Bloodstock Open Air (BOA) 2022 is almost upon us. Kicking off on Thursday the 11th of August, this most metal of all festivals runs until Sunday the 14th, damaging necks, air guitar strings, and bank accounts along the way. After Covid put paid to the 2020 festival, an admirably safety-conscious BOA returned with a five day bang last year! (read our review of BOA 2021 review here), selling out weekend passes well in advance and things promise to be just as busy this time.
As ever, the entertainment begins on the Thursday evening, Swedish melodeath merchants Dark Tranquillity headlining the Sophie Lancaster Stage before the Ronnie James Dio Stage opens the next day. Friday’s main stage headliners are Polish blackened death metal maniacs Behemoth while Saturday’s top spot is taken by Danish legends Mercyful Fate. Oh, and any chance of a nice, quiet Sunday evening is going to be utterly ruined by the magnificently brutal Lamb of God.
Main stage support comes from Bay Area thrashers Testament (Friday), Norwegian symphonic black metallers Dimmu Borgir (Saturday) and the UK’s own Killing Joke (Sunday), the likes of Exodus, Gwar, Vio-Lence,
Sacred Reich has dropped out, now with Sylosis in their place, Jinjer, Doyle, Bury Tomorrow, Bloodywood, Life of Agony, Venom Inc., Dark Funeral, Malevolence, Sleep Token, Cattle Decapitation, Sorcerer, Nekrogoblikon, Lorna Shore, Butcher Babies, Party Cannon, All Hail The Yeti, Nanowar of Steel, The Night Flight Orchestra, Eyehategod, Heathen, Belphegor, Ill Niño, Avatar, Discharge, Samael, Ingested, Soen, and Heart of a Coward among the many, many other highlights of what promises to be an incredibly noisy and possibly not entirely alcohol-free weekend.
As ever, the New Blood Stage will feature some the best up-and-coming grass roots talent, acts like FyreSky, Tribe of Ghosts, Pariah, Fornoth, Sulvain, I Fight Bears, Apollyon, Collected, Karma’s Puppet, Nømadus, Collapse the Sky, Must Kill, Verminthrone, Existentialist, Imperium, and Catalysis all taken from the various heats of the annual nationwide Metal 2 The Masses competition. On top of all this, the Jagermeister Stage will feature bands such as Certain Death, The Kunts, Acid Throne, Master Charger, Swamp Coffin, Tooms, Deadlock Saints, Solar Sons, Boz, Warlock AD, and Lore of the Woodman, and there will be entertainment on the Sophie Lancaster Stage long after the bands have finished.
All Covid restrictions have been lifted for this year, but if you feel uncomfortable then face coverings etc are welcomed without any fear of judgement as Bloodstock employs a strict zero tolerance policy on harassment of any kind. Any kind of physical or verbal abuse directed towards gender, sexual orientation, age, body size, disability, religion etc will simply not be tolerated.This also applies to physical assault and/or battery, harassing or non-consensual photography or recording, bathroom policing, inappropriate physical contact, or unwelcome physical attention. Bloodstock has always been a safe environment, so let’s keep it that way.
Any other information regarding the festival can be found on https://www.bloodstock.uk.com/
So, with only a few days to go, air those tents and sleeping bags, smash open the piggy bank for merch, food and beer, and most importantly of all, make sure you pray for good weather. Buckle up, it’s going to be another wild (and hopefully sunny) weekend at Catton Hall.
WORDS BY GARY ALCOCK