Bloodstock Open Air 2013 marks the 6th consecutive time that I have personally attended the festival and over these years I’ve seen the festival change in many ways, good and bad.
In the past the cleanliness of the Bloodstock toilets has ranked as the worst festival toilets that I have ever used. After 6 years of making changes including adding more toilets, removing toilets, increasing the emptying of toilets, etc; this year Bloodstock managed to get it spot on! Availability was great in the arena and they couldn’t be cleaner. They even had a plentiful supply of toilet roll and hand sanitizer. There was the usual morning toilet queue in the campsites but overall availability was good. The only improvement here would be to add a few piss troughs into the campsite areas to avoid the overwhelming pissy stench when walking by the fence to the taps.
Festival wise (excluding any line-up elements) I think this has been one of the best. The food selection on offer this year was great (especially for us picky eaters). My favourite new food addition was the pork sandwich stall which was absolutely perfect! I also recommend the Chinese and Thai stall as it is both delicious and filling but the fabulous Deli Kate still wins for choice and quality. If you’re an ultra picky eater then I can assure you that Deli Kate will have something that meets your requirements and exceeds your standards.
Another change that I really liked this year was the General Stores. In the past the Festival Shop wasn’t easy to browse as it was simply just a counter with items out of reach behind it which made browsing slightly awkward. This year the General Stores was literally like walking into a little convenience store and offered a wide and useful range of products at normal prices! Festival prices are always expensive so it was great to see that you could buy normal items at normal prices.
This year it brought me great satisfaction to see that the New Blood stage had been upgraded to a proper stage marquee instead of an oversized gazebo. In previous years I felt that the New Blood stage didn’t offer the smaller bands the proper festival experience that they deserved. Having a proper stage marquee made a lot of difference when watching the New Blood bands as I feel that it became more integrated with the rest of the festival and made watching bands a more pleasurable experience.
As Bloodstock inevitably grows, the campsites consequently get busier and louder. Since the first time I came to bloodstock I have always camped in the same campsite so I can only tell of experience in what is known now as Midgard (or old campsite B). In short 6 years of growing has seen Midgard go from bags of space to, hey look that space between their guy ropes might fit our tent in. If you don’t arrive on Thursday (before the gates open), you’re probably not going to be camping in Midgard. Thankfully, there’s been an addition of a new campsite this year called Ironwood which is sort of like an overflow for people on Midgard except not many people knew of its existence so we were still like sardines in a tin.
If you’re looking for a space to camp where the party is at (and no sleep happens) then Midgard is the place to be. The atmosphere is always buzzing and there’s always a new camp game. This year’s new game was climbing the lighting pole race as well as a continuation of last year’s bin jousting (except naked this year… some terrible, terrible sights to be seen). If you’re looking for a quieter camp (and some sleep before 5am) Valhalla offers more peace or the dedicated quiet/family camp, Hel. Where ever you camp, there’s a guarantee of a great time!
And remember, Bloodstock is the only festival where the sun shines all weekend.
See you all next year!