It’s our final day here at Bloodstock, and once more, it’s absolutely flown by, packed to the rafters with all good things about Metal. The community feel is intact. Everyone is looking out for each other, and a huge shout out to the welfare tent once again doing an invaluable and much needed job.
We are particularly grateful to them for quickly patching up one of our party who suffered a cut foot last night, leaving plenty of time for reflection on the foolishness of wearing open-toed shoes despite the extreme heat. Don’t do it.
Today is a special moment in Bloodstock history as the festival celebrates and elevates Sylvia Lancaster OBE’s amazing work, the pioneering fundraiser and educator who established The Sophie Lancaster Foundation.
At Sylvia’s funeral earlier this year, she had requested that everyone attending wear something pink, as this was her favourite colour. So in honour of Sylvia, today, people have been asked to wear an item of pink in acknowledgement of Sylvia’s truly phenomenal work, which has been life-changing for many in alternative subcultures.
As expected, the crowd have risen to the occasion gloriously.
Over on the stages, another steaming hot day, another incredible bunch of bands to entertain the masses. Legends will be worshipped at the altar of Marshall stacks and new favourite bands discovered, the future of Metal assured.
In this spirit, it’s great to see Skarlett Riot stake their place in the roll call, the hard-working band being given the breakthrough that they’ve poured everything into for. There’s an obvious joy and appreciation to be here on Bloodstock’s main stage, having been moved up from the Sophie to the Ronnie James Dio after Life Of Agony had to drop out due to illness.
Scarlett owns the stage, her voice emotive but with the strength of an Iceni warrior and when matched with Dan’s pinpoint riffing, it’s a powerful combination.
There are big dynamics at play, the band having honed their writing to a devastating point, the huge crunch and razor-sharp edges of songs like The Storm, Black Cloud and Stronger having the hooks and weight to break through into the mainstream without compromising. It’s been a while coming, but now is their time, and nothing is going to stop them.
Opening the Sophie stage was Pelugion, a trio from Coventry who entertained with impeccable stoner grooves. Their previous appearance here was over on the New Blood in 2018, and they have grown their audience and act considerably since then, putting in an assured display.
Back on the RJD, it was time for Vended, a band hailing from Iowa, the home of Slipknot. They know these iconic legends pretty well as they are more than neighbours, two of them are the sons of members Corey Taylor and Clown.
It’s their first appearance in the UK, and curiosity may have brought the crowds initially, but the charisma and performance of the band kept us there. Fast and furious, Vended pulverised any doubts with an uncompromising wall of sound.
The Butcher Babies brought LA energy to the party with a skull-crushing ferocity. Blending aggression and technicality, dual frontwomen Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey bounded and growled across the stage to a soundtrack that could flay the top level of your skin off.
Declaring, “We are Butcher Babies, and we are here to fuck shit up,” they led a mass jump along to Monsters Ball, which sorted out the sheep from the goats.
With a frantic circle pit for Gravemaker, the relentless shenanigans were not for the faint-hearted and left a positive impression in people’s minds as well as in the dust.
Bloodstock 2022 will be held over the long weekend of 11-14 August 2022. MetalTalk’s Liz Medhurst, John Inglis and Paul Monkhouse will be reporting from Catton Park.
VIP and campervan tickets are sold out. Standard weekend camping tickets (just £145 + fees for 4 days of Heavy Metal glory) plus day and child tickets are also available. Children under 4 can come for free.
You can read all the MetalTalk Bloodstock coverage at metaltalk.net/tag/bloodstock-2022