Not including the headliners, Bloodstock are as wildly unpredictable in the bookings as ever. Since BOA 2010, I can count on one hand the number of bands that I have genuinely, 100% enjoyed without a fault - The factors here being the setlist, length of time on stage, sound being clear enough to tell one song from another etc. The last three years in particular have been pretty devoid of the sort of bands that initially drew me to the festival in the first place, but then this years announcements rolled around, and the three bands that drew me to BOA 2010 (Korpiklaani, Ensiferum, Cannibal Corpse) have all been announced, and they're even playing in roughly the same time slots as they were in 2010.
For about four years now I've been a broken record over the lack of main stage Folk, and all of a sudden a festival that had slowly become a 'get hammered with your mates in some fields' instead of a 'music' festival adds some of my favorite bands to the lineup, and I'm here getting all nostalgic. Are Bloodstock also going to arrange a thunderstorm to start the Thursday afternoon?
I've only seen two headliners in six BOA's, so I'm not in any position to comment on them, but for me the worst change I've seen at the festival is the rise of what I've come to call ''the arsehole factor''. It used to be the case that you could have a wonder around Midgard and generally get to know just about any group that you could find, the last three years I've found that folks are much less inclined to be friendly to folks outside their immediate social group - and That's even when you've got a crate of beer at hand. I know it's long odds, but maybe I've just been stumbling into pretentious sorts, but they're not the ones who are bothering me.
It's the occasional chavvy-shite begging for a 'quid' in the campsite, the boy who's so out of place at the festival that he calls you a 'sicko' for wearing a Cannibal Corpse T-Shirt, the trio of blokes on the thursday who walk past your campsite along the path following a girl who's all by herself while calling her a fat C*nt and joking how they all want to fuck her. It's this shite that's putting me off Bloodstock year after year, and the last three things I mentioned all happened this year gone. There hasn't been a day in the last three festivals where I haven't had the misfortune of seeing people acting like total and utter scumbags to the point where the wife had to employ some powerful persuasion to stop me from utterly battering somebody. There has been a shift in the demographic, it may be small, but it's gotten to the point where I'm never relaxed at Bloodstock anymore, kind of the same feeling you get around dodgy council estates.
So long as they put one or two bands on every year that I can go nutters to, I'm happy. Just don't like to see so many squalid types loitering about the place and generally making me feel uncomfortable.
I looked into the eye of the fish.
BOA 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
Hammerfest 12, 13, 14, 15
BEER, BEER, BEERMAGEDDON! 14'