The month of August saw many a metal head from around the globe make the annual pilgrimage to the fields of Catton Hall to attend this year’s Bloodstock Open Air festival. As a Bloodstock devotee myself, I was there tent in hand, fully ready for a weekend of heavy metal goodness, with probably one of my most highly anticipated line-ups in recent years.

The Ronnie James Dio main stage this year sported an impressively diverse lineup of bands from across the rock and metal spectrum. Legends such as Dee Snider, Scorpions and Anthrax playing alongside a number of festival favourites including Evil Scarecrow and Sabaton. This year also saw many new additions being welcomed into the Bloodstock family in the likes of Queensrÿche and The Wildhearts, as well as Thy Art is Murder and fellow countrymen, and Saturday headliners, Parkway Drive. Who despite some unfortunate pre-festival grumblings online by some questioning the bands headlining chops, came out all guns blazing and gave an explosive performance that many in attendance, myself included, will not likely forget in a hurry.

However, this year was also not without its fair share of challenges. Sporadic downpours across the weekend caused one or two spontaneous migrations back to the cover of tents or one or the other indoor stages. The winds on Saturday even threatening to end the party early, with the main stage forced to temporarily shut down. But in true Bloodstock fashion all was back up and running soon after and following some slight line-up shuffling the weekend was back on track. In a generous move by organisers, Saturday wristband holders were also allowed continued entry through to Sunday so as to be able to catch the triumphant Bloodstock return of Cradle of Filth, who’s Saturday slot had been an unfortunate casualty of the aforementioned stage closures.

Overall the festival continues it’s record of being a go to for many metal fans. It’s embrace of heavy metal of all kinds mixed with the friendly atmosphere make it a hard one to match. So, despite the odd challenge along the way Bloodstock Open Air 2019 proved once again to be one hell of a fun weekend.

All words and photography by William Mawdsley

Barbarian Hermit:

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Blind River:

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Anakim:

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Death of Kai:

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Sulpher:

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Xentrix:

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Children of Bodom:

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Incite:

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Tesseract:

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Control the Storm:

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Metal Church:

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Tomorrow is Lost:

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Death Angel:

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Sabaton:

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Widows:

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