As I have been doing since 2015, I will once again be attending one of the best metal festivals in the UK – Bloodstock Open Air! I have very much been a fan of folk and power metal for several years now, and I am always a little disheartened at the lack of proper representation of these genres. However this year there are some power metal titans gracing the Ronnie James Dio stage, as well as some more power and folk metal on the Sophie Lancaster stage. I’ve also seen some absolute gems on the lineup of bands I haven’t listened to in years, or bands I don’t really know but have heard great things about their live shows.
This preview is all about the Ronnie James Dio stage, named after a metal legend who is sadly no longer with us.
Check out my Sophie Lancaster Stage preview here, my preview for the Hobgoblin New Blood and Jagermeister stages here, and finally, my Things to Do and Festival advice post here.
You can still buy tickets for Bloodstock here (Fanshare link).
Please check out my Spotify playlist here, where you can listen to a couple of track from (almost) every band on the lineup!
One of my favourite bands of all time and absolute heavy metal titans, Sabaton, will be headlining the Ronnie James Dio stage on the Friday night. There’s sure to be pyro, oodles of enthusiams, and of course, tanks! I have been a massive Sabaton fan for years now, and after seeing them several times they never fail to put on an absolutely amazing live show. I even have a suitable Sabaton outfit ready for the occasion. (Check my Facebook post below). This will probably be the first year I’m not on the barrier (because it’s a tough place to get to), but nevertheless I will be singing and shouting and jumping throughout their entire set. The band recently released their latest album The Great War (available here), and we are sure to get some instant classics from them. I will probably cry, I have no shame.
Buy Sabaton music and merch: https://store.sabaton.net
Listen to Sabaton on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3o2dn2O0FCVsWDFSh8qxgG
Follow Sabaton on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sabaton/
Sabaton website: https://www.sabaton.net/
Just before Sabaton play, we have yet another power metal titan with Powerwolf on the Ronnie James Dio stage. I have unfortunately not yet seen Powerwolf live, but with the music I love and the theatrics I’ve seen through their music videos, we’re all sure to be in for a treat! They have so many catchy tracks, after these guys and Sabaton I’m not sure I’m going to have a voice left for the rest of the weekend!
Buy Powerwolf music and merch: https://www.powerwolf-shop.com/
Listen to Powerwolf on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5HFkc3t0HYETL4JeEbDB1v
Follow Powerwolf on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/powerwolfmetal/
Powerwolf website: https://www.powerwolf.net/
Dimmu Borgir are one of those bands which I have dipped in and out of over the years. Their music is dark and mysterious while also having those orchestral elements which lifts it out of the harsh black metal which I’ve honestly never really found a place in my heart for yet. I have seen a few live and music videos, and I am really looking forward to seeing a live performance in person. I expect the atmosphere will be phenomenal. I’m not sure if this is correct (I haven’t seen anything direct from source), but they may be bringing a full orchestra with them, and that will definitely not be something to miss! Dimmu Borgir will be playing the Ronnie James Dio stage on the Sunday.
Buy Dimmu Borgir music and merch: https://dimmuborgir.bravado.de/
Listen to Dimmu Borgir on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6e8ISIsI7UQZPyEorefAhK
Follow Dimmu Borgir on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dimmuborgir/
Dimmu Borgir website: https://www.dimmu-borgir.com/
Well, it just wouldn’t be an excellent year at Bloodstock without house band Evil Scarecrow. I’ve seen these guys at a few festivals, and at their own show in York last year (they’re a lovely bunch of guys too). If you’re looking for serious metal songs, I’m not sure Evil Scarecrow are quite right for you. If, however, you’re looking to be a crab or robot, know how it feels to be in zero gravity, or even be an extreme weather phenomenon, then this is exactly what you need. There is sure to be a packed out field when these guys play on the Saturday. I’ve chosen a live video to show you, just so you can see how much orderly chaos occurs when these guys take to the stage!
Buy Evil Scarecrow music and merch: http://www.evilscarecrow.co.uk/merch.html
Listen to Evil Scarecrow on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1SxULWBMeC87rRdPznDSYm
Follow Evil Scarecrow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Evil.Scarecrow/
Evil Scarecrow website: http://www.evilscarecrow.co.uk/
Soulfly are certainly not a band that you would expect me to listen to, but way back in the day I used to be a big nu-metal fan (slowly loses cool points). But that was the music that I grew up with, and so there is a special place in my heart for bands of that style and genre when I get the opportunity to see them. Soulfly is one of those bands. I never really listened to them back in the day properly as a band, but there are a few tracks that I used to listen to. I’m hoping for a nostalgia trip when they play the Ronnie James Dio stage on the Friday.
Buy Soulfly music and merch: https://www.omerch.eu/shop/soulfly
Listen to Soulfly on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6159IBm5gLPwG4BcJXseXc
Follow Soulfly on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SoulflyOfficial/
Soulfly website: http://www.soulfly.com/
Some honourable mentions go to Scorpions (music and merch, Facebook, Spotify), Children of Bodom (music and merch, Facebook, Spotify), Cradle of Filth (music and merch, Facebook, Spotify), and The Wildhearts (music and merch, Facebook, Spotify).