KK’s Priest Replaces Helloween for Bloodstock Open Air, Festival Kicks Off Today 


Final preparations are ready for this weekend’s Bloodstock Open Air, kicking off today, the 10th of August through the 14th at Catton Park, Derbyshire. Sad news as Helloween has been forced out of the fest due to a last-minute illness. They are being replaced by KK’s Priest, led by former Judas Priest guitarist KK Downing. BOA ‘s2023 Ronnie James Dio Main Stage Headliners are Killswitch Engage, Meshuggah, and Megadeth. with the full band list below. 


With the sun shining, and dare we say it, the weather forecast looking good, the final site preparations are underway for everyone to blast through the (un)holy gates of Bloodstock from tomorrow! Bloodstock has a final update for you with some last-minute band news and a couple of special events on-site.


Firstly, the festival is very disappointed to share that Helloween have been forced to pull out of their set on Sunday. The band said, “The heavy storms in Slovenia (our thoughts are with the flood victims) and cloudbursts in Wacken couldn’t harm us – we played all our scheduled shows and celebrated together with our loyal fans. Much more difficult for us is now to inform you that we have to cancel the upcoming festival gigs at the Hellsinki Metal Festival in Finland and Bloodstock  Open Air in the UK due to an acute laryngitis our singer Michael Kiske is suffering of. We did make this decision with a lot of consideration and with heavy hearts but Michael’s condition unfortunately does not leave us any other choice. Thanks for your understanding.”


Bloodstock have been working extremely hard to pull in a replacement at short notice, and are pleased to share that heavy metal experts KK’s Priest will be joining the Ronnie James Dio bill on Sunday. The band’s set will consist of KK Downing’s extensive catalogue including Judas Priest classics, KK’s Priest debut album songs and brand new tracks from their forthcoming album ‘The Sinner Rides Again’, out September 29th via Napalm Records, which include new rifftastic singles “Reap The Whirlwind”, and “One More Shot At Glory”!  The band comments, “KK and the band are extremely delighted to be able to add Bloodstock to our summer 2023 European festival run and we consider it a real bonus to play in front of our English fans. We’re certain it’s going to be a great evening of metal. We’re very much looking forward to it and we’ll see everybody there ready to rock!”  We’re sure Bloodstockers will give them a warm welcome for stepping into the breach so quickly. 


On Sunday at 5pm, over in the Viking Combat Arena, join Billy Graziadei from Sunday night Sophie stage headliners Biohazard and Matt Altschul from Mile High Gracie Jiu Jitsu for a one-off self-defense seminar! Just head over for the start time!


Speaking of Biohazard, have you come across #Mantorship yet? The band’s Evan Seinfield will be hosting a Circle Of Brotherhood at Bloodstock  – a talk for men offering new perspectives on modern masculinity and male mindfulness. This will be a very small group of men discussing mental health matters with Evan in the RAM Gallery on Sunday at 7:15pm. If you would like to attend please email alan@Bloodstock  .uk.com, places are limited. Your attendance will be completely confidential.


You may have seen Bloodstock  ‘sposts about Thursday and Friday being a ‘Pink For Sylvia’ theme, in memory of Sophie Lancaster’s mother, the founder of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. Pink was Sylvia’s favourite colour. If you don’t own anything pink and haven’t had time to shop, the Sophie Lancaster Foundation are making a special t-shirt and tote bag available at Bloodstock, priced £25 and £15 respectively. There’s a limited number in each size, so do head over to their stall ASAP once you’re on site if you want one. If you’re not at Bloodstock though, for the first time ever, they’ll be making this festival line available on their online store for a limited time only! You can pre-order the tote bag and t-shirt now until Monday 21st August. Once this date has passed, they will come off the site and the order will be put into production. There will be no other stock available, so get your orders in before the 21st if you want one!


Bloodstock are committed to providing a safe and welcoming space where everyone can happily connect through music and where you can freely be yourselves without fear of facing abuse, intolerance or violence.


Bloodstock believe it is the shared responsibility of themselves as the organisers, volunteers, artists, contractors and patrons to help embrace a wonderfully diverse, inclusive and safe festival. Bloodstock has a ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy towards incidents of intimidation, violence and physical or verbal harassment, related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, race, age or religion. For further information on the Zero Tolerance Policy and what to do if you find yourself or others needing help whilst at the festival – please go to – https://www.Bloodstock  .uk.com/pages/zero-tolerance-policy. Bloodstock is a proud supporter of Safer Spaces.




Be safe, don’t drink too much, pace yourselves, look after each other. Although the festival adopts a Zero Tolerance policy to illegal substances, with all the measures taken to stop drugs getting into the festival, such as sniffer dogs at the entrance, amnesty bins, and frequent bag searches, it is still possible that drugs can make their way on to the festival site.   If you or someone you’re with has taken any illegal substances knowingly or not and feel unwell, please seek out the medical welfare tent which is open 24 hours a day and situated in the main arena. Outreach are working with the medical welfare team this year to offer support to those with drug related issues. Your health and well-being is the festival’s primary concern and doing nothing if you feel unwell could put your life in danger.


Although spiking is incredibly rare at Bloodstock, generally across the UK on a whole, spiking is on the rise. Please therefore keep an eye on your drink at all times. Don’t take drinks off strangers and if you start to feel unwell, please do seek out the medical welfare tent. 




Have a great festival weekend and just be there to support each other!


Looking for directions or travel info including coaches and the official festival shuttle, running from Tamworth train station this year (note: NOT Lichfield, as in years prior)? Click here. For all general event info & frequently asked questions, including box office, main arena, and car park opening times, accessibility, lost & found (inc. lost kids), and much more, go here. You can find this year’s site map of Bloodstock here.


Tickets For 2024!!


Weekend early bird tickets for Bloodstock  2024 will be available to purchase at the box office on site for £165. This is the cheapest way to buy a 2024 ticket, minus any online booking or admin fees. Serpents Lair VIP tickets and campervan pitches will go on sale at 9am on Wednesday 16th August and are expected to sell out quickly, so if you want one, be ready!! Please note that there will be no VIP Upgrades in 2024. A very limited number of 100 VIP Deposit Scheme tickets will be available at 9am on 1st September. When they’re gone, they’re gone.


Still not got your 2023 ticket?! Snap up your standard weekend tickets inc. camping at the ticket store for the bargain price of just £165 (+ fees). If you want to make it a family affair, there are child tickets too, priced £45 (+fees) and mini-moshers under age 4 go free. If you can’t make the whole weekend, but don’t want to miss out, limited day tickets are available priced £75 (+fees) for adults and £25 (+fees) for kids. See all options in the ticket store! 


Bloodstock’s 2023 Ronnie James Dio Main Stage Headliners are Killswitch Engage, Meshuggah, and Megadeth. also Appearing are In Flames, Biohazard, Employed To Serve, Royal Republic, Sacred Reich, Heaven Shall Burn, Sepultura, Fit For An Autopsy, Crowbar, Candlemass, Tribulation, Seething Akira, Ugly Kid Joe, Decapitated, Gatecreeper, Zeal & Ardor, King 810, Abbath, Urne, All Hail The Yeti, Dead Label, Bossk, Church Of The Cosmic Skull, Brothers Of Metal, Pest Control, Gutalax, Uuhai, Invisions, Cobra The Impaler, Trollfest, Skynd, Frozen Soul, Embodiment, The Violent Inzident, Tribe Of Ghosts, Dakesis, The Enigma Division, The Grey, Ambrius, Tuskar, Stengah, Overthrone, Tortured Demon, Casket Feeder, Gaerea, Bloodyard, Wolfbastard, Embodiment, Skin Failure, Witchsorrow, Wytch Hazel, Hate, Black Coast, Phoenix Lake, Zetra And More.