun, slight breeze, wafts of Eazy Cheezy (the one thing I don’t bloody like) and slamming of instruments.
That I get to experience all of this with my wife, son, brother, sister-in-law and friends is simply why I love this festival. It doesn’t just appeal to me; it appeals to them. It’s a wonderful shared experience that takes us away from the ‘real world’ for just a few days and this year, more than any other year so far, feels like a necessity.
As a lifelong fan of heavy metal, music is as important to me as air and Bloodstock has been a wonderful source of live music where the balance between seeing icons of our scene and new blood seems to be just right. I have the utmost respect for what Bloodstock are doing for the wider metal scene and especially for Metal to the Masses which is nothing short of an amazing thing offering something to strive for to so many young bands. It’s also a rare time where I can meet up with family and friends without the pressures of “work the next day” or other real life events making it brief or cutting it short. There are few moments in life more enjoyable than engaging in a shared happy experience with those you love.
Bloodstock has also become a bit of a refuge for me on an individual level. A place of solace and silence away from the constant noise and chaos of everyday life. To an outsider perhaps looking in on Bloodstock, it may appear wild and chaotic itself and anything but respite but within, it is like resting in the eye of the storm where the world around you continues to swirl at inhumane pace and Bloodstock is the calm.
I have a lot of admiration and respect for the festival especially in its dedication to the music, to the fans and the artists. It also helps that there’s a ton of quality beer available too!
Let us know why you love the festival so much too!