Bloodstock Open AirFestival News

What to expect at the UK’s best heavy metal festival – Bloodstock Open Air 2023

Bloodstock has earned a strong reputation for being an event created with the fans in mind. The organizers of Bloodstock understand the passion and dedication of the Metal community, and they strive to provide an immersive and authentic experience that caters to the desires of the fans. Bloodstock aims to create an environment where Metal fans can come together and celebrate their shared love for the genre, from the lineup of bands and artists to the various activities, attractions, and even the smaller details. This fan-centric approach is what makes Bloodstock such a beloved festival within the Metal community and contributes to its continued success year after year.

Bloodstock will be held at Catton Park in Derbyshire from the 10th to the 13th of August. Catton Park has been the long-standing home of Bloodstock, providing a picturesque setting for the festival amidst beautiful countryside surroundings.

The 2023 edition of Bloodstock will mark my fourth time traveling from Kansas City to the UK for the festival because of my deep love for the event and the metal community it brings together.

Reflecting on my experiences in previous years, Bloodstock offers a unique and immersive experience for metalheads. It’s a gathering of like-minded individuals who share a passion for metal music, creating a sense of belonging and camaraderie. Attending Bloodstock is like reuniting with a family, a tribe of friends who understand and appreciate the same music and culture.

You can anticipate a lineup of incredible metal bands across various stages, immersive performances, electrifying energy, and a vibrant atmosphere. From the main stage to the smaller stages, there will be a diverse range of metal subgenres represented, catering to different tastes and preferences within the metal community.

Additionally, Bloodstock typically offers various activities, attractions, and vendors that enhance the overall experience. Whether it’s exploring merchandise, indulging in delicious food and drinks, or discovering new bands at the smaller stages, there will be plenty to keep you engaged and entertained throughout the festival.

Here’s a bit of background and a preview of what to expect.

Bloodstock Site Map.

Brief History:

The expansion of Bloodstock Open Air over the years has allowed for the inclusion of more stages and a greater platform for emerging metal talent. In 2006, the festival introduced its second stage, initially known as The Unsigned Stage and later renamed The New Blood Stage, to showcase up-and-coming metal acts.

The following year, in 2007, Bloodstock added a third stage called The Lava Stage, which was later renamed The Sophie Lancaster Stage in 2009. This stage served as a tribute to Sophie Lancaster, a young woman tragically murdered because of her appearance and alternative subculture. In 2010, the capacity of The Sophie Lancaster Stage was increased, and it became the festival’s second stage.

Bloodstock Open Air originated as an extension of the original Bloodstock indoor festival, which took place from 2001 to 2006 at Derby Assembly Rooms. In 2007, Paul Gregory, the festival’s founder, brought his family members on board as directors, further developing the event.

The festival faced a significant setback in 2010 when Heaven & Hell, featuring Ronnie James Dio, were slated to headline but had to cancel due to Dio’s passing. As a tribute to the legendary singer, the main stage was renamed the “Ronnie James Dio Stage” in his honor.

The 2020 festival was set to mark the celebration of “20 years of Bloodstock,” but unfortunately, it had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ticket holders were given the option to receive a refund or roll over their tickets to the 2021 festival, which featured an expanded lineup and an additional day.

These developments in Bloodstock’s history showcase the festival’s commitment to providing opportunities for emerging talent, paying tribute to metal icons, and adapting to challenges while delivering an unforgettable experience for metal fans.

There are loads of food vendors on-site that cater to every taste and dietary need. You can check out a list of the many choices on the Bloodstock website.

Black ice cream.Black ice cream returns this year! For those who missed out on trying it last year, the return of black ice cream presents an exciting opportunity to indulge in this unconventional treat. It can add a fun and adventurous element to the overall experience, especially when enjoyed in warmer weather at events like Bloodstock. Whether it’s the aesthetics or the flavor itself, I hope those who get to indulge in black ice cream at Bloodstock enjoy the experience!

Rockfit, a Metal fitness company, seems to offer a unique blend of cardio, dance, and body-sculpting exercises set to a pure rock and Metal playlist. It’s great to see events like Bloodstock embracing a diverse range of activities and experiences for attendees. This Metal-inspired fitness concept is likely to resonate with fans who enjoy an energetic and intense workout while immersing themselves in the music they love. It’s an innovative way to combine the love for Metal with fitness and create a memorable experience for participants.

Must-See Artists:

One of my all-time favorite metal acts will perform on the main stage and I’m overjoyed to see them again. Meshuggah headlining the Saturday night Ronnie James Dio main stage at Bloodstock is indeed a significant event for both the band and festival attendees. Meshuggah is highly regarded in the metal community for their innovative and complex music. Their live performances are known for their precision and intensity, making them a captivating act to watch.

Their latest album, “Immutable,” released earlier this year, further showcases their musical prowess. The video for “I Am That Thirst” undoubtedly adds to the excitement surrounding their performance. For those who haven’t experienced Meshuggah live before, this will be an excellent opportunity to witness their technical mastery and understand why they are held in such high regard. Bloodstock attendees can look forward to a memorable and energetic performance from Meshuggah as they take the headlining stage for the first time.

Helloween‘s inclusion as Sunday’s main stage special guest at Bloodstock is sure to excite fans of power metal. Helloween is widely recognized as one of the most influential bands in the genre, known for their melodic and energetic sound. Their self-titled album, released last year, received critical acclaim, and showcased their enduring talent.

The music video for “Best Time” not only gives fans a taste of Helloween‘s musical prowess but also features a special guest appearance by Arch Enemy’s Alissa White-Gluz, adding an extra layer of excitement to the track. It’s always thrilling to see collaborations between talented artists within the metal community.

With Helloween‘s upcoming performance at Bloodstock, fans can expect a powerful and dynamic show filled with their signature anthems and captivating stage presence. It’s an opportunity to witness the band’s enduring legacy and enjoy their memorable live performance.

Unfortunately, Anthrax had to pull out of their slot at Bloodstock 2023 due to logistical issues. However, it’s great to hear that Bloodstock has swiftly found a replacement in the form of Triptykon. As metal pioneers, Triptykon brings their own unique style and energy to the stage.

In an unmissable UK-exclusive performance, Triptykon will be treating Bloodstock to a Celtic Frost set. This is a special opportunity for fans to experience the iconic music of Celtic Frost, a band that has left a lasting impact on the metal genre. Triptykon, led by frontman Tom Gabriel Warrior, who was also a founding member of Celtic Frost, will undoubtedly deliver a memorable and powerful performance.

As fans prepare for Bloodstock, they can get in the spirit by revisiting classic Celtic Frost tracks, immersing themselves in the dark and atmospheric sound that has influenced generations of metal musicians. Triptykon‘s performance promises to be a highlight of the festival, offering a unique and nostalgic experience for fans of the legendary Celtic Frost.

This year I look forward to a great lineup of Polish metal acts at Bloodstock 2023. Both HATE and Decapitated have made their mark in the metal scene and are known for delivering intense and powerful performances.

HATE, with their blackened metal sound, will be taking the main stage on Friday afternoon. Their blend of extreme and atmospheric elements creates a captivating sonic experience. Prepare to be immersed in their dark and aggressive music, as HATE showcases their intense stage presence and musicianship.

On Sunday, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the heavy metal juggernaut, Decapitated, on the Sophie Lancaster stage. Decapitated is known for their technical prowess, intricate guitar work, and relentless energy. As one of Poland’s prominent metal acts, they have garnered a strong following and have become revered for their dynamic live performances.

Both HATE and Decapitated bring their unique styles and contribute to the diverse lineup of Bloodstock 2023. It’s exciting to have the opportunity to experience the intensity and power of these Polish metal bands live on stage.

Prepare yourself for a thrilling display of talent, energy, and the raw power of metal as HATE and Decapitated deliver unforgettable performances at Bloodstock. Enjoy the experience and immerse yourself in the sonic assault that these bands will undoubtedly unleash.

The fact that VIP packages and campervan passes have already sold out demonstrates the enthusiasm and anticipation surrounding the festival. For those who are still looking to attend, securing weekend tickets is a great option. It’s advisable to act quickly and visit the ticket store to ensure you don’t miss out on the opportunity to be part of this exciting event. Bloodstock promises to deliver an unforgettable experience for metal fans, and obtaining your weekend tickets will allow you to join in the celebration of live music, community, and the spirit of metal.

Embrace the reunion with your metal family and enjoy the shared experience of music, friendship, and the vibrant community that Bloodstock brings together. It’s an opportunity to create new memories, forge connections, and celebrate the spirit of metal.

So, mark your calendars and make the necessary preparations to ensure you don’t miss out on the exciting lineup, performances, and experiences that Bloodstock has to offer. It’s always a thrilling time for metal enthusiasts to gather and celebrate their shared love for the genre in such an immersive and community-driven event.

Get full festival information at

Bloodstock lineup.


Thomas Woroniak

Owner/Editor/Photographer/Journalist at AntiHero Magazine -- Thomas is a concert photographer and writer living in the Kansas City, MO area. When he isn't elbowing people in the photo pit, he makes an actual living as a web developer and freelance motion graphics designer. He is also a guitarist and studied music composition at the University of Illinois at Chicago -- Author: Thomas Woroniak

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