Bloodstock Open Air – 2009 (Festival)

FESTIVAL FACILITIES & TIPS

FOOD & DRINK – For a smallish festival there was quite a variety of food on offer including last years full inedible english breakfast, which apparently (taking the word of the customers) had improved from last year, as they removed the bouncy egg from the menu. Unfortunately this year the epic noodle bar wasn’t there but in its place were two others which didn’t quite meet the satisfactory level but were still quite tasty (recommended). However, we advise you to stay away from Thai food, although tasty, it is in fact an enemy in disguise. Ok, now the important part, how expensive was the food? It’s most definitely over priced but go to the right stall and you’ll get value for your money (noodle bar). The noodle bar gives you a portion enough to share with 2 which makes the price more reasonable when considering how many people one

TIP: Solid fuel cookers are allowed at Bloodstock and work quite well. Go down the tin can isle in a supermarket and find some meals in tins (meatballs are quite nice at festivals).

TOILETS – The dreaded toilets, feared by all. Some say the toilets have improved since last year but I beg to differ. By the first day of the festival (Friday) the toilets were already reaking and were unclean. However, the poo sucker guys did come around more often than last year but their duty wasn’t to actually clean the toilets, only empty them. So the toilets were actually very, very disgusting. On a better note, there were more toilets placed around the festival this year, but there was still that cleanliness issue.

TIP: Take a bucket and a roll of black bin bags so that you don’t need to hold your poop in until monday. Also bring your own toilet roll. It’s a must!

METAL MARKET – The shops available were pretty good and had quite a different range of stuff in comparrison with last year where there were several stalls but pretty much sold the same thing. This year is definitely an improvement in that department but unfortunately the fraud t-shirt stall made it there again. The prices from stall to stall were around the same and actually weren’t too bad.

TIP: Try to avoid buying band t-shirts from stalls other than the official merchandise stalls run by Bloodstock themselves.

THURSDAY 13th AUGUST – EARLY BIRDS

Having experienced a little bit of a problem with finding the prime location to set camp last year, the PlanetMosh team headed for the festival a day earlier. Upon arrival our faces dramatically dropped from huge smiles to dragging jaws having seen the distance from the car park to the festival entrance and if that wasn’t quite bad enough, the 2 – 3 hour wait in the entrance queue wasn’t helping. Organisation definitely has plenty of room for improvement, especially at the point where tickets are swapped to arm bands.

The wait was finally over and before seeking the ultimate pitch we asked a member of the BOA Crew for directions to camp site B which none of five crew members knew the answer to. The usefulness of these people was shocking. Not only did they fail to give out directions but also failed to understand that free programs were to be given out. Program.. What’s that?

Without the help of the BOA Crew we headed for camp site B and pitched our enormous but spectacular tent, followed by several return trips to the 20 minute away car park with 21°C heat beating down without a single puff of wind but at least the toilets were still clean at this point.

FRIDAY 14th AUGUST – DAY 1

After having exerienced the full english breakfast at last years festival we decided that this time we would make our own edible breakfast, which started the day off rather nicely. Although having said that, we heard that this years breakfast had improved from last year, but we still weren’t prepared to take the risk. Diarrhoea and vomiting are not your friends.

So the first band we went to see on the main stage was german metallers DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER, for who we had never heard before. At first I could only focus on how gay the singer was and how the keyboardists bondage outfit must have turned him that way. However after a while I was more focused on the music and how it was actually better than I would let myself think after already judging the band by it’s weird on-stage swings and trampolines. As the show went on it only got better and better not only musically but also entertainment wise – bringing a girl from the audience on stage and sending her back sailing the crowd in an inflatable dingy, believed to be a “mighty battleship”. By the time the crowd had warmed up to the band (ignoring weird bondage keyboardists for a more serious approach) the set had come to an end but I definitely think that DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER had left their mark and will be seen around more. 7.5/10.

Next we watched SODOM who entered with “Napalm In The Morning” and continued the set with popular favourites: “City of God”, “Agent Orange”, “Blasphemer” and “M16”. The bands performance was nothing less than you’d expect but nothing more than an average show for them. After 40 minutes of Teutonic Thrash, SODOM closed their set with “Remember The Fallen”. 7/10.

Next up on the main stage was British Heavy Metallers – SAXON, opening their act with the classic “Battalions of Steel” followed by all time favourites “Heavy Metal Thunder”, “747 (Strangers In The Night)”, “Crusader”, “Wheels of Steel” and “Live To Rock”. After 3 decades SAXON prove no signs of stopping with their energetic performance and Biff’s spot on vocals. These metal monsters are guaranteed to satisfy and most definitely deserved a headlining slot rather than the hour set they were given. 8.5/10.

All the way from Sweden and Germany for their only UK tour date ARCH ENEMY hit the stage. From the moment they entered the stage to the moment they left, ARCH ENEMY put on a dynamic show full of energy and most importantly the metal for which 10,000 fans had travelled to enjoy. Angela’s deathly roars never fail to impress, being strong and brutal throughout the set – a perfect wed with the rest of the bands heavy sounds. With the upcoming release of their new album “The Root Of All Evil” the band played a range of old and new songs including “Ravenous”, “We Will Rise”, “My Apocalypse” and “Blood On Your Hands”. This was definitely a show that couldn’t be missed. 8/10.

Finally, a moment anticipated by many, CARCASS crashed the stage with “Corporal Jigsore Quandary” continuing the set with several songs from the popular album “Heartwork” including “Embodiment”, “Burried Dreams”, “Heartwork” and “Doctrinal Expletives” – dominating the setlist. Although having just played a 1 hour 15 minute set just moments prior to entering the stage yet again, Michael Amott and Daniel Erlandsson gave another full hearted, energetic display of metal in what could possibly be one of the last CARCASS gigs before their divorce. A good closing act of the night. 8/10.

SATURDAY 15th AUGUST – DAY 2

After an exhausting day of metal mayhem it was time to arise to part 2 of the madness, starting the day with BATTLELORE who’s performance was a bit on the peculiar side with two vocalists who couldn’t sing as great live, followed by CANDLEMASS and ENSLAVED who’s performances were nothing more than average but an ok way to pass the time by.

It was then time for Teutonic Thrashers KREATOR to take the stage entering with the “Choir Of The Damned” intro, swiftly breaking into “Hordes Of Chaos” followed by several favourites, “Phobia”, “Enemy Of God”, “Pleasure To Kill”, “Voilent Revolution” and closed with “Flag Of Hate”. The bands overall performance was thoroughly entertaining and definitely set you into the right frame of mind for the rest of the night. For those who didn’t see KREATOR at Bloodstock, you certainly missed out on a great performance. The only problem with this show was… The set just wasn’t long enough. 8/10.

Now with the vocals warmed up just nicely it was APOCALYPTICA’s turn to destroy and as usual they filled their set mainly with METALLICA covers including “One”, “For Whom The Bell Tolls”, “Enter Sandman”, “Seek And Destroy”, “Wherever I May Roam” and “Fight Fire With Fire”. As always their performance was outstanding, and never disappointing. However, the length of set they were given was a dose enough, had it been any longer interest could easily slip away. APOCALYPTICA proved yet again that cellos can be metal in the right hands. 7.5/10.

Next up and the final band of the night for us; German Power Metallers BLIND GUARDIAN took their turn, greeting the crowd with “War Of Wrath”. Although not a very big audience, the voices of the crowd made up for it when the band played songs such as “Valhalla”, “Lord Of The Rings” and the much anticipated “The Bard’s Song – In The Forest”. BLIND GUARDIAN certainly made standing for 1 hour 15 minutes at 20:20 worth while. Although not much movement was made by the band, they focused all their efforts into performing perfectly for the die-hards and of course the newly acclaimed fans. Unfortunately all sets have to come to an end and what better way than ending with the sing along “Mirror Mirror”. 8.5/10.

SUNDAY 16th AUGUST – DAY 3

A GIRLSCHOOL breakfast for the final day of the festival. Can’t be bad. Having never heard GIRLSCHOOL before this was a first time experience and definitely not a last. The performance from the girls was top noch apart from the organisation between songs which meant an unflowing set but apart from that, these girls can’t be faulted. 32 years in the business, GIRLSCHOOL have come a long way and are still impressing audiences everywhere, playing their hit singles “C’mon Let’s Go”, “Hit And Run” and “Race With The Devil”. 6.5/10

A final dose of metal before the weekend is over, AMON AMARTH take to the stage, welcomed by a crowd of metal roars. There’s only one thing for the band to do and that’s to break into a song of thunerous metal which goes by the name of “Twilight Of The Tunder God”. Now having set a standard of impulse the band continue with their power to please with songs such as “Guardians Of Asgaard”, “Live For The Kill”, “The Pursuit Of Vikings” and an epic closure with “Death In Fire”. 8.5/10.

Never fear for we weren’t there for EUROPE but we did hear “The Final Countdown” all the way from our tents which the entire site sang along to, and then thankfully it was over. Maybe next years Bloodstock will let a real metal band close a real metal festival.

About Nikita

Co-founder of PlanetMosh. Official cookie and cake baker at PM Towers.
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