Bloodstock 2024: Celebrate Lemmy Kilmister At UK’s Ultimate Heavy Metal Festival

When I penned these words shortly after the close of the 2023 edition of Bloodstock Festival, there was the usual post-event blues. There was also relief that I could return to a comfy bed, experience live music without the outdoor elements to consider, and drink significantly fewer pints of beer in such a short period.

Yet here we are, under a month to go, and once again the anticipation is bubbling, such is the pull of the UK’s most significant Heavy Metal festival. 2024’s stacked line-up promises plenty of stellar sets to savour, and as usual, clash finders are already doing the rounds as one starts to consider who to watch. But there is so much more planned in 2024 that it’s going to be difficult to fit it all in.

Bloodstock Open Air Festival 2023
Lemmy’s Bar – Bloodstock Open Air Festival 2023. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Possibly the most significant event that will take place on the grounds of Catton Park this year is the celebration of the life of Lemmy Kilmister. This will run across the weekend and will also see the incorporation of some of the Motörhead legend’s ashes into a specially commissioned bust which will be in prime position within the always excellent Ram Gallery.

“Bloodstock has always been a special place for Motörhead and for Lemmy,” Motörhead manager Todd Singerman, said. “The people and the energy matched Lemmy’s values perfectly. Alan and Vicky were also great friends and basically family of Lemmy, as he was the reason that they originally got together.

“This is definitely a fitting honour in the continuing series of enshrinements of Lemmy’s ashes in his most loved places. There will be plenty more Motörhead memorabilia on display, and it promises to be quite the emotional occasion.”

Tailgunner - Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff - 18 April 2024
Tailgunner – Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff – 18 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Having made the decision to open some campsites a day early to allow an easing of congestion, there is no doubt that by the time the Sophie Lancaster tent opens on Thursday, 8th August, Metal fans will be champing at the bit to get their early fix.

A varied opening bill includes highly rated Shock Rockers South Of Salem, the traditional Heavy Metal of Tailgunner and the crafted delivery of Swedes Evergrey.

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South Of Salem - Station 18 Festival - Hangar 18, Swansea - Friday 3rd May 2024
South Of Salem – Station 18 Festival – Hangar 18, Swansea – Friday 3rd May 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

For me, it is Friday that presents the biggest potential clashes. The Ronnie James Dio stage has never looked stronger, from the riff-heavy power of UK openers Desert Storm, the Black Metal of Greek’s Rotting Christ, the long-awaited arrival of Clutch and the by-request set by former headliners Opeth.

In the Sophie Tent, Cardiff trio Häxan will get things underway in vibrant style, starting a day of eclectic sounds that includes the crunching Death Metal of Deathcollector, the traditional Heavy Metal of Eternal Champion, the ’70s psychedelic vibe of The Vintage Caravan and the headline chaos of Igorrr.

King Kraken - Metal 2 The Masses - Grand Final - Downstairs At The Dome, Tufnell Park - 8 June 2024
King Kraken – Metal 2 The Masses – Grand Final – Downstairs At The Dome, Tufnell Park – 8 June 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Throw in a plethora of quality on the EMP stage (including my mates in King Kraken, who will blow a hole in the canvas), and Hopical Storm headliners She Burns Red, who will be performing with a new line-up, as well as the collection of Metal 2 The Masses winners from across the UK, and it’s hard to see when one will have time to grab anything more than a quick pint and a tray of chips!

Saturday will no doubt be as frenetic, with some potential epic sets from Forbidden, Deicide, Whitechapel and Malevolence before headliners Architects show us why they are in top spot. A band I know little about, it’s one of the more curious choices that I’m hoping will win me over.

The Sophie Tent remains crammed full of talent, with the Folk Metal of Korpiklaani finishing a day that includes the Trap-Metal curiosity of Mimi Barks, the Pirate Metal of Red Rum and the explosive Modern Metal of Sylosis.

Bloodstock 2024 New Blood Stage Poster
Bloodstock 2024 New Blood Stage

Elsewhere during the weekend, there’s plenty to entertain with daily Rockfit classes in the morning to get the blood pumping, the Game Arena with VR competitions and prizes, a visit to Lemmy’s Bar and if you are in the VIP area, then access to many fine ales and ciders in the VIP bar which will also have its own programme of entertainment.

After the bands finish, there is the opportunity to continue the party with DJ sets until the early hours or join the official bin jousting events that are organised (my money is still on the unofficial ones taking place somewhere!).

Bin Jousting - Bloodstock 2024
Bin Jousting – Bloodstock 2024

If you can survive until Sunday, it’s likely you will have had the opportunity to peruse the market area where there is everything the self-respecting Metal fan can need, from leather jackets, patches, clothes and jewellery to ludicrous hats, feather boas and even replacement footwear.

And, of course, there is a wide range of food vendors to sate every appetite. Who can forget the Dee Snider “pizza” comments a few years ago.

Bloodstock Open Air Festival 2023
Bloodstock Open Air Festival 2023. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Sunday doesn’t ease in any way on the music front, and the main stage will start in crazy style with those lovable rogues Raised By Owls bringing their own brand of Death Metal to the main stage. Later in the day, there’s the Progressive Metal of Soen, the opportunity to play the Septicflesh drinking game (a swig each time Sotiris shouts “my friends” or “destroy”), a chance to throw every shape under the sun to the Night Flight Orchestra and of course, row your hearts out to returning headliners Amon Amarth.

There are plenty of genres to grapple with in the Sophie tent as well, with the Melodic Metal of Awake By Design, the Crossover style of Southampton’s Grove Street, a rare UK appearance by Sadus as well as UK Thrash legends Xentrix before a piledriving finale of Infected Rain followed by the darkness of Satyricon to close things out.

Add in the continued best of British on the New Blood Stage and the appearance of Goblin Smoker on the EMP stage with their tales of the Toad King, and it’s impossible not to be happy with what’s on offer.

Of course, for all the planning about who to see, one of the main joys at Bloodstock is just savouring the whole event. There’s an atmosphere which is rarely anything other than good-natured, and you will find yourself chatting with random strangers throughout the weekend.

One thing is for certain. It promises to be an epic weekend once more, and MetalTalk will be there to cover the whole event.

All MetalTalk Bloodstock Festival 2023 coverage can be found at MetalTalk.net/tag/bloodstock-2023.

All MetalTalk Bloodstock Festival 2024 coverage can be found at https://www.metaltalk.net/tag/bloodstock-2024.

Bloodstock 2024 Poster
Bloodstock 2024

Standard weekend tickets for Bloodstock, priced at £185 (+ booking fee) are available now in the 2024 ticket store. You can also snap up limited day tickets, child tickets (mini moshers under 4 yrs can come for free!). If you want all the Bloodstock you can get, add early arrival for an extra day of camping on Wednesday, too. Early Bird, VIP, and campervan tickets are sold out.  

The Bloodstock shop with Preo is now up and running, featuring an array of festival essentials, from cold beers (and four printers of mango cider) to merch, camping equipment, and much more. You can secure all your must-have items in advance from one online shop, eradicating the need for last-minute scrambles, long queues or searching in multiple online stores. And then collect on your arrival at Bloodstock.  

Bloodstock Open Air Festival 2023
Bloodstock Open Air Festival 2023. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

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