What's wrong with Bloodstock

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Tet
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What's wrong with Bloodstock

Postby Tet » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:47 pm

I posted this on Facebook, but since one of my complaints was about the dying off of the forum and the community around it, I thought I should also post it here so people can discuss it. Yes, it's a long read. Live with it - or skip it, your choice :-)

Bloodstock has long been my favourite festival. But it's lost much of its shine in recent years. I'm not alone in thinking that. So what's gone wrong? A number of things, but by far the biggest one has to be the lineup. Here's a summary in graphical form:

Image

I've split it up in very broad terms into three groups, shown as a percentage of the total number of bands playing on the main stage. Firstly bands I like, those that I listen to on a reasonably regular basis and would go and see were they playing locally. Then there are bands I don't mind. I'm quite happy to listen to them, but they might not be enough of a draw on their own for me to see them live. Other bands on the same bill might tip the balance, but I probably wouldn't go out of my way to see them on their own. Thirdly, there are bands that I really don't like. I'd never voluntarily listen to them, and I wouldn't see them live unless they happened to be playing with another band that was compelling enough for me to buy a ticket to the show.

As with any festival, there are years when the lineup is more to my tastes and years when it's less so. But for the first few years of its outdoor existence, the festival was pretty good for me, with a good mix of bands. As the festival's grown, more bands have been playing each year, so you'd expect the totals to even out a bit over time, and that largely seemed to happen until 2011. But what happened in 2012? The mix of bands took a huge nosedive for my tastes. As a largely optimistic person, I assumed it was a one-off and waited for the following year. But 2013 wasn't great either. Various people had voiced their concerns, but the official word from the organisers was that it was just a case of various bands being unavailable at the right time and the right price and that future years would be different. Here we are, several years down the line, and even my natural optimism has been exhausted. I no longer believe this is just a random set of circumstances that have caused the festival to book fewer bands that suit my tastes. The chances of that having happened by chance for four successive years seem extremely slim, and I've come to believe it represents a deliberate change in booking policy.

Whether that's bad for the festival as a whole is another thing. The number of attendees is rising each year, so they must be doing something right. Growing the festival means booking a wider range of genres, and I'm fine with that. I think they could have done so without throwing their core fanbase under the bus, however, which is what they seem to have done. Oh, and speaking of growing the festival, there may be some that would claim it's about more than just the main stage. That's true. However, I re-did the graph to include both the main and second stage, and the numbers came out even less favourably. And while I've found some real gems on the unsigned stage (and also seen a lot of shit), the reality is that I don't go to a festival to see unknown bands, so I'm not going to include them.

On the subject of genres, I've heard from a few of the Bloodstock team that genres are meaningless and that it's all metal. Frankly, that's bollocks, and I have little respect for anyone that claims that. Genres are useful labels that help people discuss in broad terms what a band sounds like. Nothing more. Yes, like everything else, it can be taken too far. But Dying Fetus sound very different to Europe, and claiming they're all metal helps nobody. If I like one, I might also like the other, but the chances are slim. However, if I like one band in a genre, the chances are much higher that I'll like another band in the same genre. If someone's complaining that there's too little power metal or symphonic metal or brutal lesbian purplecore metal or whatever, the correct response should not be to claim that those genres don't exist (OK, so the last one probably doesn't, but the point stands).

What else is wrong? Well, I worry that the Bloodstock team are reacting badly to criticism. I've been unfriended on facebook by some of them after being accused of being too negative. Now I don't worry about that in itself. I couldn't care less whether they want to read my ramblings or not. But surely you might want to take that criticism on board and try and make things better, rather than shutting out those that are telling you what's wrong? This attitude is exemplified in their dismissal of the Bloodstock forum. The forum created a community around the festival. Like any other community, it had its good elements and its bad. But by and large, it was populated with people that cared about the festival. Since 2012, there has been an increasing amount of criticism of the festival on the forum. The response has been to just ignore the forum altogether. I've been told by several of the organisers that they no longer even look at the forum, and ignore anything that's posted there. It's too negative, apparently. They hate everything. So much for "by the fans, for the fans". For all its faults, the forum is populated by a core group that go to the festival. The Facebook page, on the other hand, which seems to be beloved of the organising team is liked by masses of people, a tiny fraction of whom will ever buy a ticket and attend the festival. Perhaps if there's criticism, it's because things are problems that could do with addressing. Hiding in a crowd of yes-men on Facebook that will tell you everything's great might make you feel good, but IMHO it's not the right approach.

Speaking of the forum, what a disaster! For several years, a community that supports the festival has built up. Last month, they took the forum down for over 2 weeks "for upgrades". From my perspective as an IT professional, that's literally inexcusable. The upgrades in question seem to be giving up on the forum and handing it off to a third party rather than running it in house. The third party in question, Forumatic, seems to run it on servers that simply aren't up to the task. It's now dog slow and where a page would previously load almost instantaneously, it now takes up to 10 seconds or so. Anyone in the web usability business will tell you that anything more than a couple of seconds leads to a significantly downgraded user experience, and people just won't bother. Then there's the updated look of the site. It's *dreadful*. It's like someone's let a child loose with crayons. It's so garish and unpleasant on the eye that it's actively driving users away. There have been some minor improvements since the relaunch, but it's still hideous. I've had to come up with a custom style sheet to make it look better, reducing the contrast, making a clear visual separation between posts, etc. But while that works, it's not something that new visitors to the site are going to see, and it's not something that will work on the majority of mobile devices. If the festival wanted to drive away the community that it's acquired, then the current state of the forum is a great way to go about it.

What else? Well, I'll freely admit that I'm biased on this, but WTF are Triaxis doing opening up the Sophie stage? The band blew me away when I first saw them in 2009 and I've followed them ever since. I'm overjoyed that they're playing the festival this year, and indeed, they were the tipping point that guaranteed my attendance this year. But they've done everything right. They've put in the work, toured the country, playing shitty little venues, building up support to get to where they are now - a band on their third full album, with an established fan base. Frankly, giving them the opening slot is something of an insult. What more do they need to do to get a higher slot? So much for Bloodstock's claims of a commitment to supporting up and coming bands. I wouldn't mind were the rest of the lineup stellar and populated by bands that were obviously bigger. But no, I haven't seen a single request for the bands playing immediately above them. Indeed, I haven't found anyone that's even heard of those bands. I can only assume they've been placed there due to record company money. I appreciate the commercial realities of running a festival may necessitate such things, but it still leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth. For the record, I'm not the only one to have noticed this discrepancy, and others have been even more vocal about it than I have, even those that aren't as big fans of the band as I am. It really does stick out like a sore thumb, possibly the worst misplacement of a band since Sabaton's ridiculously early slot in 2009.

I've been going to Bloodstock every year since it first started in 2001. I know several of the organisers of the festival, who on the whole have been very good to me. Indeed, I can point to several bands over the years that I know have been booked specifically on my say so, and for that I remain very grateful. Some of them, if they read this, will no doubt be unimpressed. Tet's being negative yet again and sounding like a broken record. Maybe so. But I like to think I have cause to do so. I'm not just complaining for the sake of it. The festival remains very close to my heart, and I want to make it the best that it can be. The balance of bands is simply poor, whether it be the overabundance of thrash bands that we had a couple of years ago or the excess of what I heard someone amusingly describe as "beard metal". Sure, some genres are more popular than others and the lineup should reflect that. Maybe groove and death metal are dominant in the metal world today (I'm not convinced, but let's run with it). But it's possible to represent those genres without completely screwing over those of us that prefer things from the more melodic end of the metal spectrum. Why have Bloodstock chosen not to do so? Your guess is as good as mine. Folk metal fans have similarly suffered in recent years, and I have to feel sorry for glam metal fans who have been overlooked for a very long time now.

Within Temptation last played at Bloodstock in 2005 and they went down well. They return to headline the Saturday this year, and I fully expect them to go down like a lead balloon. Why? Well because there isn't a single other band playing on the Saturday that will appeal to the vast majority of the 9000 or so that saw them at Wembley last year. Filling the rest of the day with death, black and grindcore bands is almost setting WT up to fail. I know several people that like the band and would have gone to see them, even if only on a day ticket rather than the full weekend, but won't because of the rest of the lineup. That sentiment is true of the festival in general. It used to be a great weekend of music and catching up with friends. But the social aspect has dramatically decreased for me. The change in lineups has pushed away many of those with whom I used to socialize and they no longer attend the festival. The organisers will no doubt point to some of the relatively poor crowds for the more melodic bands in recent years as a justification to not book more. But it's not that simple. If there isn't enough else on the bill to get fans of melodic metal to buy a ticket, then of course the melodic bands aren't going to go down as well. It's a two way street.

Well, this has ended up being somewhat longer than I expected. I'll end with a couple of quotes from others. Big D used to be a regular at the festival and on the forums. On his blog, describing the last festival he attended, he wrote "I hung around the Bloodstock forums for another five years before realising that I didn't really belong there anymore and walked away. Another chapter closed." I hope that's not part of my future. I *want* Bloodstock to be somewhere that I belong. Maybe the festival's change in direction will leave me behind and it'll be commercially successful but not something I want to attend. But I do believe it's possible to avoid that fate. My friend Lorraine has always gone to the festival, as have I. In previous years when asked if she was going to Bloodstock, the answer would always be an immediate "of course". Now she says it's changed to "I hope so". That perfectly sums up how I feel. I *want* it to be a fantastic weekend, and a festival for which I can buy a ticket in the knowledge that it'll be great. That used to be the case in the past. Will it be the case again in the future? I hope so.
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Re: What's wrong with Bloodstock

Postby houston4044 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:14 pm

The last time I saw a graph like that and a whole essay someone was trying to convince me to vote Conservative...

You make some compelling points but also less compelling points but on the whole I see where your coming from. The one thing I will say in defense of the organizers in terms of online presence is that at least they haven't done a Copping on social media (swearing and insulting people :lol: ).

At the end of the day though, it's a business and money talks; even if they alienate their core fan base so long as attendance grows then they're aren't going to change their current plans. I used to be a big supporter of Soni, and due to the lack of communication, lack of certainty and my change in musical tastes I've drifted away from that scene for the most part. However after that I decided to take it at face value, if a festival provides a great line up and is affordable then i'll go, unless the festival itself is a shambles I'm not going to be swayed by sentiment or how the organizer treatment.

I feel sorry for you that the festival isn't what you used to be but even with the odd wtf thing surrounding BOA2015 I'll still be going.

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Re: What's wrong with Bloodstock

Postby bloodblind » Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:03 pm

My only complaint is the headliners, everything else is pretty awesome. Last year was all round awesome and I regret missing 2013. I have been intrested in going 2011 and 2013 also, earlier than that I would have gone too, it looks great most years I've looked at. I think you are too hard to please, I know your type and yes the majority of the forum is too negative. Like I said I can't fault them at BOA except for headliners this year and toilets last year. I wonder sometimes when I read peoples posts if they even like metal, especially succesful metal bands

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Re: What's wrong with Bloodstock

Postby metaldinosaur » Wed Jul 08, 2015 9:26 pm

That was clearly a really heartfelt post.


What has been done to the forum recently is really poor - shutting it down for so long is really going to hurt it. However; while people, such as yourself still care enough to put arguments like that forward I do not think this forum will die.

I must admit I don't post that often on here, but I almost never post anywhere on the internet apart from here, so I really appreciate that its still around. This is one of the very few places to find interesting and intelligent discussion by the vast majority of members.

If what you say about the forum now been ignored is true, then that makes me sad. The endless, incoherent chatter on facebook is not necessarily the best arbiter of paying customers. Yes it has numbers - vast numbers - on its side but the disposability of it all is something to be cautious of. That type of media with give its opinion but not its thoughts.

As for the festival itself I do agree with you, to an extent at least. I have the advantage of a relatively broad taste in metal, which has, for the last few years seemingly 'protected me' from the changes Bloodstock has made. However, this year is the first year since 2008 that I will not be attending through choice, the lineup just doesn't have anything special enough to entice me. I too have found myself hoping that this is just a set of booking problems, but as you say, these changes have been going on for a while. This festival opened me up to Power/melodic Metal, through accidentally (!!!!) catching bands like Sabaton, Therion, and Pythia among others. Unfortunately, as my tastes have moved towards Bloodstocks original remit, Bloodstock itself has moved - to an extent - away.

My hope is that if the festival continues to grow it will be able to have a proper second stage and more bands that are more in tune with the fests traditional values begin to re-emerge. For example, Hellfests version of your graph wouldn't look too different for me, in terms of percentages, but the number of bands I would want to see is actually very high. But that is a big jump in size.

Till then I will continue to hold out hope for Booking's to go my way next year.
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Re: What's wrong with Bloodstock

Postby JB65 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:02 pm

Pretty much sums up how I look at BOA these days, the last few years seem to have not drawn me to want to go. Last year I bought my ticket the night before and picked it up at the gate, it was a last minute decision as a few of my friends were already going. This year, none of us are going. Last year I watched 1 of the headliners on the main stage, I doubt I'd watch one this year. Something else I noticed too, where as a few years ago our group would watch pretty much everything together, with the odd one of us popping off to watch something on the other stage, now it seems that the younger ones will go off and watch the likes of Hatebreed/Biohazzard while the older ones will go and watch Old Corpse Road or Winterfylleth. Bloodstock always had a good feel to it but it feels like it's drifting into the commercial mainstream. As for the forum, I really don't know why they have a wish list. do they ever look at it?

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Re: What's wrong with Bloodstock

Postby bloodblind » Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:24 pm

Also regarding the original post. The fact you are bleating on about Triaxis so much proves to me you have pretty shit taste in music in my opinion and I'm sure many others would back me up. Triaxis are godawful, the video of there's I watched on youtube was dire. But you have made some fair points in the rest of the post, I do agree that it appears to be heading down the more commercial route with some of the bands booked. However there is still a good amount of really good bands to watch on the smaller stages when something unfavourable is on the mainstage, maybe the exception being with the headliners on the main stage this year. I just don't get that at all. To say that Slayer and King Diamond in 2013 and Megadeth, Down and Emperor in 2014 were a step in the wrong direction which many on here seem to agree with baffles me. really? It's not that bad, lighten up. I can't stand the headliners this year and would love some really good quality trad metal and power metal again as well but maybe next year. Just to give me an example who would you have been over the moon with as headliners this year and maybe three other bands, just out of interest ?

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Re: What's wrong with Bloodstock

Postby CharlesDexterWard » Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:45 am

It is a difficult one and I can see where some of the concerns come from.

The headliners are bad and I will only watch Rob Zombie but there is enough treasure on the bill to keep me interested.
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Re: What's wrong with Bloodstock

Postby Noodle » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:18 am

tl;dr

Lack of communication with and perceived respect for those making the effort to connect and give feedback via the dedicated website, at least beyond the few days following the festival.

Agreed.

Certain organisers are pretty thin skinned and liable to lash out emotionally at critisism, constructive or otherwise.

Agreed.

Lack of perceived balance on the line up.

Sort of agree. Hasn't BOA usually had difficulty with that? Remember "Too much melodeath" back in what, 08? Thrashfest. Too much death metal, etc. Balance is always tricky to get right. Perhaps also worth mentioning that my own band schedule is probably going to keep me in the arena most of the time.



So, Tet, what you've basically done with Bloodstock is try to adopt it as your child. You met it at birth and the hormone rush helped create the bond. You put time, effort and money in, dirty nappies, upholstery ruining vomit and all, vitamins (I'm a new parent. This is all I know at the moment. Let me run with my analogy) to give it the best start in life. You've held its hand through its troubled toddler years, put up with its yelling in your ears, laughed with it, at it, gone on holiday with it.

All the while you've known it's somebody else's baby, who have always had the ultimate say over what it does. It's now at its late teen stages. You noticed it hit the hormonal puberty stage a few years back, perhaps knowing at the back of your mind that the natural progression was leading to the point where you can do no more as it begins to furrow its own path into the world. You will still always want to be there for it and will always want try, but it's... changed.

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Re: What's wrong with Bloodstock

Postby mathewxentrix88 » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:37 am

bloodblind wrote:Also regarding the original post. The fact you are bleating on about Triaxis so much proves to me you have pretty shit taste in music in my opinion and I'm sure many others would back me up. Triaxis are godawful, the video of there's I watched on youtube was dire. But you have made some fair points in the rest of the post, I do agree that it appears to be heading down the more commercial route with some of the bands booked. However there is still a good amount of really good bands to watch on the smaller stages when something unfavourable is on the mainstage, maybe the exception being with the headliners on the main stage this year. I just don't get that at all. To say that Slayer and King Diamond in 2013 and Megadeth, Down and Emperor in 2014 were a step in the wrong direction which many on here seem to agree with baffles me. really? It's not that bad, lighten up. I can't stand the headliners this year and would love some really good quality trad metal and power metal again as well but maybe next year. Just to give me an example who would you have been over the moon with as headliners this year and maybe three other bands, just out of interest ?

The Triaxis thing has nothing to do with personal taste-it's the fact that they have been around long enough and have enough of a fan base to deserve a higher position on the bill than one or two others who almost literally nobody has even heard of.
Tet is absolutely right about the balance of the festival,thrash is my favourite genre and i'll probably watch nearly all of the thrash bands this year-but there is far too much of it in proportion to other genres-especially power/trad/doom (among others).
On the subject of power metal-it was an important genre for the fest at its inception and many of Bloodstock's original (and loyal) fans have been royally shafted over the last few years in that respect.Last year the organizers said something along the lines of "bad timing,unavailability of bands etc" to justify the tiny amount of power metal on the bill but promised to make it right-well they haven't.
The forum shutdown was a joke-nobody can dispute that.They closed it down for two weeks when the work could (i have been reliably told) have been done in a day-tops.When it came back online we were faced with a banner saying "Forum down for maintenance" or something similar-when that wasn't the case.They don't really want the forums going because we moan-or at least seem to disagree with the organisers on a lot of things anyway.The majority of folk on here are knowledgeable-and just as importantly LOVE the festival (and actually turn up to it as opposed to plenty of people who voice their opinions on the F.B page) so deserve at least a little respect.
The one thing i don't agree with Tet on is that he reckons Within Temptation are heading for a fall and that the organisers are secretly hoping that to be the case so they don't have to book any bands of that ilk for the future.W.T MAY not get the crowd they should but no way would the Bloodstock team book such a lop-sided and unbalanced Saturday to sabotage the headliner.As we all know by now-it's about selling tickets-so i'm guessing the absence of another band that day to appeal to fans of W.T (and garner more day-ticket sales) is just another unintentional cock-up.
Anyway-i'm going this year-and always will if the lineup is to my taste but persuading my mates-and the wife!-to come with me if is gonna get more difficult year-on-year if the lineups don't become a bit more balanced.
Last thing-Bloodstock does a lot of things right-lets not forget that-and it's a great festival-but to ignore the forum when people such as Tet (among many others) have genuine points to be made-isn't too clever in my eyes.

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Re: What's wrong with Bloodstock

Postby Skippy » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:49 am

I find myself completely agreeing with most of your points Tet. I will say that I don't think the Facebook page is quite the bunch of yes-men you make them out to be, a huge chunk still think the festival is going down the shitter, they'll just say "Trivium is for faggots" rather than post a long, and quite well-argued post about it.

Trying to convince someone else that there's any issues is kind of difficult though. Look at bloodbind's post above. The solution of "just go watch some of the good bands on the lower stages" doesn't work so well when the lower stages are ALL death metal and hardcore bands and your not interested in that. This year I'm perfectly content with the mainstage, bar the fact that they need more melodic bands on the Saturday to apeal to Within Temptation fans (and that could almost be solved by switching Delain and 1349 around, which I think most people would be much happier with anyway). The sophie stage has far too many unknown bands that could probably fit in just as well on the new blood, and the new blood looks like it'll be all hardcore, metalcore and a bit of thrash when it's done.

Trouble is these are all based around "what I like"'s, and there's not really much you can do to quantify it. You can say "this festival needs more melodic metal", but then do you count bands like Agalloch under that? You could maybe even include Trivium, which is pretty much definitely not what fans of melodic metal are thinking of.

There's definitely been a shift in focus. My first year was 2010, and then it seemed like it was trying to be a mini-Wacken. Now, the fact that the top 6 bands all played Download just last year tells it's own story. Sure, there are still some gems hidden around, but the top 6 bands should signal your intent, and this year they give off a pretty strong one.
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Re: What's wrong with Bloodstock

Postby Gandalf the Red » Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:16 am

I haven't read any of these long posts yet. I'll sit down and have a good perusal later.

But I'll just say that if it wasn't for one or two rarities then I certainly wouldn't be attending this year. Dark Angel and Armored Saint being the main draws in that respect. The rest of the mainstage line up? If you haven't seen most of those bands in the last three years or so then I suggest you get out more. :lol:
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Re: What's wrong with Bloodstock

Postby mathewxentrix88 » Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:18 am

Skippy wrote:I find myself completely agreeing with most of your points Tet. I will say that I don't think the Facebook page is quite the bunch of yes-men you make them out to be, a huge chunk still think the festival is going down the shitter, they'll just say "Trivium is for faggots" rather than post a long, and quite well-argued post about it.

Trying to convince someone else that there's any issues is kind of difficult though. Look at bloodbind's post above. The solution of "just go watch some of the good bands on the lower stages" doesn't work so well when the lower stages are ALL death metal and hardcore bands and your not interested in that. This year I'm perfectly content with the mainstage, bar the fact that they need more melodic bands on the Saturday to apeal to Within Temptation fans (and that could almost be solved by switching Delain and 1349 around, which I think most people would be much happier with anyway). The sophie stage has far too many unknown bands that could probably fit in just as well on the new blood, and the new blood looks like it'll be all hardcore, metalcore and a bit of thrash when it's done.

Trouble is these are all based around "what I like"'s, and there's not really much you can do to quantify it. You can say "this festival needs more melodic metal", but then do you count bands like Agalloch under that? You could maybe even include Trivium, which is pretty much definitely not what fans of melodic metal are thinking of.

There's definitely been a shift in focus. My first year was 2010, and then it seemed like it was trying to be a mini-Wacken. Now, the fact that the top 6 bands all played Download just last year tells it's own story. Sure, there are still some gems hidden around, but the top 6 bands should signal your intent, and this year they give off a pretty strong one.

It's definitely about getting a more balanced lineup as opposed to complaining about "I don't like bands X,Y or Z".You have said it yourself-there are too many 'core' bands and thrash and not enough melodic bands.
I like power metal,especially Powerwolf,Gamma Ray and Gloryhammer,however i don't like Astral Doors or Angra but if Bloodstock booked either of those two bands it will look like they are at least trying to do something for the power metal fans-in which case i wouldn't have anything to moan about-only my only particular taste within that genre.
Sunday aside-this year's lineup is great for me so i'm not complaining for the sake of it,but the balance of genres is seriously wrong for many.

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Re: What's wrong with Bloodstock

Postby BLAKEYBLOKIZARD » Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:59 am

So many valid points in this thread it's hard to acknowledge them all.

Whoever said get a proper second stage to accommodate the old school fans is dead on. However, I can't help but think this would bring the price of a ticket up to like £200, then all of a sudden Bloodstock will be competing with download even more so. As we can see with Sonisphere, there simply isn't room for two festivals of this price range with such a crossover of fans.

They're better off just filling the niche that they filled from 06-11, why do they have to be greedy and expand anyway? They could always expand the site, giving punters more ways to spend money once they're there, rather than getting more punters in.

If I was running the festival, I'd much rather have a small but loyal fanbase than a wildly inconsistent, fluctuating bunch.
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Re: What's wrong with Bloodstock

Postby i0th » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:54 pm

I don't disagree with most of your points and if I did a graph I'd probably get similar results. However I'm not sure "wrong" is the right term. Sure for me I'd love it to be a weekend of power/NWOBHM/speed/folk and it was more like that previously but if they want a bigger festival (and clearly they do) they can't stay in those roots as the UK just doesn't support that big a fan-base for that music as we're all obsessed with Americana.

I do wonder how much is a conscious choice to move away from Bloodstock's history. It's not run by the same people anymore and don't kids always want to strike out away from their parents?

I don't know the answers, I'm coming this year and I'll have a great weekend but there's not many bands I'm really looking forward to (and two of them I saw on tour together last year).

Oh I really can't see them deliberately booking WT on a not very melodic day in order to hope they fail to pull a crowd. That just doesn't make sense.
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Re: What's wrong with Bloodstock

Postby someone else » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:10 pm

There were some responses to this post from the organisers on FB and I can see both sides of the arguments - this will be my 13th Bloodstock, so like Tet I've seen most of the changes, and the changes to this board, which I've been a member of since my first in 2005.

Some of the changes are very noticeable - in terms of the festival growing, only a tiny number of bands have 'kept up' (Nightwish and WT) since they played in the early days, with former headliners down to 40 min slots. There are only a handful of PM bands that play outside of London, and that the summer festival season offer better deals on the mainland than coming here for one 40 min slot, that could be done where offers are thinner on the ground, probably why the Hammerfests etc get bands like Kamelot and Candlemass and we don't. Also, I presume there's lots of deals that go along the lines of 'You want band A to play, fine, but I also look after bands B and C, and D want a later slot' - I believe this happens in venues up and down the country aswell, with clubs having to take on potentially loss making gigs to get the moneyspinners.

As for the forum, the traffic has been much lower anyway - when someone posted links to the boards at certain timeframes, the posts on the wishlist were about a third of what they were only as far back as 2012, and the bookings htat are 'controversial' on here rarely are on the day. Most of the people who posted on here from the Indoor days deserted the board long before Machine Head were booked, so who's opinion counts more, the small percentage of posters from the 800 who went to the first BOA, or the even smaller percentage of the 13,200 more who went to the last one. Even the metal discussion boards is fairly stagnant, occaisionally only Metalalchemyst's poll threads breaking up the 'last album I played' threads.
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